The increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels is one of the major contributors to global warming leading to extreme climate change worldwide. Agriculture as one of the sources of GHGs also contributes to the greenhouse effect. However, the effect of climate change is seen far worse in agriculture production which is likely to create food insecurity in the near future. With a concern for the environment and realising its adverse effect on community health and food sustainability, the Fairtrade producers in Vietnam requested support from NAPP to help them reduce the carbon emission in the production of Fairtrade products.
As per the Fairtrade NAPP Environment and Climate Strategy, a capacity-building training was conducted virtually in 2021 to encourage producers to replace fossil fuels with alternative energy. The training was attended by 17 representatives from 07 Fairtrade certified coffee, fruit, and cashew nut cooperatives.
The producer members were introduced to climate change and its causes, its impact on agriculture, food security, and food systems, and appropriate agricultural practices to help them adapt and mitigate climate change. The sessions were focused on having a better awareness of climate change, understanding the need to produce clean energy, and building resilience to climate change in accordance with the Fairtrade Theory of change.
The producers were seen actively participating and had a series of questions regarding the application of clean energy in their product and its benefits.
The final outcome included all the participants committed to taking up actions to reduce the usage of fossil energy. The 07 cooperatives expressed their ideas about developing a proposal for using solar energy to reduce electricity usage in their crop production.
05 cooperatives have received technical and financial support from NAPP for installing solar power systems on their farm. 04 cooperatives have successfully completed the installation and started the operation.
Mr. Tran Dinh Trong -the Chairman of Ea Tu Coffee cooperative mentions, “ Climate Change really affects our production. Since our collaboration with Fairtrade, we have become more aware of building our resilience to Climate Change. We always thought planting trees and effective use of water were the ways to mitigate climate change. The training on Alternative energy has taught us that energy can be used in a smart way and by using clean energy we can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions in our production to a great extent. It will also build our resilience to climate change. Our cooperative will continue taking action for that”
Since the producers can now save on the high cost of energy, they plan to use the money saved to plant more trees for carbon absorption and to generate fresh oxygen. Plantation of 100,000 trees is being planned which serves as a double benefit to the environment and the community.
The Clean Energy Project will be more cost-effective for the producers and it will also reduce environmental impact and their dependency on standard electricity and fossil fuels.