Fields of change: agricultural transformation in An Giang Province, Vietnam, past, present and (?) future


An Giang, a province in Mekong Delta at South of Vietnam, has been in the scene of constant transformation since Vietnamese settlement here in the middle of the Seventeenth Century. Four periods of transformation can be identified, each linked to particular political and social events. Currently, this province is the country’s leading producer of rice and aquaculture. These achievements are related to technological, social and economic changes, starting in the mid 1980s at the time of “doi moi”. However, there are indications of negative environmental impacts from this wealth production. The significance of these impacts may be of increasing concern as Vietnam prepares to adapt to the changes anticipated to come with climate change, while at the same time to meet the needs of expanding and increasing wealth and population. This short presentation will set out the four periods of change; how agriculture is changing at the present time; and some threats that lie ahead with air temperature rise and water regimes, sea and fresh water changes, and population increase.

About Dr. Charles Howie

Dr. Chales Howie is the adviser to the Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Resources at An Giang University (AGU), An Giang Province, Vietnam, and Visiting Fellow of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, England. In 2011, he gained his PhD in the area of political ecology. He has been a Lecturer for over fifty years because he believes learning, in a broad sense, is a key determinant of personal happiness and well-being. One of his research interests is in agriculture in tropical deltaic areas and particularly how the main deltas in Asia, the site of much food production, will adapt to climate change. Another interest is in the power relationship between farmers and the state, and how this will play into addressing the challenges posed by climate change. Currently he is working with colleagues at AGU to revise a curriculum for crop science so that graduates will emerge from the university with a real practical knowledge of crop cultivation and be fit to face the challenges that lie ahead. In this role he has an opportunity to combine his professional knowledge and skills in education with his research interests.

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