• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Figures
 Annexes
 Acknowledgement
 Introduction
 Maize agro-ecologies in Vietna...
 Maize production trends and...
 Maize production constraints
 Priority constraints for maize...
 Agenda for maize research and development...
 Reference
 Annexes
 Back Cover






Group Title: Maize in Vietnam : production systems, constrains, and research priorities
Title: Maize in Vietnam
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077543/00001
 Material Information
Title: Maize in Vietnam production systems, constrains, and research priorities
Physical Description: vi, 42 p. : map ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dang, Thanh Ha
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Publisher: CIMMYT
Place of Publication: Mexico D.F. Mexico
Publication Date: c2004
 Subjects
Subject: Corn -- Vietnam   ( lcsh )
Corn -- Yields -- Vietnam   ( lcsh )
Corn -- Research -- Vietnam   ( lcsh )
Corn -- Economic aspects -- Vietnam   ( lcsh )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 37).
Statement of Responsibility: Dang Thanh Ha ... et al..
General Note: "IFAD."
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00077543
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 60573400
isbn - 9706481222

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Title Page
        Page i
    Copyright
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    List of Tables
        Page v
    Figures
        Page v
    Annexes
        Page v
    Acknowledgement
        Page vi
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Maize agro-ecologies in Vietnam
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Maize production trends and systems
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Maize production constraints
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Priority constraints for maize research and development
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Agenda for maize research and development in Vietnam
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Reference
        Page 37
    Annexes
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Back Cover
        Back cover
Full Text


II
CIMMY T

Maize in Vietnam
Production Systems, Constraints,
and Research Priorities

Dang Thanh Ha
Tran Dinh Thao
Nguyen Tri Khiem
Mai Xuan Trieu
Roberta V. Gerpacio
Prabhu L. Pingali









Maize in Vietnam:


Production Systems, Constraints, and


Research Priorities








Dang Thanh Ha
Tran Dinh Thao
Nguyen Tri Khiem
Mai Xuan Trieu
Roberta V. Gerpacio
Prabhu L. Pingali1


JJL
IFAD


CIMMYTMR


SRespectively, Faculty of Economics, Nong Lam University (NLU), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Lecturer, Hanoi Agriculture University
(HAU), Hanoi, Vietnam; Dean, Faculty of Economics, An Giang University, Vietnam; Vice Director, National Maize Research Institute,
Dan Phuong, Ha Tay, Vietnam; Research Associate, CIMMYT Economics Program, CIMMYT Office at IRRI, DAPO Box 7777, Metro
Manila, Philippines; Director, Agriculture and Development Economics Division, FAO, Rome, Italy.
























CIMMYT (www.cimmyt.org) is an internationally funded, not-for-profit organization that conducts research and
training related to maize and wheat throughout the developing world. Drawing on strong science and effective
partnerships, CIMMYT works to create, share, and use knowledge and technology to increase food security, improve
the productivity and profitability of farming systems, and sustain natural resources. Financial support for CIMMYT's
work comes from many sources, including the members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR) (www.cgiar.org), national governments, foundations, development banks, and other public and
private agencies.

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) 2004. All rights reserved. The designations
employed in the presentation of materials in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever
on the part of CIMMYT or its contributory organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or
area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. CIMMYT encourages fair use of
this material. Proper citation is requested.

Correct citation: Thanh Ha, D., T. Dinh Thao, N. Tri Khiem, M. Xuan Trieu, R.V. Gerpacio, and P.L. Pingali. 2004. Maize
in Vietnam: Production Systems, Constraints, and Research Priorities. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT.

Abstract: This is one of a series of seven in-depth country studies on maize production systems in Asia, funded by
the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD). It is part of a project designed to promote sustainable intensification of maize production
systems while ensuring equitable income growth and improved food security, especially for poor households that
depend on maize. This study characterized the social and biophysical maize production environment of Thailand;
examined its response to increasing maize demand; determined constraints to future productivity growth;
investigated the potential environmental consequences, and examined the options available for promoting
sustainable growth in maize production. Maize is the second most important food crop in Vietnam after rice. It is the
substitute staple in periods of rice shortage, especially for people in rural areas and mountainous regions. Maize is
also the primary source of feed for Vietnam's poultry and livestock industry, and is therefore an important source of
income for many farmers. Maize production has risen sharply since 1990, when the Vietnamese government began
to strongly support and promote maize hybrid technology. Vietnamese farmers have widely adopted higher-yielding
hybrid maize varieties. This was a timely response to Vietnam's growing livestock and poultry industry, which in turn
generates an increasing demand for more maize to use as feed. Rapid economic growth and accelerated urbanization
are expected to create an even higher demand for maize in Vietnam. This trend will lead to the intensification of
current maize production systems, with more land being shifted to maize production, particularly in marginal areas.
Vietnam's challenge is to provide more maize for an expanding market, while preserving the natural resource base
and the environment through careful agricultural planning. Effective policy design and implementation must be based
on comprehensive, accurate data on the current state of maize-based farming systems.

