When mentioning the term of Climate Smart Rice (CSR), people wonder what 'smart' means and why we need intensify smartly? Simply, CSR is the method of helping farmers change their rice intensifying habits of using too much chemical fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and water ineffectively with aim to responding to climate change, as well as improving rice productivity and quality. Farmers need little changes in their ways of intensification such as improving sowing and transplantation to reduce seeds; reducing chemical fertilizers through increasing organic fertilizers use and gradually limiting the using times and types of pesticide by making decisions basing on ecosystem analysis. Then, this does not only make our environment friendlier and less polluted, but also gradually decreases the emission of greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide, methane or nitrate. Moreover, when farmers reduce seeds, it means they are less dependent on external sources of seeds and save seed cost. All these manners of intensification are considered 'climate smart' that means actively responding to climate change.

       Following the success of the model 'Farmers participate in System Rice Intensification (SRI) and select varieties' in Van Xuan Commune, Thuong Xuan District, Thanh Hoa Province under the framework of the project 'Vietnam Forest and Delta' from June 2014 to September 2015 with the support of experts in Central Plant Protection Center, technical staff at SRD, together with Agriculture and Rural Development Department, and Extension Station in Thuong Xuan District (Thanh Hoa) will hold 03 FFS (farmer field school) on CSR in the spring rice crop of 2016 for 90 farmers of 07 villages in three provinces of Xuan Chinh, Xuan Le and Van Xuan (Thuong Xuan District) from the middle of June 2016. These FFS will be organized in 7 sessions that focus on the important stages of rice development and growth through sowing, tillering, flowering and ripening. In these sessions, SRD's experts and technical staff will help farmers understand the importance of changing the habits of using seeds, chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and understand what stages that rice need not water to adjust water use through the methods of on-the-job training and two-way interaction between trainers and trainees. Besides learning in the FFS, each 90 participants also spent a private plot practicing the intensifying instructions.
In today's first session held in Xuan Chinh Commune (22/6/2016), farmers understood the relation between theories and practices of soil preparation and sowing. These two steps seem to be the primary lessons of any farmers, yet not all of them know to check out how full of water seedlings need to ensure good germination and how to get healthy seedlings. Under the heat of the Central, in a small house, over 30 farmers came early to wait for the project staff's lessons. Thus, we can see how much farmers in general, and villagers in remote areas like Xuan Chinh Commune in particular need grasp producing techniques. In their whole life, they engage in growing rice, raising pigs and chickens; however, almost their techniques have been drawn from practical experience, so scientific background to explain their acquired knowledge need instructing by technical staffs. Therefore, despite technical discussion on the techniques of rice seed selection, spreading manure and wide-narrow row transplanting, participants were eager to listen to and share without being concerned about the heat and sweltering of the summer in the western of Thanh Hoa Province.

Ảnh 1

Farmers in Xuan Chinh Commune participating in the CSR class


Chuyên gia Nguyễn Tấn Lộc chia sẻ với học viên cách gieo mạ hàng rộng hàng hẹp

Specialist Nguyen Tuan Loc – Director of Central Plant Protection Center sharing the method of wide-narrow row transplanting


Bà Nguyễn Thị Hòa PGĐ SRD chia sẻ với bà con về khái niệm CSR

Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hoa – Deputy Director of SRD sharing the term of CSR


     At the end of the lesson, experts and farmers planned the roadmap and implementing activities to ensure the CSR method will be not only applied for the practicing pilot, but also applied for 30 pilots of participants. The next lesson will focus on the tillering stage of rice which is promised to be an interesting and practical lesson because of being held in the FFS' pilot where farmers together with experts will contribute to spreading and sharing the results of CSR model to other households in the commune next crop season.

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