On June 12, 2024, the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment and Core Research Group for Integrated soil, water and nutrient management for crops, Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), welcomed a delegation of experts from the Land Development Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives) and distinguished Soil Doctors from Thailand. The delegation, led by Dr. Arthit Sukhkasem, Deputy Director General, visited VNUA to exchange information about the Soil Doctor Programme and discuss future cooperation opportunities. The event was attended by the Faculty's leaders, faculty members, and Core Research group members.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Trong Phuong, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, VNUA, and Dr. Arthit Sukhkasem,  Deputy Director General of the Thai Land Development Department, speaking at the conference

In his speech, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Trong Phuong highlighted key issues pointed out on World Environment Day, such as desertification recovery and drought resilience. These challenges were not merely academic concerns or distant problems; they were urgent realities affecting millions of people globally. Our response to these challenges would determine the future of the environment and the legacy we would leave for future generations. Addressing these missions, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Huu Cong provided a brief overview of the resources and activities of VNUA and the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment.

From the Thai delegation, Dr. Arthit Sukhkasem and accompanying experts introduced the goals, tasks, and achievements of the Soil Doctor Programme. This programme, with a vast network of over 77,000 volunteers in Thailand, supported farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural practices and effective land management. As part of the project entitled 'Development and Promotion of the Soil Doctor Programme for Sustainable Agricultural and Land Management Practices in the Lancang-Mekong Countries,' funded by FAO, the programme aimed to build capacity for farmers on soil science principles and promote sustainable soil management (SSM) following the guidelines established by the global soil network. These soil doctors would then disseminate and train other farmers in the community on sustainable land management practices.


Delegates discussing research results and visiting the Soil Profile Gallery at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, VNUA

Dr. Arthit Sukhkasem said that “The programme is currently expanding to several countries, including those in the Lancang-Mekong region. We hope to bring this programme to Vietnamese farmers to help them implement sustainable land management practices, adapt to climate change, and mitigate the negative impacts of human activities on agricultural land”.

The delegation visiting the sustainable cassava farming model on sloping land and discussing with farmers how to test soil pH in Van Yen district, Yen Bai province

During the working program, the delegation from VNUA and the Thai Land Development Department visited a sustainable farming model in Van Yen district, Yen Bai province. Notable was the cassava farming model on sloping land where they discussed with local farmers the application of scientific research results into sustainable agricultural land resource management and usage at the household scale. Research results have shown that intercropping cassava with cowpea helps maintain and improve soil quality while increasing farmers' income. Additionally, the Thai farmers exchanged knowledge with Vietnamese farmers on how to test pH in soil and evaluate soil health, providing practical demonstrations and fostering collaborative learning.

The Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, VNUA, and the Thai Department of Land Development agreed to strengthen cooperation activities in research and raise farmers' awareness in sustainable management and use of agricultural land resources in Vietnam and Thailand..

Core Research Group for Integrated soil, water and nutrient management for crops