16. May 2024

Advancing Sustainable Agriculture and AMR Solutions: Insights from Denmark’s Visit to Vietnam

On May 14, 2024, ICARS, in collaboration with the Danish embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, organized a workshop focusing on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) mitigation. The event saw the participation of key stakeholders from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Health in Vietnam, along with local and regional representatives from various UN organizations, international organizations, embassies, and funders operating in the region.

Innovating Solutions: ICARS-Supported Projects

The workshop was opened by Mr. Jacob Jensen, the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries who is visiting Vietnam these days. The primary objective of the workshop was to initiate a dialogue among stakeholders regarding the urgent need to implement effective measures to address AMR in Vietnam and across Asia. Insights from ICARS’ ongoing projects in Vietnam and other parts of Asia were shared and discussed during the event by ICARS’ Director of Operations Helle Engslund Krarup and Senior Science Advisor Anders Dalsgaard.

Sustainable Aquaculture: Minister Jensen’s Visit

As part of his visit, Minister Jacob Jensen also visited the site of an ICARS-supported project in the Mekong Delta, which focuses on increasing vaccination to reduce disease and antimicrobial usage in Pangasius (striped catfish) aquaculture in Vietnam. This project, developed in collaboration with MARD and local research institutions, aims to assess whether the intensive cultivation of Tilapia fish using in-pond raceway systems in northern Vietnam can effectively decrease disease incidence and the need for antimicrobial use. Overall, the goal is to generate evidence supporting sustainable Pangasius and Tilapia aquaculture with reduced antimicrobial usage.

A Collaborative Approach for a Sustainable Future

Minister Jensen commended the strong partnership between Denmark and Vietnam and emphasised the importance of tailoring solutions to address antimicrobial use in the Vietnamese agricultural sector.

“In Denmark’s agricultural sector, we’ve demonstrated the feasibility of reducing antimicrobial usage while maintaining both effectiveness and economic viability. This was part of the reason why the Danish government took the initiative to establish the International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions, ICARS. We firmly believe that similar strategies can and should be implemented in low- and middle-income countries worldwide to ensure the efficacy of these critical drugs for human and animal health. I am pleased to witness such progress occurring in Vietnam, facilitated among other by ICARS’ support. Given current regulatory shifts, particularly in the European Union, this development can be important for Vietnam’s agricultural exports and economic growth trajectory.”

Vietnam joined ICARS as a Mission Partner last year and ICARS looks forward to further collaboration with Vietnam, heading towards sustainable agriculture and the mitigation of antimicrobial resistance. With innovative solutions and cross-sector partnerships, there is a tangible pathway towards safeguarding both human and animal health while fostering economic prosperity.