In August and October 2023, Mekong Salt Lab project team visited the Tra Vinh Province to engage with local farmers and learn about the challenges. The team had the opportunity to interact closely with farmers involved in aquaculture, agritourism, crop cultivation, mangrove cultivation, and greenhouse farming. These farmers, known for their resilience and dedication, generously shared their knowledge, with the aim of benefiting local community.
Analyzing The Challenges
While bonding with these farmers, the team discovered a diverse range of challenges these individuals encounter. One of the prominent challenges faced by these farmers is saline intrusion, which affects a significant portion of their farmlands, in addition to the freshwater scarcity that has emerged as a pressing concern. Moreover, the rivers in proximity to their farms are often turbid and polluted, rendering them unsuitable for agricultural use. Even the common solution of drilling wells faces limitations, particularly during the dry season when well water becomes increasingly scarce.
Engaging with farmers
To address these challenges, these farmers expressed a strong desire for access to advanced techniques. They are keen to learn effective methods to combat soil salinity, implement rainwater collection systems, tackle issues related to industrial and residential waste entering their aquaculture ponds, convert shrimp farming ponds into crop cultivation land, and establish reliable access to freshwater.
Discovering Effective Solutions
Based on the initial field trip, three champion farmers were chosen to participate in the pilot project, sharing their valuable insights and working closely with our team of experts. After the section, the project team visited the champion farmers for the second time to explore deeper into identifying effective solutions for addressing water-related challenges on their farms. During this follow-up visit, our experts conducted a thorough analysis of the root causes of the issues, presented their technical solutions, and communicated with the farmers to evaluate the practicality of these technologies.
This critical step forms the foundation for crafting our implementation strategy in the subsequent phases of the project.
Experts working with farmers