Written by Tran Duc Tuan, Nguyen  Hoang Tri, Vu Thuc Hien, Nguyen Xuan Niem, Le Van Giau and Ly Van Tai

September 2018

To develop and enhance T-learning in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, it is essential to find   out real impulses of T-learning processes in this area. Based on  primary and secondary data collected in our 2018 summer study  and surveys, some key impulses of T-learning in the Mekong Delta are identified. They are as follows:

  1. The first impulse: Economical and economical benefits provided by the VACB model

With the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the VACB model (V: garden, A; pond,  C: livestock, B:  biogas ), in 2008 the Clean Development Mechanism rural development project (CDM projects) were piloted in over 200 families in My Phung Hamlet, My Khanh Commune, Phong Dien – Can Tho city.  At present, Can Tho province has more than 400 farmers participating in the project effectively. “The more this model is multiplied, the more benefits the farmers receive. Each month they do not have to spend money on gas, electricity in cooking, lighting because of the closed model garden, fish ponds, Biogas pigsty. In addition, their income is increased by selling fish (one per year), selling pigs (2 times / year), selling fruit or vegetables” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huu Chiem[1] analyzed.

The CDM project installed 1,000 more biogas bags in Cai Rang and Binh Thuy districts in June 2012. With the scale is expanded, each year TP. Can Tho will reduce about 6,000 tons of CO2 emissions, contributing to significant harm reduction to the general environment. According to Dr. Chiem “The feasibility study of the rural development model based on the clean development mechanism in the Mekong Delta” (CDM) by the Japan Center for International Agricultural Research (JIRCAS) and Can Tho University. Can Tho annually reduces more than 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions by guiding farmers to use biogas instead of traditional firewood”. From the above results, the Project Management Board is compiled a dossier of registration of “emission reduction credits” with the United Nations (UN), proposing the recognition of this clean production model as a basis for granting certificates. CER – Certified by the UN “Carbon Fund”.

In the future, ” carbon emission credits” will become clean products for sale to developed countries that want to cut down on greenhouse gas. Profits will be reinvested in the production of farm households. This is encouraging farmers  to involve more actively in transformative learning in form of instrumental learning & communitative learning for sustainability to climate change adaptation.

With  the CDM project’s support  hundreds of farmer households in Can Tho Province are planning to sell carbon credit from biogas production under a closed cycle of organic farming. Carbon credits will be reinvested to provide clean water systems using solar energy.

Duong Hoang Dung, owner of a pig farm with hundreds of pigs in Dinh Mon commune, Thoi Lai district, Can Tho, said: “Pork raising with hundreds of pigs like me without making biogas smells bad. From animal waste will affect the habitat of neighbors. Biogas help increase the efficiency of home economics, gas for cooking and lighting for pig farms …”.

[See cover image captioned: Can Tho farmers build biogas systems in their home gardens to develop clean agriculture, reduce greenhouse gas emissions]

Mr. Dung’s pig farm is designed and built following the VACB  model provided by  the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) rural development project funded & jointly implemented by Cantho University and the World Center for Agricultural Research in Japan. (JIRCAS) . This is the first “carbon credit” investment project to be implemented in the Mekong Delta.

According to experts from the CDM project, the process of converting raw materials to carbon dioxide production is quite simple When farmers agree to build a biogas system, depending on the size of the household (ie the number of pigs in a household), it will calculate how much of the produce is produced. As a result, the expert will work with the farmers to convert the equivalent kilogram of firewood and CO2 emissions into the environment.

According to the CDM project, JIRCAS will invest the farmers in gardening with clean methods, minimizing the emission of CO2 into the environment. This emission reduction will be measured and converted to carbon credits. On average, every 1,000 farmers in Can Tho province participate in the program with 1,000 bags, biogas reactors are deployed, each year can generate about 3,000 carbon credits. With a stable carbon credit, in 2015 JIRCAS will market to the world to sell this credit.

“For the sale of carbon credits, we will support households to build water purification systems, use solar energy equipment, support agricultural cultivation .. and regularly hosts workshops with farmers to listen to their reflections, as well as to provide useful suggestions. Because the project included economic and environmental benefits, farmers were very enthusiastic to learn together in order  apply and to develop the VACB as a sustainable livelihood solution adapting climate change challenges in Mekong Delta” Dr. Nguyen Huu Chiếm  emphasized. .

[Find full report at this link: T-learning in Mekong Delta Vietnam blog 9.2018 ]

[1] Lecturer, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Can Tho University, a representative of the CDM project,