Mekong Azolla Research Network (MARN)

Mekong Organics initiated a new initiative entitles Mekong Azola Research Network (MARN) which supports researchers and practitioners in the Mekong Delta to develop a network of researchers and farmers to scale up reintroduction of azolla into the organic rice paddy fields. This initiative is led by Mr Huynh Ngoc Duc (a lecturer of soil science at An Giang University) and Mr Le Quoc Viet (a practitioner and farmer who conserve the traditional rice and azolla) for sustainable agriculture. The team members also include Mr Pham Tan Dat, a founder of Ech Op farm, and Mr Nguyen Minh Dang, a research assistant of the Living Deltas Hub at the Climate Change Institute of An Giang University. The work is supported and funded by Dr Van Kien Nguyen (in-kind) of the Mekong Organics PTY LTD. We also have Dr Tran Thi Linh Nham who is the senior researcher at Bac Lieu University. Dr Nham focuses on researching application of azolla in green feed industry for aquatic animals in the Mekong Delta.

This work is voluntarily set up, not for a profit, aims to develop a network of azolla famers and organic rice farmers in the South of Vietnam through the successful practice of Mr Le Quoc Viet, who grows azolla on the traditional rice paddy fields at Cu La Village, Chau Thanh District of Kien Giang province.

Vietnam committed to net zero carbon at COP26 Vietnam Outlines Progress on COP26 Commitments (vietnam-briefing.com). Azolla provides solution to sequence CO2 which is a potential area of research.

With the rise of adoption of ecological & organic rice farming in the Mekong Delta, Azolla is reintroduced to the traditional ecological rice system successfully in the Mekong Delta.

Mr LE Quoc Viet at the traditional rice paddy fields with azolla on his hands, at Cu La Village, Chau Thanh District, Kien Giang province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam (August 2022)
Mr Le Quoc Viet is collecting azolla samples for feeding the fresh water snails on his traditional rice paddy fields at Cu La Village, Chau Thanh District, Kien Giang province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam (August 2022)
The azolla land & waterscape on the traditional rice paddy fields of Mr Le Quoc Viet, Cu La Village, Chau Thanh District, Kien Giang province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Team members

Dr Van Kien Nguyen, Director of Mekong Organics, the project lead for seeking funding and networking with local researchers in the Mekong Delta
Mr Huynh Ngoc Duc is growing azolla at home garden in Co Do District of Can Tho City. Duc is willingness to share the azolla stock to the network members and farmers. He is piloting the azolla for fish feed successfully, and use azolla to cover the ground to keep soil moisture for fruit trees, and return organic matter to add nutrients to the soil. Duc wishes to make azolla pallets for animal feeds and organic fertilizer, research using azolla to control weeds and increase agro-biodiversity on the farm. Duc will lead the group in this initiative.
Mr Le Quoc Viet, is the traditional rice conservationist who applied azolla successfully in his traditional rice farms. He used azolla for different purposes such as feeding snails and fish, and duck. He is testing the yields of azolla and yield of rice in this crop season (August – December 2022). Mr Viet is happy to share the azolla stock and he will co-lead this imitative with Mr Duc.
Dr Le Thi Xa, from Soc Trang Community College, a researcher in IMO and agronomy who will join in the azolla farming research
Mr Truong Thanh dat is the founder of the Ech Op Farm (the traditional chemical free vegetable farm in Long Xuyen city. Dat had experience in using azolla to cover the ditches of his vegetable farm, feeding chucks and snails. Dat will help to scale up this initiative through his farmer
network
Dr Tran Thi Linh Nham is the senior researcher in using azolla for feeding aquatic animals like shrimp. She will focus on researching innovation of azolla in green feed industry.
Mr Nguyen Minh Dang is the research assistant of the Living Deltas Hub project at the Climate Change Institute, An Giang University. He joint this initiative to manage and coordinate the project.
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