Inaugural CGIAR Science Day in Vietnam showcases groundbreaking research and innovations for food security

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As a regional integrated initiative, the CGIAR Initiative on Asian Mega-Deltas (AMD), in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), co-organized the inaugural CGIAR Science Day in Vietnam. With the theme “Advancing Science for Food Security through Collaborative Initiatives,” the event brought together national and CGIAR scientists, researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders to promote science for agri-food systems through collaborative research.

The event provided a platform for in-depth discussions and presentations on the latest research findings and innovations from the CGIAR Initiatives in Vietnam. Dr. Cao Duc Phat, former minister of MARD and chair of the Board of Trustees of the International Rice Research Institute, shared that the event was “as an opportunity for national and CGIAR scientists, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to convene, exchange knowledge, and explore the cutting-edge research findings and innovations from the nine CGIAR Initiatives in Vietnam.”

Dr. Phat commended the CGIAR experts’ presentations, focusing on their ground-breaking scientific researches and latest innovations developed under their respective Initiatives, which showcased methodologies and results that can inform and impact decision-making in the country.

National and CGIAR scientists, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to convene, exchange knowledge, and explore the cutting-edge research findings and innovations from the nine CGIAR Initiatives in Vietnam.
National and CGIAR scientists, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to convene, exchange knowledge, and explore the cutting-edge research findings and innovations from the nine CGIAR Initiatives in Vietnam.

Key highlights of the CGIAR Science Day were the presentations from the CGIAR Initiatives focusing on four impact areas: climate adaptation and mitigation, environmental health and biodiversity, nutrition, health, and food security, and poverty reduction, livelihoods, and jobs.

Some of the Initiatives presented studies aimed at fostering sustainable agricultural practices and addressing pressing challenges in Vietnam’s diverse landscapes. Focusing on the Northwest Highlands and the Mekong River Delta (MRD), scientists from CGIAR Initiatives such as Sustainable Animal Productivity (SAPLING), Sustainable Healthy Diets (SHiFT), Nature-Positive Solutions (Nature+), and Asian Mega-Deltas (AMD) shared their researches on environmental trade-offs of livestock intensification, food environment policy landscape, agrobiodiversity assessment, and climate adaptation in rice-shrimp systems, respectively. With research locations spanning from the Son La and Lao Cai Provinces to Can Tho City, these studies are crucial in shaping resilient and sustainable agrifood systems in Vietnam.

Cutting-edge technologies and innovative platforms were also showcased by CGIAR Initiatives to improve farming in Vietnam. Significant developments included a monitoring system for rice emissions in MRD. This collaborative effort, which is under of the CGIAR Initiative on Low Emission Food Systems (Mitigate+) and AMD, aims to standardize and record rice production activities to reduce emissions.

Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, lead of AMD
Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, lead of AMD

Another advancement, which is under the CGIAR Initiative in Excellence in Agronomy (EiA), precision direct seeding promises more accurate planting and higher yields in MRD. Additionally, the introduction of PathoTracer, under the CGIAR Initiative on Plant Health, is a vital step in reducing rice diseases and enhancing food security in the region.

Some speakers provided insights into the broad activities of their Initiatives. For instance, the CGIAR Initiative on Seed Equal delivered a presentation on their Initiative’s and IRRI-Vietnam’s engagements on enhancing agricultural productivity through improved seed varieties. Additionally, the One Health Initiative, working to safeguard human health through a comprehensive approach to food safety, zoonotic diseases, and antimicrobial resistance, highlighted their efforts across various locations in Vietnam.

Poster presentations
Poster presentations

Through a World Café session, participants discussed to strategize the next steps aimed at achieving tangible outcomes and impactful results. Each discussion groups identified the CGIAR Initiatives’ innovation’s next users and also the additional activities and partners to achieve more outcomes and impacts.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Robert Caudwell, the CGIAR country convener in Vietnam, emphasized that the inaugural CGIAR Science Day in Vietnam is part of the commitment of MARD and CGIAR to collaborate and advance the science for food security agenda. He added that the event aimed to be a catalyst for fostering significant advancements in agricultural research and promoting sustainable practices to ensure food security for Vietnam and beyond.

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