Lam Dong, 25th-28th November 2018, a 3-day study tour was held to provide an opportunity for the government officials and representatives of Thua Thien Hue (Hue) and Quang Nam province to discuss, share experience and explore information about the low emission land use planning model, which has been successfully implemented in the areas of Lam Dong province in the past few years. A group of more than 20 participants joined the event including government officials of Provincial Department of Agriculture & Rural development (DARD), Department of Investment & Planning, Department of Environment & Natural resources, Agriculture Extension Center, and other provincial key government agencies and partners of Green Annamites project in these two provinces. This project is funded by USAID, and one of the key project activities is to develop and implement capacity-building and communication programs on low emission land use practices for government agencies during 2016–2020.

The discussion in the morning session of the first day took place at Lam Dong DARD office, where the group had the opportunity to meet and discuss with key government leaders of Lam Dong DARD, UNREDD+ Management Unit, Forest Protection Sub-department, Crop Production & Plant protection Sub-department, and Provincial Agriculture Extension Center. The discussed topics fell into two key areas: key issues and experience sharing in UNREDD+ implementation, development of Green Growth Action Plan, and Provincial REDD+ Action Plan (PRAP) design process and implementation in Lam Dong province in the recent years. This session stimulated practical questions and feedback from the participants, especially on the greater cooperation and experience sharing among Hue, Quang Nam and Lam Dong moving towards an efficient implementation of low emission land use planning and practices.

The subsequent sessions included the visits to Da Lat HasFarm Ltd, Kim Bang vegetable farm, and Tam Trinh coffee enterprise. These visits were highlighted with hi-tech application in most these farms such as flower industry with greenhouse and drip irrigation system in the Hasfarm, and vegetables production with soilless technologies farming and hydroponic NFT areas in Kim Bang farm. In addition, many vegetable and flower farms in Da Lat have taken advantage of the local tourist development to additionally develop a form of agro-tourism, thereby gradually improving profitability while effectively branding their businesses. The visit and explanations of the farm owners triggered many critical questions from the participants, especially on the high technologies application, advantages & disadvantages against conventional farming practices, and drip irrigation system.

“I feel very helpful being a member of this group study tour. I am amazed by how inspiring that many farms in Da Lat have successfully applied high technologies in their flowers and vegetables production. After discussion with these farm owners, I learn a lot about the technologies application and steps to increase productivity and maximize profit. I believe that we are able to apply these technologies in some mountainous areas of Quang Nam province like Nam Tra My and Nam Giang.”, shared by Ms. Nguyen Nu Nhu Hien, government official of Quang Nam Department of Environment & Natural resources.

After 3 working days and visits, the study tour provided these participants with enhanced understanding of the different processes or frameworks that are being utilized to develop provincial low emission land use plans, and improved their ability to identify opportunities for implementing climate smart agriculture and low emission land use practices within their province’s existing value chains.