Mekong Institute (MI), with support from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), organized the online National Consultation on the Implementation and Replicability of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) Technologies in Lower Mekong Countries on October 3-4, 2023, marking a step forward to increasing the human resource capacity of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand (CLVT) in delivering technical support on CSA approaches to farmers and food producers.
Conducted as a preparatory activity for the regional training programs under the project Promoting Climate-Smart Agriculture Technologies in Lower Mekong Countries, the series of national consultations identified the innovation uptake and gaps in implementing CSA in CLVT together with the replicability of existing climate-smart technologies in the four countries.
“This consultation will zero in on identifying the challenges and the incredible opportunities that lie before us. By assessing the replicability of climate-smart practices and technologies already in place, we can advance the sustainable practices and multiply their valuable impacts, not only in your country but throughout the region,” Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department of MI, highlighted in her Opening Remarks. She likewise stressed the importance of learning from success stories to build upon existing foundations and accelerate CSA adoption in the region.
Providing a platform for the national stakeholders to exchange their experiences regarding CSA technologies implementation, emphasis was placed on identifying critical gaps and adoption rates, assessing the replicability of existing practices and technologies, supporting policies, and climate financing mechanisms.
Key findings from the consultation highlighted the difference in the stages of technologies and adoption across Lower Mekong countries. The variation is attributed to the localized nature of agriculture, varying socio-economic conditions, and diverse challenges the countries face due to climate change. The majority of the approaches are concentrated in crop productivity with limitations in the use of advanced technologies related to the use of the internet. Successful CSA technologies adopted in agricultural value chain include crop diversification, conservation agriculture, water management, solar drying technology, green energy-powered transportation, and e-commerce.
The results of the national consultations are expected to guide the development of the activities under the project. Supported under the Mekong Australia Partnership - Water Energy Climate (MAP-WEC) portfolio, the one-year initiative of MI aims to contribute to enhancing the resilience of agricultural value chains in the Lower Mekong region by ensuring that there are suitable and context-specific CSA approaches, capacitated technical manpower, accessible climate finance services, and increased collaboration among key actors in the value chain.