Survey on adaptable responses to climate change and saltwater intrusion in Tra Vinh province by Mekong Salt Lab

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TVU – From June 14 to June 16, 2022, experts from Tra Vinh University, Kim Delta Consulting and Training Co., Ltd., The Water Agency (Netherlands), and other experts went on a field trip to Tra Vinh province to hear from residents of areas affected by saltwater intrusion and to collaborate with managers at Tra Vinh University on development strategies. Create a plan to build the Mekong Salt Lab that takes into account the needs of regional development, particularly in areas of Vietnam and other nearby nations that are experiencing salty intrusion.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at Tra Vinh University is the project’s focal center and direct management, together with partners in the Netherlands: HZ University of Applied Sciences, The Water Agency, and Kim Delta Vietnam. The Orange Knowledge Program (OKP) of the Dutch government provides funding for the initiative. In order to teach farmers in the Mekong Delta how to adapt to saline conditions of soil and water systems, the Mekong Salt Lab was founded as a center integrating national and international expertise.

The Water Agency (Netherlands), a consultant on sustainable livelihood models and climate change adaptation, consultants from Kim Delta Consulting & Training Company in Vietnam, experts from Tra Vinh University, and experts on water resource management, climate change, and saline intrusion are all participating in the activity.

“I tried switching from the model of producing rice to that of cultivating pomelo in 2015, but I failed”, according to Mr. Tran Thanh Viet, a farmer in An Quang Huu commune, Tra Cu district, Tra Vinh province. In 2018, he shifted to a type of coconut farming, however, due to saline intrusion, the coconuts were undersized and produced few fruits. He intends to limit the salinity effect.

The experts also visited and surveyed the 2-door dam system (8 x 5 m) at Vam Buong hamlet, Ngai Xuyen commune, Tra Cu district, Tra Vinh province. They had discussions with the Vam Buong system managers about the operation of freshwater sources as well as limiting and preventing salt water from entering the field.

The delegation discussed the model of intensive snakehead fish farming with households in Xoai Lo hamlet, Luu Nghiep Anh commune, Tra Cu district, Tra Vinh province.

The experts visited and had an in-depth discussion about the conversion to greenhouse farming in Tra Cu district.
Discussing the conversion of shrimp farming model from earthen ponds to intensive farming of whiteleg shrimp with silver ponds in Ba Dong hamlet, Truong Long Hoa commune, Duyen Hai town, Tra Vinh province.
Visiting and surveying the model of grape growing on mangroves in Truong Long Hoa commune, TX. Duyen Hai, Tra Vinh province.

In addition, the experts from the Netherlands and Tra Vinh University also had 2 working sessions and directly discussed strategies for developing the Mekong Salt Lab according to the needs of the people, and regional development, especially in areas affected by saline intrusion in Vietnam and other nearby nations.

The project to establish the Mekong Salt Lab is the first step in the implementation of the resolution and regional planning. Therefore, the parties will come up with solutions to help people become more resilient and find more sustainable agricultural production systems. This is crucial for generating income and maintaining livelihoods for Mekong Delta coastal residents.

TD