Farmer Options for Crops Under Saline conditions (FOCUS)
Mekong River Delta, Vietnam
The FOCUS project
The FOCUS project is an international agricultural research collaboration between Vietnam and Australia, based in the Mekong River Delta Vietnam. The project is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and aims to identify and implement alternative crops and management practices to rice to combat the threat of climate change. Dry season saline intrusion and drought have caused continuous widespread rice crop losses throughout the food bowl of Vietnam, causing a range of production, economic and social impacts. The project has four main research components: soil and crop management; spatial research; socioeconomic and gender studies; and training.
The FOCUS project also supports a range of additional projects that utilise the resources of FOCUS trials and experiments. These partner projects encourage capacity building and further contribute to research findings and impact.
Crawford Fund Training trip
Recently 6 members from the Can Tho University's crop and soil management team visited Australia thanks to funding from The Crawford Fund.
Crop and soil management team members from Can Tho University, Charles Sturt University and Select Carbon recently presented at the Global Soil Security Conference in Seoul Korea and at the Australian National Soils Conference in Darwin. FOCUS project research about soil moisture savings, farmer monitoring of salinity and upland crop production were presented (see abstracts here).
Soil Constraints Training
The FOCUS team recently hosted a soil constraints training workshop in three provinces throughout the Delta. Farmers and DARD staff from Soc Trang, An Giang and Hau Giang learnt hands on techniques to identify constraints to production including soil colour, structure, texture, pH and salinity.
Harvest has begun for the dry season upland crops across our research provinces. The range of crops being trialed include cowpea, quinoa and redbeet.
The FOCUS team consists of researchers across a multitude of institutions and disciplines in Australia and Vietnam. Researchers work closely with farmers and Department of Agriculture Research and Development (DARD) staff across the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam.