Vietnam Ministry Quickens WB-funded Sustainable Agro Transformation Project

Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has urged for quicker implementation of the World Bank (WB)-funded Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation Project (VnSAT) project, state media reported. Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh made the request at a conference on January 4, setting June 30 as the deadline for the project completion. Since 2015, Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, and Lam Dong have trained 52,461 households on coffee production process, thus 49,083 hectares of coffee have been applied with sustainable production criteria. As of end-2021, the project had helped trained 29,234 households on sustainable coffee replantation and 24,088 had re-planted 21,574 hectares of coffee. The project has also upgraded the infrastructure for the incubator at the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (WASI) and the tropical center at the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences (VAFS) with a total cost of VND21.3 billion ($918,000). The project’s management board in the Central Highlands has certified standardized incubators for 51 facilities and helped upgrade 32 others. They have provided over 11.6 million plantlets to serve coffee replantation. Besides, the region has built 110 drip irrigation models and 206 overhead irrigation models using capital from the project. Local households have also invested their own money in 555 hectares of drip irrigation and 5,710 hectares of overhead irrigation. The project has also supported 42 farming organizations in terms of infrastructure and production equipment with a total capital of VND204.6 billion. In the project extension period since January 2021, the region has carried out 30 sub-projects totaling VND510 billion. Local banks have also lent 5,327 households to replant 11,465 hectares of coffee. To date, the project has disbursed VND698 billion for the Central Highlands, equal to 70% of the overall target. The disbursement is estimated at VND242.8 billion this year. (Nong Nghiep)