Aussie water expertise helps farmers in Vietnam

A recent trip to Vietnam wrapped up a decade-long project to improve irrigation and crop yield in a small region that endures conditions surprisingly similar to Australia’s semi-arid areas.

Professor Okke Batelaan, Dr Margaret Shanafield, and PhD student Hai Manh Vu travelled to Quy Nhon, Vietnam, for the final evaluation meeting of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research project (ACIAR).

The project, which concludes in December, will complete the team’s work on the South-Central Coast of Vietnam that focused on improving agricultural practices for small landholder farmers.

Over the past five years, Flinders and Murdoch University have combined their respective groundwater and agricultural expertise to identify, present and predict future agricultural impacts on water resources in the region and improve farmer livelihoods.

An area of low rainfall, the Binh Dinh province relies heavily on groundwater for irrigating crops and livestock.

The evaluation meeting brought much praise for the project’s strong collaboration with Vietnamese partner over several years, and its success in building capacity.

It consolidated five years of field measurements and hydrological modelling that delivered a clear message to stakeholders – under intensified agricultural demands, the groundwater will run out.

ACIAR final meeting delegates inspect the soil conditions of a mango tree in an experimental agricultural plantation
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