Vietnam Emissions Reduction Pilot

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Existing Pilots
Vietnam Emissions Reduction Pilot

Current rice farming practices in South and Southeast Asia produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG), particularly non-carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions including methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). These compounds are potent contributors to global GHG emissions that drive climate change-related extreme weather events including droughts and floods. Smallholder rice farmers contributing to these emissions, including those in Vietnam, are particularly vulnerable to climate-related shocks.

The AgResults Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction Pilot is a four-year, US $8 million pull mechanism that aims to develop, test, and scale up innovative technologies, tools, and approaches to reduce GHG emissions in the land cultivation and production stages for rice in order to ultimately reduce poverty, protect the environment, and reduce GHG emissions. Focusing on the Thai Binh province in the Red River Delta, the pilot will provide results-based monetary incentives to a diverse pool of actors who successfully test and scale technologies that increase yields and reduce GHG emissions in rice production. The pilot will be conducted in two phases. Phase I, beginning in the Summer of 2017, consists of two growing seasons during which accepted organizations will test their technologies. Phase II, which begins in Spring 2019, consists of four consecutive growing seasons during which organizations who have proven the viability of their Phase I technology will demonstrate their ability to scale that technology to the greatest number of smallholder farmers.

The pilot is managed by SNV Vietnam.

Why GHG Emissions in Rice Farming?

Anthropogenic GHG emissions are those caused by human activity and include both CO2 and Non-CO2 emissions. CH4 and N2O comprise nearly 30% of CO2 equivalent GHG emissions from agriculture. These emissions are common by-products of modern rice farming and are more potent per-unit contributors to global warming than CO2 emissions, with CH4 surpassing CO2 in its impact on global warming by 25 times and N20 surpassing it by 300 times. 

Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction Pilot Prize Design

Technologies Being Tested

All proposed technology packages to be tested comprise elements that fall under the following categories, which are the most significant drivers of on-farm GHG emissions for rice. 

  • Fertilizer use: type, application rates, timing, and methods
  • Rice husk and straw residue management: fraction removed from the field, fate and timing of incorporation
  • Water management: continuous flooding, mid-season drain for applications of agrochemicals and pesticides, “Alternate Wetting and Drying” 
  • Tillage practices: frequency, timing, and depth
  • Organic amendments: type, amount applied, timing of application
  • Rice varieties: growth duration and planting density


Setting up reliable verification systems is a crucial aspect of designing a pull mechanism. Verification allows donors to authenticate results on which prizes are based. In the Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction pilot, verification is conducted differently during Phase I and Phase II of the pilot. Phase I verification design relies on direct measurement of GHG emissions and rice yields for each technology and corresponding baseline. Phase II will largely use remote sensing data to verify emissions and yields and will employ existing models calibrated using field measurements of GHG emissions, rice yields, and crop production practices gathered in Phase I.  

Phase I Verification

Phase I verification is a four-step process that relies on direct measurements of GHG emissions and rice yields for each implementer technology and corresponding baseline. 

Phase II Verification

Phase II verification uses existing proven rice crop verification processes and incorporates Phase I results to calibrate its models. In this phase, the verifier will use two data platforms to collect raw data, which will feed into GHG and yield modeling systems to verify GHG emissions and yields in fields across the Thai Binh province.

Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction Pilot in the News

Phase I of the Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction Pilot Surfaces Innovative Tech for Reducing GHG Emissions in Rice Farming

Multi-donor initiative launches a multi-million dollar prize competition to reduce GHG emission in Vietnam

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Rice Farming

Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction Pilot Fact Sheet

Download the Vietnam Pilot Fact Sheet Here

The AgResults initiative is a partnership between: