(Photo credit: The STAR-FARM kick-off meeting was organized against the backdrop of the International Rice Festival in Hau Giang province © L. Vo, CIRAD)

The European Union (EU) has provided funding for a four-year project titled Smart Agro-ecological Transformation of Farming Systems towards Resilience and Sustainability in Middle and Coastal Zones of the Viet Nam Mekong Delta” (STAR-FARM). This initiative aims to improve agricultural practices in the Mekong Delta region and bolster its resilience to climate change and other environmental challenges.

The project, led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in collaboration with Vietnamese authorities, focuses on transforming farming systems in the Mekong Delta towards a more sustainable and climate-smart approach. IRD, CIRAD, Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development – IPSARD, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences – VAAS and Can Tho University are also among the main partners of the project.

This will be achieved through three key objectives:

  • Enabling Policy and Frameworks (SO1): STAR-FARM will work to create supportive policies and frameworks for sustainable agriculture. This includes establishing multi-stakeholder platforms where farmers, businesses, and policymakers can collaborate. The project will also improve the capacity of public-private partnership (PPP) service providers to better support the transition to Smart Agro-ecological Transformation of Agri-food Systems (STAS).

  • Establishing Strong Value Chains (SO2): The project will focus on establishing and strengthening Agro-Ecological Value Chains (AEVCs). This involves identifying and promoting existing climate-resilient farming practices, empowering farmers’ organizations and cooperatives, and enabling agricultural small and medium enterprises (Ag-SMEs) to contribute to fair, healthy, and environmentally sustainable value chains.

  • Enhancing Learning and Advisory Systems (SO3): STAR-FARM recognizes the importance of knowledge sharing and adaptation. The project will strengthen the existing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems for the food system transformation, allowing stakeholders to track progress towards their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. Additionally, the project will establish mechanisms to encourage innovation in support of sustainable AEVCs.

By achieving these objectives, STAR-FARM aims to create a more resilient and sustainable agricultural sector in the Mekong Delta. This will benefit farmers, consumers, and the environment alike.

On the 13th Dec 2023, the official Kick-Off Meeting of the project was launched in Hau Giang, Vietnam within the Rice Festival. More information about this special event can be found below: