October 3, 2022
Improvements to air quality can have many benefits, ranging from public health to agriculture to water quality. From September 26-30, the Global Methane, Climate, and Clean Air Forum discussed opportunities to protect the climate and improve air quality, specifically focusing on the role and impact of methane. AgResults joined the conversation on September 28, contributing its perspective on using a Pay-for-Results prize competition to scale climate-smart agriculture technologies to mitigate GHG emissions in Vietnam rice farming.
The Forum, sponsored by the Global Methane Initiative and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition, brought together industry leaders, technical experts, researchers, and policymakers to engage in a series of plenary sessions and technical panels. In addition to an in-person gathering just outside of Washington, D.C., the Forum featured a virtual attendance option.
On September 28, Justin Kosoris of AgResults joined a technical panel session titled “Best Practices in Scaling Mitigation from Paddy Rice” that was moderated by Jack Okamuro of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other panelists included: Tran Dai Dghia of Vietnam; Michele Reba of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Bjoern Ole Sander of the International Rice Research Institute; and Shailendra Mishra of Olam.
During his presentation, Mr. Kosoris explored how AgResults’ Pay-for-Results prize competition (2017-2021) in Vietnam encouraged the private sector in Thai Binh Province to develop and scale rice farming technology packages to mitigate GHG emissions, reduce water consumption, and increase productivity. By working with smallholder rice farmers in the Red River Delta, competing businesses were able to adjust their business models and investment strategies to raise awareness of climate-smart agriculture practices.
“While the total GHG emissions were less than originally anticipated, the project showed the potential for this type of funding mechanism to drive greenhouse gas-mitigating behaviors at scale,” said Mr. Kosoris. “Our challenge now is to develop cost-effective means of verifying emissions reductions, particularly as carbon markets begin to emerge for agricultural commodities.”
The project, which used a Pay-for-Results prize competition structure, worked well as a model to incentivize scaling in part because all three main stakeholder groups saw the ‘pull’ mechanism as effective: Private sector companies saw it as sufficient motivation to drive changes to their business model to promote sustainable rice farming technologies. Smallholder farmers saw it as a means to access new farming techniques and innovative fertilizer products that improved yields and value chain relationships. And the Thai Binh Province government viewed the PfR model as having potential to replicate elsewhere in the country.
In terms of what comes next for Vietnam, there are already efforts underway to scale the AgResults approach in the Mekong Delta and develop an alternative to the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP). These activities aim to cover 200-500,000 hectares, driving wide-scale adoption of green farming practices, increasing incomes, and empowering women-led households and enterprises.
Through its five days, the Global Methane, Climate, and Clean Air Forum successfully engaged a diverse set of stakeholders to discuss the importance of air quality and the significance of methane in this discussion. AgResults was glad to join the conversation and share its perspective on the role that a Pay-for-Results approach can play to incentivize adoption and scaling of climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices.
For more information on the Global Methane, Climate, and Clean Air Forum, visit the conference website. For more details on the Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction Challenge Project, check out the final report and the project page.