In July 2018, Rikolto started implementing the project “Development of an integrated farming model combining climate and water-smart rice production with income-generating aquaculture for the youth and women in An Giang province, Vietnam”. This project is a first step to making our target rice value chains more gender- and youth-sensitive, environmentally-friendly and climate-smart. The current rice cropping model implemented in the project’s target area (Tan Tuyen commune in An Giang province) is that of triple cropping based on the succession of 3 rice growing seasons per year. Controlled by a system of dykes, natural flooding does not take place at all or comes via sluice gate operation, reducing the natural rate of sediment deposition. Furthermore, the additional 3rd rice crop results in a considerable increase in pest and disease outbreaks and workload for farmers and reduces their capacity to generate income from alternative sources. The loss of the “flushing effect” of the monsoonal flood is also a contributor to higher pest and disease costs.
Women and the youth are largely excluded from rice production in the project’s target area. Over 90% of rice farmers are male and about three quarters are above 35 years old. An integrated rice-fish farming system can be used as an alternative to the intensive three-cropping system to reduce farmers’ financial vulnerability and to increase the sustainability of rice production in the area. It also has the potential to create job opportunities and income for women and young labourers through their involvement in aquaculture-related activities.
As part of this project, we are looking for a (team of) consultant(s) to design and assist the establishment of a rice-fish farming system that would benefit women and young labourers in Tan Tuyen commune, Tri Ton District, An Giang.