On 7 May 2013, in Hanoi, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) inaugurated their regional offices for Southeast Asia. Over 100 attendants to the inauguration ceremony included a wide range of representatives from governmental, embassies, and international organizations based in Hanoi, Vietnamese scientists, community development specialists and scholars, and the members of CCAFS Independent Science Panel (the CCAFS “Board”), CCAFS Management Committee and Coordinating Unit, and CCAFS Science officers. Dr. Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Dr. Bui Cach Tuyen, Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Environment; and Dr. Robert Reigler, IRRI Director General also attended the ceremony. In her inauguration speech Dr. Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu stressed the needs for strengthened collaboration for food security, CC adaptation and mitigation.
The inauguration ceremony was preceded by a stakeholders workshop on “International Collaboration on Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change”. Participants had chance to learn and discuss on challenges and opportunities for rice and cassava in particular and for agriculture in general in Vietnam and Southeast Asia as a whole. Especially, the needs and opportunities for climate smart agriculture (CSA) in the region were debated.
On May 5, 2013, two days before the inauguration ceremony, 30 CCAFS program and theme leaders, managers, scientists and ISP members paid a field visit to Phu Tho, a mountainous province in Northern Vietnam and to the Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (NOMAFSI) where they learnt and shared experience on smart land use change and land swapping for farm consolidation for large- scale rice-field models, land use smart agriculture inn sloping land, water and climate smart agriculture in lowlands facing increasing drought problems. Experiences were shared among participants and with NOMAFSI scientists on promoting R4D of CSA, especially for rice and tea production and for agro-forestry and sustainable agriculture on sloping land.