International Masters in Rural Development: Field Visit to Soc Trang Province, Vietnam

As I explained last week, I am representing the Rural Sociology Group in a case study summer programme organized by Can Tho University’s Mekong Delta Development Research Institute.

Meeting with district representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Meeting with district representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

On Friday, August 7th, the Case Study group visited two areas in the Soc Trang province of Vietnam. The first stop was a visit to a district office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Here, students and staff were able to ask officials questions related to their selected research topics and interests. One policy initiative we learnt about was a plan to increase the number of dairy cows in rural areas as a poverty reduction strategy. This programme stems from the national Agricultural Restructuring Plan where key crops and animals were identified, dairy cows being one of them.

Pigs for bio gas and food

Pigs for bio gas and food

From there we moved to My Xuyen district where food production is centred on upland crops. We visited two farms here. The first had cows and pigs and were producing bio gas. In this family, the husband undertook farm labour and the wife worked a government job.

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Mekon Delta Case Study: Agricultural transformation in developing countries under contexts of urbanization and climate change


Here is what I am getting up to this month!

Originally posted on Rural Sociology Wageningen University:

Welcome to Can Tho University Welcome to Can Tho University

For the month of August the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute (MDI) is hosting a summer school case study on Agricultural transformation in developing countries under contexts of urbanization and climate change- the case of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, for the International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD) programme from Ghent University.  Wageningen’s Rural Sociology Group is involved in the IMRD programme and as a result, I was able to come and participate in a supportive capacity for the first two weeks.

Case Study Participants at Can Tho University Case Study Participants at Can Tho University

About the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute (MDI)

MDI is an interdisciplinary organization of Can Tho University (Can Tho, Vietnam). It was established in 2005 from the Mekong Delta Farming Systems Research and Development Institute. MDI has the mission to “improve life quality of rural people and ensure socio-economic and environmental sustainability of the…

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Thought of the day

Peck and Tickell observe that under the

“asymmetrical scale politics of neoliberalism, local institutions and actors [are] being given responsibility without power, while international institutions and actors [are] gaining power without responsibility” (2002, 386).

Applications for Junior Researcher Task Force

This looks like a great opportunity. If I was not teaching that week, I would certainly apply.

Application deadline: 15 July 2015

The 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security will feature a Junior Researcher Task Force, a team of 22 young people responsible for capturing and distributing via social media the big and recurring conversation topics that evolve under each thematic area. Selected members will attend all thematically-related sessions, use Twitter during the conference, and write blog posts immediately following to synthesize the most exciting research and new ideas. These individuals will also be required to attend a one-day “science communications” training the weekend of 10-11 October 2015.

The organizing committee is now accepting applications to be part of this task force. Graduate students, post-docs, and other junior research staff with an established professional social media presence (preferred) or an interest in cultivating one are encouraged to apply. Selected junior task force members will receive FREE registration (courtesy of the support of CICCA) to the conference, however all other costs must be covered by the individual.

Please submit the completed application form along with your CV no later than Wednesday 15 July 2015.

Information from here

Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health

A long awaited report from the Lancet / UCL Commission on Climate Change and Health has just been published called “Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health”

You need to register to The Lancet to access the report but registration is currently free.

There are quite a few references to food security, including this statement challenging assumptions around sustainable intensification:

Panel 4: Food security, climate change, and human health

The provision for global food demand by 2050 cannot assume improved crop yields through sustainable agricultural intensification because of the negative effects on crop growth from an increased frequency of weather extremes. Multifunctional food production systems will prove important in a warmer world. These systems are managed for benefi ts beyond yield, and provide multiple ecosystem services, support biodiversity, improve nutrition, and can enhance resilience to shocks such as crop failure or pest outbreaks (p 16).

There is also a supplementary video “How can we transform climate change from a threat to an opportunity to improve global health?”

The Guardian has also reported on the report with an article: Climate change threatens 50 years of progress in global health, study says

Happy reading!