Vietnam - Joint efforts to develop the Mekong Delta Agricultural Transition Program
Hanoi, 2 December 2019 - The Vietnam - Netherlands Consultation Workshop on Agricultural Transformation in the Mekong Delta is hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Institute for Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), and The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Can Tho City on 2 December 2019 to gather vital inputs to finalize the Mekong Delta Agricultural Transformation Program (MD-ATP) decisions. The workshop brings together professionals with significant experience in the Mekong Delta’s agriculture sector in order to provide early feedback on the priorities and activities to be included in the program design and in its inception phase.
The terms of reference of the program are currently being developed for approval by the two governments, with the work being guided by a joint Vietnam (VN) - Netherlands (NL) Steering group. It is foreseen that during this first phase of the program, from 2020-2023, the MD- ATP will work to catalyze the development of selected agricultural value chains across six agro-ecological zones. In a later phase, lessons learned during the development of these value chains will be applied to other chains in new provinces and will expand the program to include new partners as well. The program will complete in 2030 after having developed and modernized a broad range of agribusiness sectors in the Mekong.
The workshop will be jointly led by Dr. Trần Công Thắng, Director general of MARD/IPSARD and Mr. Willem Schoustra, Agricultural Counsellor Vietnam - Thailand of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Hanoi. Also anticipated to be in attendance are leaders and sector experts from provincial governments, the Dutch and Vietnamese private sectors, research institutes (IPSARD, ICD, VNUA, Can Tho university, An Giang University, Wageningen University, CGIAR) and international development partners (SNV, IDH, NMAV, GIZ among others).
“The Netherlands can provide unique knowledge on water management and agribusiness. Combined with our previous experience from the work of Mekong Delta Plan, we hope that in this implementation phase of the long term NL-VN strategic partnership , the MD-ATP can coordinate and amplify the impact of, otherwise potentially disconnected, efforts among provincial governments, research institutes, international development partners and private sectors” said Mr. Willem Schoustra.
A Memorandum of Understanding on Netherlands - Vietnam cooperation on the MD-ATP has been signed by the VN Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the NL Prime Minister Mark Rutte on April 9th, 2019 benchmarking the second phase in the existing long term Netherlands – Vietnam (NL-VN) strategic cooperation on water management and agriculture. As part of this NL-VN strategic partnership, the MD- ATP is a program that continues the bilateral cooperation begun during work on the Mekong Delta Plan in 2013, which concluded that a shift towards agro-business focused specialization is vital for the safe and sustainable socio-economic development of the delta. It also supports the implementation of Vietnamese Government Resolution 120 with vision for 2100 published in October 2017, which aims to fully develop key agricultural value chains into highly sustainable and competitive sectors, as well as the related business services and an enabling institutional environment to support these chains./.