The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Australian National University Fenner School of Environment & Society    Researcher: Kien van Nguyen (recommended by overseas office)

Scoping floating rice-based agro-ecological farming systems for a healthy society and adaptation to climate changes in the Lower Mekong Region and Myanmar

Research grant

Project Description
This research in 2016 aims to scope the feasibility for a larger project in 2017-2019 to promote the traditional floating rice-based farming systems in Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam using the lessons learnt from the Vietnamese Mekong Delta for improving profitability, diversity and reusing of natural resources and improving nutrition for poor communities. This research makes use of a participatory action approach in design. Local government and other key stakeholders will participate in a workshop in each country as an initial appraisal of: a) the extent and location of remaining floating rice production, b) the perceived benefits and costs of floating rice farming, c) the issues for maintaining and expanding floating rice systems, d) the commitment of government and other stakeholders to engage in a research program, and e) priorities for such a research program. Scoping project outputs will be: a) the publication of an open-source technical report on floating rice systems emerging from the three workshops, and b) if warranted, a longer term research proposal with commitments from government and other partners for submission to Mitsui. [No. R15-0702]
Ecosystems and the Symbiotic Society
Grant year
FY2016 Research Grants
Grant term
6 months
From April 2016 to September 2016
Grant amount
AUD 33,028
Activity region
Downstream areas on the Mekong (Cambodia, Vietnam) and Myanmar
Farmers harvesting floating rice

Overview of the Organization

Researcher: Kien van Nguyen
Researcher: Kien van Nguyen
Fenner School of Environment & Society
Australian National University
Area of specialty: Environmental and agricultural sociology
Academic affiliation: Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University
CV (work history, academic qualifications): Dr. Nguyen specializes in environmental and agricultural sociology. His main areas of research are water management and traditional and intensive rice farming systems in the Mekong Delta, and the effect of construction of dike and rice fortification on protein intake at the household level. Dr. Nguyen is a leading researcher on topics that include the protection of floating rice farming systems, the management of flood plains and water, and energy utilization relating to rice fortification.
Recent Activities
  1. Nguyen, K. V (2016) 'Community resilience to floods: a case study of mobile kindergartens in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam,' in H. James and D. Paton (eds) The Consequences of Disasters: Demographic, Planning and Policy Implications (Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas Publishers), pp. 224 - 252.
  2. Kien Van Nguyen, Van Oc Vo, & Duc Ngoc Huynh. (2015). Comparing the costs and benefits of floating rice-based and intensive rice-based farming systems in the Mekong Delta. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, 5(9), 202-217.
  3. Nguyen Van Kien and Huynh Ngoc Duc (2015) 'Conserving the benefits of floating rice in Vietnam', [online], available: [accessed].
  4. Nguyen Van Kien and Alaxander, K. (2014) 'Farmers'perceptions and responses to annual flood events in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta: Adapting to Climate Change Impacts' in Lopez-Gunn, E. and Stucker, D., eds., Adaptation to Climate Change through Water Resources Management: Capacity, Equity, and Sustainability, London: Earthscan, 446.
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