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

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 Mekong Delta through collaborative education, research and development activities”. It also has four research programmes:

  • Food security
  • Agriculture resources management
  • Rural development
  • Climate change, adaptation and mitigation.
Visiting a collection of  farming and aquaculture tools

Visiting a collection of farming and aquaculture tools

Boating on the Mekong River

Boating on the Mekong River

About the Case

The case study is being conducted by 8 students (from Brazil, Cameroon, Serbia, Germany, Turkey, and Mexico) who are part of the IMRD programme and 8 students from MDI. The students have been mixed into smaller groups to explore the following topics:

  • The relationships between policies, institutional arrangements and community livelihoods
  • Community adaptation to climate change
  • Values chains and models of production in the Mekong Delta
  • Household resources and trends

The groups are supported by local professors who act as facilitators.

Leaning about the Mekong Delta

Leaning about the Mekong Delta

The first week of the course is devoted to learning about the Mekong Delta, about agricultural transformation in the students’ home countries, and also cultural sharing and learning.

The second week is focused on methodologies, including participatory rural appraisal and community rural appraisal.

In the third week students spend time in two field sites: one rural and one peri-urban.

Students working on the case study

Students working on the case study

They also get Sa Dec, Dong Thap province)

In the fourth week students finalise their individual reports and group presentations.

Having spent the week in the classroom, tomorrow we will visit different ecological zones and farming systems in the Mekong Delta (Soc Trang province- costal area). I will be sure to write up another blog to summarise this experience.

Students gave presentations about agricultural transformation in their home countries

Students gave presentations about agricultural transformation in their home countries

Students gave presentations about agricultural transformation in their home countries

Students gave presentations about agricultural transformation in their home countries

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And we found time to share some delicious Vietnamese food and lots of laughs.

This entry was posted in General by foodgovernance. Bookmark the permalink.

About foodgovernance

Jessica Duncan is Assistant Professor in the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University. Originally from Canada, she lived in France, Spain and the UK before coming to the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in Food Policy from City University London and is the author of the book Global Food Security Governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on World Food Security (Routledge, 2015, http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138802520/ ). Her research areas include: food policy; food security; global governance; environmental policy; participation; rural sociology. She is particularly interested in transitions towards environmentally sustainable food security governance.

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

  1. Excellent practice by the group and that will be helpful to understand agricultural transformation process.

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