by Steve Watson
Vara Prasad, professor of agronomy, and Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, recently spent 10 days in Vietnam as part of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases to Combat Climate Change Borlaug Fellowship Program. This program is under the auspices of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
Their trip to Vietnam was to collaborate with university faculty and local producers on climate change and agricultural issues. Earlier this year, Loan Thanh Le, graduate student, from the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, came to K-State's department of agronomy for three months to study with Prasad and Rice as part of this program.
Research into greenhouse gas emissions from the production of rice and biofuel feedstocks has become important to many countries around the world, including Vietnam. Many young faculty members in Vietnam are eager for collaborations such as this with faculty from the U.S., Prasad said.
While in Vietnam, Prasad and Rice presented two seminars at the university in Ho Chi Minh City, and visited producers in areas both north and south of the city. Agricultural producers in Vietnam are faced with problems of intense storms and flooding. Also, the intense rice farming of the region uses an enormous amount of nitrogen fertilizer, leading to potential greenhouse gas emissions from nitrous oxide. These emissions concerns are becoming very important in Vietnam, according to Le.
The fellowships are funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
GLOBAL RESEARCH ALLIANCE
The Global Research Alliance engages developing countries in research to more clearly understand and mitigate the impacts of agriculture on climate change. Eligible countries are Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines and Vietnam.