Joint initiative to upgrade agricultural circular businesses in Viet Nam

March 27, 2024
Photo: UNDP Viet Nam/Phan Huong Giang

Coffee and rice farmers and entrepreneurs will pilot ways to reduce waste and emissions that create job opportunities.

Ha Noi, 27 March 2024 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) announced a joint initiative to assist smallholder farmers and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the provinces of Can Tho, Dak Lak, and Son La to adopt circular economy models for the coffee and rice value chains. These models are expected to positively impact the agricultural ecology, enhance economic value and improve livelihoods for local communities.

In Viet Nam, rice production is responsible for 19 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (NDC, 2022). These emissions stem from various factors such as deforestation, intensive use of fertilisers and water for irrigation, and mismanagement of by-products like straws and husks. Similarly, coffee plantations pose significant risks of direct and indirect deforestation. To address these issues, a circular economy approach mitigates negative effects on agricultural ecosystems and improve economic performance.

The collaboration will identify and disseminate circular solutions associated with rural and peri-urban waste in selected sites through hands-on capacity-building workshops for 200 farmers’ groups. Additionally, two business models will be selected to pilot circular solutions to identified bottlenecks. Technical advisory support is expected to make these models more economically feasible, resource-efficient, and climate-smart. 

Underpinning these activities, the Viet Nam Circular Economy Hub will host the final sharing and learning workshop to disseminate improved business models for replication in other provinces and promote lessons learnt by facilitating the connection of stakeholders, including governmental agencies, private sectors and associations, academia, and development partners.

According to Ms. Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam, “There is great potential in applying circular economy principles in the agriculture sector. Application of circularity will help to reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and improve the competitiveness of Viet Nam’s agricultural products, while simultaneously reducing waste, mitigating the negative impacts on the environment, and offering effective response to climate change.”

Dr. Mark Smith, Director General at IWMI, emphasized, “Our overarching goal is to ensure that biocircular solutions are used more effectively to generate increased economic, environmental, and social benefits that can help farming households and SMEs in rural and urban areas and contribute to GHG emission reduction.”

The UNDP-IWMI collaboration highlights the importance of partnerships in achieving sustainable development. The two organisations aim to accelerate the transition towards resilient and nature-positive agrifood systems by pooling their expertise and resources. This work is also made possible by the CGIAR Initiative on Nature-Positive Solutions (Nature+).  

For media inquiries, please contact:
Phan Huong Giang
UNDP Media and Communications Analyst, Climate Change and Environment
Mob: 0948466688

About the International Water Management Institute
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is an international, research-for-development organization that works with governments, civil society and the private sector to solve water problems in developing countries and scale up solutions. Through partnership, IWMI combines research on the sustainable use of water and land resources, knowledge services and products with capacity strengthening, dialogue and policy analysis to support implementation of water management solutions for agriculture, ecosystems, climate change and inclusive economic growth. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, IWMI is a CGIAR Research Center with offices in 15 countries and a global network of scientists operating in more than 55 countries.

About the Viet Nam Circular Economy Hub
Launched in October 2021 by the United Nations Development Programme with the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Viet Nam Circular Economy Hub aims to enhance dialogue, generate know-how, and mobilise collective action towards the CE transition. As the first government-led platform on CE, included in Decree 08/2022/ND-CP, the CE Hub aims to raise awareness and build the capacity of all stakeholders (public authorities, businesses, civil society, and academia) to adopt CE principles, create synergies, and integrate financial and technical resources.  
The CE Hub welcomes approximately 1,500 unique visitors monthly and has developed a network of over 70 active members.