News » Ministry Explores Research Collaboration with Viet Nam

(adm/Aug 01, 2009)
The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) through its Indonesian Agency for Agriculture Research and Development (IAARD) explored possible research collaboration with the Viet Nam Academy of Agricultural Science (VAAS) in several fields of mutual interests.  The working relationships proposed, among others involved the exchange of genetic materials for padi, hybrid rice research, tidal agriculture, molecular breeding of soybean, vegetables and fruits.  The research exploration was led by the Director General of the IAARD, Dr Gatot Irianto who was accompanied by several IAARD staff.  The possible research collaboration was a follow-up action to the visit of the Minister of Agriculture to Viet Nam in October 2008.

The primary purpose of the 18-23 June 2009 visit of the IAARD Head and staff was to develop cooperation in agriculture R&D as well as in agriculture between Indonesia and Viet Nam.  The IAARD delegates were received by the Vice-Minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) responsible for agriculture who was accompanied by the President of VAAS.  The IAARD Head made a presentation on the IAARD as the premier R&D organization in Indonesia.  During the meeting, Dr Gatot also tabled a draft MoU to renew the working relationship agreed to by the Indonesian Agriculture Minister earlier.

During the visit, the Indonesian delegates had the opportunity to observe first hand the agricultural technological innovations in tidal swamp/low-lying areas in the Mekong Delta, sharing and exchanging information as well as comparing experiences in increasing agriculture production.  The two countries also discussed the different options and areas of R&D cooperation in agriculture.  The Indonesian team also visited various Vietnamese institutions in agriculture R&D such as MARD, VAAS, Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute (CLRRI), Fruits and Vegetables Research Institute (FAVRI), Field Crops Research Institute (FCRI), Soil and Fertilizer Research Institute (SFRI), including several production areas of padi, vegetables, fruits and stevia.

Farmers' Work Ethics and Enthusiasm

The tremendous increase in agricultural production achieved by Viet Nam in the last 10-15 years was the result of the work ethics and enthusiasm of the Vietnamese farmers in adopting technological innovations and modern inputs.  At the same time, another contributing factor was its agricultural R&D in “integrated program and apprenticeship of Masters and Doctorate students that combined education with research” undertaken by CLRRI.

The CLRRI had mainly focused its research on the development of Golden Rice, Salinity and Flood Tolerant Paddy.  At the moment the CLRRI is under the coordination of MARD, however in the future it is expected that it will come under the coordination of VAAS.  This Institution offers a Doctorate program in crop breeding in cooperation with Can Tho University.  Viet Nam used to depend on rice hybrids from China, however due to various limitations and poor adaptability, today a large part of the rice hybrids grown are from their own breeding work.