Vietnamese farmer to receive UN award for helping women adapt to climate change

By VnExpress   September 10, 2016 | 01:04 am PT
Vietnamese farmer to receive UN award for helping women adapt to climate change
A woman wearing a traditional hat, known as a non, la sits in a rice field outside Hoi An, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Jorge Silva
She is a pioneer in helping fellow female farmers in the Mekong Delta adapt to climate change by switching to a new production model.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific will honor Pham Thi Huan, a Vietnamese farmer, for "her outstanding agricultural production achievements in the context of increasing climate change challenges."

Huan is known to have helped many female farmers in the Mekong Delta switch to duck raising for eggs after growing rice and other crops has become difficult due to climate change. The initiative not only created jobs, it has also improved female farmers' standing in the community.

She's also been recognized by the Vietnamese Government for her active involvement in programs like "Support Association for People with Disabilities and Orphans” and “Everyone is the Same” as well as "Dream House", a program by Ho Chi Minh Television to help farmers establish businesses.

The award will be presented at a ceremony held in Bangkok on October 17 to recognize farmers’ achievements under the theme “Climate is changing, food and agriculture must too”. This is the theme of the FAO’s annual World Food Day (WFD) celebrations in the Asia-Pacific region which highlights how food and agriculture need to adapt to climate change to feed a growing global population in a sustainable way.

Pham Thi Huan or 'Ba Huan' (meaning Ms. Huan), from Long An Province in the Mekong Delta, will receive the “Model Farmer” award along with others from Fiji, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand. 


Pham Thi Huan is general director of Ba Huan Company Ltd - one of the leading fresh egg suppliers in Vietnam. Photo by

Vietnam is considered one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise. Farmers in many parts of the Mekong Delta, known as the country's rice bowl, have been forced to abandon rice cultivation and adapt by switching to new cultivation models to cope with salt water intrusion and draughts.

In the first half of 2016, Vietnam was hit by what the U.N. penned the worst drought in almost a century, seriously affecting about two million people living in the southern and central regions of the country and resulting in losses totaling $669 million.

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