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'No regret' mitigation strategies in rice production

The project aims to develop an innovative approach based on highlighting co-benefits of mitigation options, integrating alternate wetting and drying (AWD) into a farming strategy, as opposed to approaches focusing on emissions reductions only.

This project will provide an innovative methodology for assessing and strengthening co-benefits of mitigation to address the problem of slow uptake of AWD and other mitigation options. The advantages will emphasize not only the water saving feature but also better crop performance that as yet has no empirical basis but is reported to have a wealth of anecdotal evidence.

Project Activities

  • Field experiments will be implemented to enable data collection on additional incentives of water-saving technologies to proceed from mere anecdotal evidence to science-based facts. The co-benefits of AWD will be quantitatively evaluated (specifically on reduced lodging, less fungal disease, better soil condition for mechanization).
  • An inventory of AWD and other mitigation technology projects implemented in satellite sites will be done to obtain supplemental data confirming the co-benefits of mitigation.
  • The project will also assess agronomic advantages in crop performance through participatory field testing in Climate-Smart Villages (CSVs). Here, both women and men farmers will be given the same opportunity to be involved in field testing and evaluation of the technologies.
  • Comprehensive data analysis will be done on crop performance vis-a-vis mitigation potential.
  • Economic input/output ratios of different mitigation options will be analyzed.

Project Outcomes

  • The project will accelerate scaling up of mitigation by tackling different stakeholder levels, from farmers and extension services to national policy makers.
  • At the farmers’ level, the project will implement a participatory mitigation selection (PMS) as a known effective means to learn how farmers decide freely on low-emission crop management options that are locally suitable. This will also allow quantitative evaluation of the co-benefits of mitigation techniques (agronomic and economic).
  • The distinct links to IRRI’s project on Policy Information and Response Platform on Climate Change and Rice in the ASEAN and its member countries (PIRCCA) and the Rice Paddy Component will ensure well-established networks to be taken advantage of in order to reach out to policymakers. By strengthening extension services through trainings and workshops, local policymakers will be enabled to succeed in implementing mitigation strategies.
  • The agriculture sector, may integrate its mitigation objectives into its modernization campaigns and rehabilitation programs, e.g. for irrigation infrastructure.
  • This project will also undertake an analysis of national climate change actions plans and the development of a “rice component” that will be integrated into the national adaptation and mitigation action (NAMA). It will also analyze the bio-physical suitability of different mitigation options for Lao and Cambodia and the synergy creation between mitigation technologies and modernization.


In this project, IRRI works closely with national government agencies, academe, non government organizations and other research institutions.

Institute of Agricultural Environment, Vietnam