ISBN: 970-648-122-2

AGROVOC descriptors: Seed production; Maize; Rice; Varieties; Hybrids; Food crops; Food security; Farming
systems; Rural areas; Farmers; Poverty; Livestock management; Yield increases; Economic
growth; Marketing; Environmental factors; Agricultural resources; Agricultural policies;
International organizations; Project management; Viet Nam

AGRIS category codes: E16 Production Economics
F01 Crop Husbandry

Dewey decimal classification: 633.1597

Printed in Mexico.












Contents













Page No.
T tables ........................ .............................. ......... ........... ...... ................. v
Figures ....................... v
A know ledgm ents .................................. ........................ ......... ............... ...... vi

1. Introduction ...... ................................ .. .... .......... ................ 1
1.1 B ackg rou n d ......................................................................................... ...... .... ........ .. 1
1.2 O bjectiv e .................................................... ........... ..... 2
1.3 M methodology ....... ....... ........... .................. 2
1.4 Lim stations ...... ......................... .................... ............................... .... ........... .. ..... 3

2. M aize Agro-ecologies in Vietnam ............................................... ................................ 4
2.1 G general Topography ...................................................... ............................ ............. 4
2.2 General Characteristics of Maize Production Agro-ecologies ........................................ 4
2.2.1 N northern upland ........................................................... ............................. 5
2.2.2 N northern low land ............................. ....................................... ................ 5
2.2.3 Central highland-central coast upland ..................................................................... 5
2.2.4 Central highland-central coast lowland ............................ .................................. 6
2.2.5 Southeast region-Mekong Delta upland ......................... .................................. 6
2.2.6 Southeast region-Mekong Delta lowland ........................................................ 6
2.3 Biophysical Environm ent .................................................... .................................... 6
2 .3 .1 C lim ate ........ ............................................................ .. ......... .. ............ 6
2.3.2 Soil types ......... ............................. ......... 7
2.4 Institutional Environm ent ................................................ ............................................. 7
2.4.1 Line agencies ........................ .................. 7
2.4.2 Cooperative and user groups ............................ ..... .................................. 9
2 .4 .3 S sources of in p ut.............................................................. .................................. 9
2 .4 .4 C red it institutions ............................................... .............................................. 9
2.4.5 Prices of inputs and outputs ............................. .... ................................... 9
2.5 Infrastructure ...................................... ... .............. 11
2.5.1 A accessibility status ........................ ...................................... ............................ 11
2.5.2 M markets and m marketing practices ........................................ ....................... 11
2 .5 .3 Irrig action facilities ................................................................................................ 12
2.5.4 Processing and postharvest facilities ........................................ ................ 12
2.6 Socioeconom ic Characteristics ........................ ............................... ............................ 12
2.6.1 Households and ethnicity ........................ ........................... ............................ 12
2.6.2 Farm er classification ........................ .................................... ............................ 13
2.6.3 Literacy and level of education ........................................ .......................... 14
2.6.4 Landholdings and tenure systems ........................................ .................... 14
2.6.5 Level of income e and poverty ........................................ ........................... 15
2.6 .6 M aize utilization ............................................................... .............................. 15











3. M aize Production Trends and System s................................... ........................................ 16
3.1 M aize Production Trends ........................ ....................................... ........................... 16
3.2 Maize Production Systems ............................................................ ............................ 17
3.2.1 Major farm enterprises ......................................................... 17
3.2.2 Maize cropping patterns and calendar ........................................ ................ 17
3.2.3 Soil m anagem ent............................................................... ........................ 20
3.2.4 Maize varieties grown and farmer preferences ................................................... 20
3.2.5 Land preparation and crop management practices ........................................... 21
3.2.6 Labor and m material input use ........................................... ........................... 22
3.2.7 Yields and yield gap ........................ ..................................... ........................... 23
3.2.8 Post-harvest practices ........................ .................................. ............................ 23

4. M aize Production Constraints ................................................. ................................... 25
4.1 Biotic and Abiotic Constraints ........................................................ ............................ 25
4.2 Institutional Constraints ........ ........................................................... ................. 26
4.3 Information Constraints ........ ........................................................... ................. 26
4.4 Input Supply Constraints ........................ ........................................ ............................ 27
4 .5 O th er C constraints ................................................................ ...................................... 2 7

5. Priority Constraints for Maize Research and Development ............................................. 28
5.1 Methodology for Identifying Priority Constraints ................................................... 28
5 .2 Priority C on strain ts .............................................................. ...................................... 29
5.2.1 N northern upland ........................ ......................................... ............................ 30
5.2.2 Northern low land .............................................................. 30
5.2.3 Central highland-central coast upland ....................................... ................ 31
5.2.4 Central highland-central coast lowland........................................ ................ 31
5.2.5 Southeast region-Mekong Delta upland ........................................ ............... 31
5.2.6 Southeast region-Mekong Delta lowland ................................................... 31

6. Agenda for Maize Research and Development in Vietnam ............................................. 32
6.1 Research and Technology Development ......................................... .................... 34
6.2 Technology Dissem nation ........................ ..................................... ............................ 35
6.3 Input Supply and Output Marketing ........................................ ............................ 35
6.4 The Role of Public and Private Sectors ........................................ .......................... 35
6.5 Institutional Policies ....................................................... ....................................... 36

7. R eferen ces .................... .................................................. ....... ............. ...... 37

8. Annexes .................. .................... ............... 38











Tables









Page No.

Table 1. Main characteristics of the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ............................................ 2
Table 2. Soil types in the six major maize agro-ecologies, Vietnam, 2001 .............................................8
Table 3. Average prices of farm inputs and outputs, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 10
Table 4. Percentage of villages having vehicle access, Vietnam, 2001 ................................................. 11
Table 5. Ethnic composition of population in survey sites, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 12
Table 6. Classification of farmers in the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 13
Table 7. Distribution of population by literacy and education levels in surveyed villages,
Vietnam 2001 ............. .. .................. ......... ... .. .. ............... .................. 14
Table 8. Distribution of income by sources in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 .................................... 14
Table 9. Rural poverty situation in Vietnam 1999 ........................................ ....................... ...... 15
Table 10. Utilization of locally produced maize as % of total production, Vietnam, 2001 ...................... 15
Table 11. Area, production and yield of maize, Vietnam, 1995-2000 ................................ .................... 16
Table 12. Average number of livestock per household in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ..................... 17
Table 13. Distribution of maize area by crop seasons (% of total maize area), Vietnam, 2001 ................... 18
Table 14. Distribution of major cropping patterns (% of total maize area), Vietnam, 2001 .................... 18
Table 15. Desirable varietal characteristics for different maize production systems, Vietnam,
2001 (% of farm ers in favor) ........................................ ......... ......................................... 21
Table 16. Average level of input use in maize cultivation in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ............... 22
Table 17. M aize yield by variety (kg/ha), Vietnam 2001 ............................................. ................. 23
Table 18. Losses due to major diseases and pests in maize fields and in storage
(% of total production), Vietnam 2001 ................................................................ ... 24
Table 19. Top 25 priority ranked major maize production constraints in Vietnam.................................. 29
Table 20. Priority problems of maize production across agro-ecologies, Vietnam..................................... 30
Table 21. Approaches ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to
m aize production in Vietnam ............................................................... ............................... 32


Figures

Page No.
Figure 1. Map of Vietnam. Geographical regions where RRA and PRA surveys were conducted .............. 5
Figure 2. M aize crop calendar, Vietnam 2001 ............................................. ................................ 19


Annexes

Page No.
Annex 1. Prioritization of maize production constraints in Vietnam .................................. .................. ... 38
Annex 2. Solutions ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to
maize production and potential suppliers of the solutions ......................................... 40











Tables









Page No.

Table 1. Main characteristics of the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ............................................ 2
Table 2. Soil types in the six major maize agro-ecologies, Vietnam, 2001 .............................................8
Table 3. Average prices of farm inputs and outputs, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 10
Table 4. Percentage of villages having vehicle access, Vietnam, 2001 ................................................. 11
Table 5. Ethnic composition of population in survey sites, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 12
Table 6. Classification of farmers in the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 13
Table 7. Distribution of population by literacy and education levels in surveyed villages,
Vietnam 2001 ............. .. .................. ......... ... .. .. ............... .................. 14
Table 8. Distribution of income by sources in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 .................................... 14
Table 9. Rural poverty situation in Vietnam 1999 ........................................ ....................... ...... 15
Table 10. Utilization of locally produced maize as % of total production, Vietnam, 2001 ...................... 15
Table 11. Area, production and yield of maize, Vietnam, 1995-2000 ................................ .................... 16
Table 12. Average number of livestock per household in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ..................... 17
Table 13. Distribution of maize area by crop seasons (% of total maize area), Vietnam, 2001 ................... 18
Table 14. Distribution of major cropping patterns (% of total maize area), Vietnam, 2001 .................... 18
Table 15. Desirable varietal characteristics for different maize production systems, Vietnam,
2001 (% of farm ers in favor) ........................................ ......... ......................................... 21
Table 16. Average level of input use in maize cultivation in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ............... 22
Table 17. M aize yield by variety (kg/ha), Vietnam 2001 ............................................. ................. 23
Table 18. Losses due to major diseases and pests in maize fields and in storage
(% of total production), Vietnam 2001 ................................................................ ... 24
Table 19. Top 25 priority ranked major maize production constraints in Vietnam.................................. 29
Table 20. Priority problems of maize production across agro-ecologies, Vietnam..................................... 30
Table 21. Approaches ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to
m aize production in Vietnam ............................................................... ............................... 32


Figures

Page No.
Figure 1. Map of Vietnam. Geographical regions where RRA and PRA surveys were conducted .............. 5
Figure 2. M aize crop calendar, Vietnam 2001 ............................................. ................................ 19


Annexes

Page No.
Annex 1. Prioritization of maize production constraints in Vietnam .................................. .................. ... 38
Annex 2. Solutions ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to
maize production and potential suppliers of the solutions ......................................... 40











Tables









Page No.

Table 1. Main characteristics of the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ............................................ 2
Table 2. Soil types in the six major maize agro-ecologies, Vietnam, 2001 .............................................8
Table 3. Average prices of farm inputs and outputs, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 10
Table 4. Percentage of villages having vehicle access, Vietnam, 2001 ................................................. 11
Table 5. Ethnic composition of population in survey sites, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 12
Table 6. Classification of farmers in the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ........................................... 13
Table 7. Distribution of population by literacy and education levels in surveyed villages,
Vietnam 2001 ............. .. .................. ......... ... .. .. ............... .................. 14
Table 8. Distribution of income by sources in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 .................................... 14
Table 9. Rural poverty situation in Vietnam 1999 ........................................ ....................... ...... 15
Table 10. Utilization of locally produced maize as % of total production, Vietnam, 2001 ...................... 15
Table 11. Area, production and yield of maize, Vietnam, 1995-2000 ................................ .................... 16
Table 12. Average number of livestock per household in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ..................... 17
Table 13. Distribution of maize area by crop seasons (% of total maize area), Vietnam, 2001 ................... 18
Table 14. Distribution of major cropping patterns (% of total maize area), Vietnam, 2001 .................... 18
Table 15. Desirable varietal characteristics for different maize production systems, Vietnam,
2001 (% of farm ers in favor) ........................................ ......... ......................................... 21
Table 16. Average level of input use in maize cultivation in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001 ............... 22
Table 17. M aize yield by variety (kg/ha), Vietnam 2001 ............................................. ................. 23
Table 18. Losses due to major diseases and pests in maize fields and in storage
(% of total production), Vietnam 2001 ................................................................ ... 24
Table 19. Top 25 priority ranked major maize production constraints in Vietnam.................................. 29
Table 20. Priority problems of maize production across agro-ecologies, Vietnam..................................... 30
Table 21. Approaches ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to
m aize production in Vietnam ............................................................... ............................... 32


Figures

Page No.
Figure 1. Map of Vietnam. Geographical regions where RRA and PRA surveys were conducted .............. 5
Figure 2. M aize crop calendar, Vietnam 2001 ............................................. ................................ 19


Annexes

Page No.
Annex 1. Prioritization of maize production constraints in Vietnam .................................. .................. ... 38
Annex 2. Solutions ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to
maize production and potential suppliers of the solutions ......................................... 40











Acknowledgments











This manuscript reports on the results of the rapid rural appraisal (RRA) and
participatory rural appraisal (PRA) surveys conducted in 19 villages across 13
provinces of Vietnam from January to July 2001. It also includes discussions from the
National Maize Research and Development Priority-Setting Workshop, held at the
Victory Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, on 14-16 January 2002, and from the Fifth Annual
Workshop of the Asian Maize Socio-Economic Working Group held in Bangkok,
Thailand, on 1-4 August 2002.

The authors would like to thank the United Nations International Fund for
Development (IFAD) and CIMMYT for the grant that enabled the conduct of this
work, and their respective university rectors and department heads for supporting
their active participation on this Asia-wide study and in the Asian Maize Socio
Economics Working Group.

The authors would like also to thank in particular Drs. Prabhu Pingali and Michael
Morris, both former Directors of the Economics Program at CIMMYT for supporting
this work; project coordinator Roberta Gerpacio; the maize farmers and village
officers who patiently sat in on discussions and interviews; the maize experts who
participated in the national maize R&D prioritization workshop, and our research
assistants, who helped on all aspects of this project. Finally, we acknowledge the
editorial review of this document by Crissan Zeigler, consultant, and Alma McNab,
senior science writer/editor, as well as the design and formatting services of Eliot
Sanchez Pineda, CIMMYT Corporate Communications, Mexico.











1. Introduction


1.1 Background

Vietnam has a population of 80 million people, with
nearly 80% living in rural areas. Agriculture employs
nearly 67% of the total labor force. This sector
experienced dramatic reforms in the last 20 years, as
Vietnam shifted from a centrally planned to a state
regulated market-oriented economy. Agriculture
changed from a cooperative and state farm production
system, to a system based predominantly on
production by individual farmers. The household
became the basic unit of agricultural production, with
the farmers deciding which crops to grow based on
market signals. This change in agriculture production,
along with institutional and policy reforms, made
Vietnam one of the top three rice exporting countries
in the world in 1989 and 1996. Other perennial crops,
such as rubber, coffee, tea, mulberry, and maize, have
also shown production increases.

Maize is the second most important food crop in
Vietnam, next to rice. It is the substitute staple in
periods of rice shortage, especially for people in the
rural areas and mountainous regions. Maize is also the
primary source of feed for Vietnam's poultry and
livestock industry, and is therefore an important
source of income for many farmers.

Maize production has risen sharply since 1990, when
only 431,800 ha were planted to maize, yielding an
average of 1.6 t/ha for a total production of 671,000 t.
Since then, the government has strongly supported
maize hybrid technology and the resultant hybrid
maize varieties have been widely adopted by farmers.
In addition, the livestock and poultry industry has
grown, creating a need for more maize to use as feed.
From 1990 to 1999, total maize production increased
by 161%. The total area planted to maize by 1999 was
659,100 ha yielding an average of 2.5 t/ha (Vietnam
Statistical Yearbook, 2001). This dramatic change in


maize demand and production has made a significant
positive economic contribution to many rural areas of
Vietnam.

Rapid economic growth and accelerated urbanization in
the country are expected to create an even higher
demand for maize. This trend will lead to an
intensification of current maize production systems, with
more land being devoted to maize cultivation,
particularly in the marginal uplands. The increasing
commercialization and intensification of maize
production in these upland areas could have negative
environmental consequences. Vietnam's challenge is to
provide more maize for an expanding market, while
preserving the natural resource base and the
environment through careful agricultural planning.
Effective policy design and implementation must be
based on comprehensive and accurate data on the
current state of upland maize-based farming systems.

Given the problem of resource degradation and the high
level of poverty in the uplands of Vietnam, this study
focused specifically on the upland maize production
systems in the country. The goal was to clarify the
probable response of upland areas to the future growth
in demand for maize by determining the constraints to
future productivity growth, and the potential
environmental consequences, and by collecting
information about the options available for promoting
sustainable improvements in maize production.

This study is part of a project designed to promote
sustainable intensification of maize production systems
while ensuring equitable income growth and improved
food security for poor households that depend on
maize. The project was funded by the International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and implemented
under the direct supervision of the CIMMYT Economics
Program. The project has been implemented in seven
countries China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the
Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.











1.2 Objective

The study aimed to help research and development
efforts better meet requirements for increasing
productivity of the maize sector in the country. The
specific objectives of the study were to:

* Gather detailed information for identifying and
analyzing major characteristics of different maize
production systems by agro-ecological zones and
geographical regions in Vietnam, with special
emphasis on upland maize production systems;

* Identify constraints that limit maize production in
those zones and regions;

* Identify priority constraints and solutions to alleviate
those constraints in order to help the maize sector
better target its research and development efforts;
and

* Make recommendations for maize research and
development policies that will promote maize
production in each agro-ecological zone/
geographical region in the country.


1.3 Methodology

Detailed data on upland maize production systems in
Vietnam were collected using a two-stage fieldwork
strategy designed by CIMMYT, that includes a rapid
rural appraisal (RRA) in the first stage and participatory
rural appraisal (PRA) in the second stage of fieldwork.
The RRA surveys were conducted in both commercial
and semi-commercial maize production systems in the
upland and lowland maize areas of all eight major agro-
ecological zones in the country (Table 1).

The provinces chosen for the RRA fieldwork were
selected for the importance of maize and maize farming
in the communities, and for their agro-ecological
representation. Villages within the provinces were
selected for their dominant maize production systems,
accessibility status, and the extent of maize cultivating
area. The RRA study was done in 19 villages selected as
survey sites across the major agro-ecologies of the
country for their differing socioeconomic conditions
(Table 1).

For the RRA work, a general RRA questionnaire
prepared by CIMMYT was pre-tested and revised to fit
Vietnam's specific maize production conditions,


Table 1. Main characteristics of the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001.
% land
irrigated
Maize with communal Distance No. of
varieties Maize irrigation Road to market house- Popu-
Agroecology Village (Province) Production orientation reported seasons systems conditions (km) holds lation
Northern Upland Yen Dong (Vinh Phuc) Upland Semi-commercial OPV Hybrid WS 60 Good 3 315 1755
Ban Hoa (Son La) Upland Commercial Local, Hybrid SA 0 Fair 20 173 1038
Pache (Son La) Upland Commercial Hybrid SA 0 Fair 7 28 140
Phong Quang (Ha Giang) Upland Semi-commercial Local, OPV, Hybrid SS, SA 0 Poor 10 312 1560
Dong Xuan (Bac Giang) Upland Self-sufficient Local, Hybrid SS, WS, AW 30 Good 2 1600 7360
Thanh Van (Phu Tho) Upland Semi-commercial Hybrid SS, WS 62 Good 3 1300 5561
Northern Lowland Dong Thap (Ha Tay) Lowland Commercial Hybrid SS, WS 80 Good 2 467 2420
Central Highland- Bai Tranh (Thanh Hoa) Upland Semi-commercial Local, OPV SS, SA 0 Poor 5 108 436
Central Coast Ating (Quang Nam) Upland Semi-commercial Local, OPV, Hybrid SA, WS 0 Fair 25 338 1928
Upland Kado (Lam Dong) Upland Semi-commercial Local, OPV, Hybrid SA 5 Fair 6 1437 8191
Pro' (Lam Dong) Upland Semi-commercial Local, Hybrid SA, AW 10 Fair 6 779 4455
Cour Knia (Dak Lak) Upland Commercial Local, Hybrid SA, AW 20 Relatively good 7 2400 11827
Central Highland- Ea Bar (Dak Lak) Upland Commercial Local, OPV, Hybrid SA, AW 17 Fair to poor 5 3505 18583
Central Coast Nhan Hoa (Gia Lai) Upland Commercial Local, Hybrid SA, WS 10 Relatively good 4 1744 10167
Lowland Quang Truong (Thanh Hoa) Lowland Semi-commercial Hybrid WS 60 Good 4 951 5230
Dien Phuoc (Quang Nam) Lowland Commercial Local, Hybrid SA, WS 70 Relatively good 3 2850 12269
Dai Quang (Quang Nam) Lowland Commercial Local, OPV, Hybrid SS, WS 15 Fair 4 2606 14895
Southeast-Mekong Cay Gao (Dong Nai) Upland Commercial Local, OPV, SS, SA, AW 0 Poor 4 1606 9078
Delta Upland Hybrid
Southeast-Mekong Phu Tam (Soc Trang) Lowland Semi-commercial Local, OPV SS 100 Relatively good 3 2800 15960
Delta Lowland
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.
Notes: OPV= Open pollinated variety, SS= Spring-summer, SA= Summer-autumn, AW= Autumn-winter, WS= Winter-spring.










especially in terms of agro-ecological zones, seasons,
and land use or type. The questionnaire was used in an
"open-ended" manner, meaning interview questions
were used as guides rather than as fixed questions, to
better allow the researchers and respondents maximum
flexibility in communicating about maize production
systems under survey.

A multi-disciplinary team conducted the RRA surveys
that covered both farm and village levels. Secondary
information at the village level was collected through
interviews with village leaders. The interview covered
information on the site's physical environment (e.g.
annual rainfall, mean temperature, land use, etc.);
biological environment (e.g. maize-based cropping
systems and mean cropping intensity by season, area
planted to local/traditional maize, improved open
pollinated varieties (OPVs), and hybrids by season); and
institutional environment (particularly land tenure
system). Farm-level socioeconomic information was
collected through farmer group interviews. Two groups
of 10 household representatives with different
socioeconomic status and gender were interviewed in
each of the study sites. Some village-level secondary
information was also collected from the offices of
village and district People's Committees.

The PRA was conducted in a subset of the RRA sites to
gather more qualitative than quantitative information.
Based on information collected from the RRA surveys,
four upland maize-producing villages located in
different ecological zones were selected for conducting
PRA surveys. The goal of the PRA was to collect
detailed information from farmer group discussions on
the socioeconomic, agro-ecological and environmental,
and technological and marketing aspects of maize
production systems. For PRA work, a common list of
open-ended questions was used to help the research
team better facilitate farmer group discussions. The RRA
survey was conducted in January-May, 2001, and the
PRA survey was conducted in May-July, 2001.

Information collected from the RRA fieldwork was first
analyzed and summarized by village and by ecological
zone. Results were presented during the national
workshop on identifying priority constraints for maize
research and development that were attended by


senior maize research scientists from agricultural
research institutions and universities, representatives
from provincial extension centers and district People's
Committees, and CIMMYT scientists. The National
Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop in Vietnam was
conducted at the Victory Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, on
January 14-16, 2002.

As suggested by workshop participants, maize
production agro-ecologies were further redefined into
six agro-ecological regions that capture both the
upland and lowland production environments in three
major geographical regions of the country-the north
(covering the northeast, northwest, and Red River
Delta), the central highland and central coast uplands
and lowlands, and the southeast region and Mekong
Delta. Data were later summarized for these maize
production agro-ecologies.

Major characteristics of maize production systems and
constraints gathered from the RRA/PRA field surveys
were used for the identification of priority constraints
and the setting of research and development agenda
for the maize sector in Vietnam. The methodology
used for identifying priority constraints for maize
research and development is presented in a later
section of this report.



1.4 Limitations

The initial selection of the eight survey sites based on
ecological zones was changed to six major agro-
ecologies, which meant the survey villages were no
longer equally distributed among the redefined agro-
ecologies. As the study focuses specifically on upland
maize production systems in the country, a larger
number of survey sites were selected for upland agro-
ecologies than for lowland agro-ecologies. This
potentially means that not all important maize
production characteristics of lowland agro-ecologies
were fully researched. The study mainly uses
information collected from the RRA/PRA farmer-group
surveys, with limited information from individual
farms, hence setting a limitation for more robust
statistical analysis.











2. Maize Agro-ecologies in Vietnam


2.1 General Topography
Vietnam is a humid tropical country in Southeast Asia,
with a total land area of 331,700 km2 and a long
coastline of 3,260 km. Although over 70% of the
country is less than 500 meters above sea level (masl),
three quarters of the country's total land area consists
of mountains and hills. The terrain is highly varied and
tends to slope down towards the sea in the east. It is
low and flat in the Red River Delta in the north and in
the Mekong River Delta in the south. The northeast and
northwest region of the country is hilly and
mountainous. The country's highest mountain peak,
Fanxipang Mountain, is 3,143 masl, and is in the
northwestern area of the country. Agricultural
cultivation on high sloping land is greatly vulnerable to
soil erosion, and flooding frequently occurs in the
deltas, particularly in the Mekong Delta.

About 28% of the total land area of the country is
agricultural land and 35% is forestland. Agricultural
land is concentrated in the southeast, central highlands,
northeast and north central coast regions, as well as in
the Mekong and Red River deltas. Forested areas
include the northeast, central coast, southeast and
central highland regions. Plains cover about 25% of the
country's total land area.

Although rice is the primary crop of Vietnam and is
grown mostly in the deltas, rice-cultivating areas can
be found in all parts of the country. The north of
Vietnam as well as large parts of the southeast and
central highland areas of the country are planted to
perennial and non-rice crops. The southeast region and
central highland regions have the largest areas planted
to perennial crops (333.3 ha and 799.3 ha,
respectively) such as rubber, coffee, tea, cashew nut,
and black pepper, and about 327.9 ha of the Mekong
Delta are planted with perennial crops, mainly fruit
trees (Vietnam Statistical Yearbook 2001). In general,
the climatic and soil conditions in Vietnam are favorable
for the development of a diverse agriculture.


Maize is the second most important food crop after
rice, and is cultivated in diverse environments. Upland
rainfed maize areas are found mainly in the northeast,
northwest, central highlands and southeast regions.
Large areas of irrigated lowland maize are concentrated
in the Red River Delta and north central coast, and only
a small area of the Mekong Delta is planted to maize.



2.2 General Characteristics of
Maize Production Agro-ecologies

At the beginning of the study, the research team
identified eight ecological zones to be used for the
identification of RRA and PRA survey sites. These zones
were the northwest, northeast, Red River Delta, north
central coast, south central coast, central highland,
southeast, and the Mekong River Delta (Tran Hong Uy,
1988). As these eight ecological zones are relatively
broad and do not fully capture the upland and lowland
maize production environments, participants of the
national workshop on identifying priority constraints for
maize research and development suggested a further
redefinition of these ecological zones based on the
three major geographical regions as explained earlier
(Figure 1). Following are the six maize production agro-
ecologies identified and used in the survey:



* The northern lowlands (NL);

* The northern uplands (NU);

* The central highland-central coast lowlands (CHCCL);

* The central highland-central coast uplands (CHCCU);

* The southeast-Mekong Delta lowlands, (SEMDL); and

* The southeast-Mekong Delta uplands (SEMDU).










These agro-ecological distinctions serve as a framework
for the identification of priority maize production
constraints within the country. The major characteristics
of these major maize agro-ecological regions are
presented below.


2.2.1 Northern upland
This agro-ecological zone provides most of Vietnam's
maize production. It is located mainly in the northwest
and northeast regions of the country. The northwest
region is primarily highland and mountainous with
elevation ranging from 700 to more than 2,000 masl.
The northeast region has both mountainous and
midland areas with average elevations from 400 to 500
masl. The transportation system is poorly developed
making it difficult to transport products to local markets
or to other regions. Due to the steep sloping
topography, soil erosion is a major constraint to
agricultural cultivation. Maize is mainly cultivated in
rainfed conditions, but irrigated maize is also found in


GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS

NORTH
Northwest and Northeast
S Red River Delta


CENTRAL HIGHLANDS-CENTRAL COAST

North Central Coast

South Central Coast

Central Highlands





SOUTHEAST-MEKONG DELTA
Southeast Region
Mekong Delta


Figure 1. Map of Vietnam. Geographical regions where
RRA and PRA surveys were conducted.


areas having good access to irrigation systems. In the
northwest, there is mainly one maize crop per year,
whereas two maize crops are common in the northeast
region. Most Vietnamese maize is grown in these
northern upland regions, where both commercial and
semi-commercial production systems exist. Maize plays
an important role in farm household economy as food
and animal feed and in providing farm income. The
average farm size is about 1.5 ha.


2.2.2 Northern lowland
This ecology is located mainly in the Red River Delta,
the second largest rice-producing area of the country.
These areas have well-developed irrigation systems and
irrigated maize is common. Maize is usually planted in
two seasons, the winter-spring and the spring-summer
crop seasons. The winter-spring maize planted after two
rice crops is the major maize-based cropping system in
this agro-ecological zone. In most rural areas, farmers
have good access to the market. Therefore even with
small average farm sizes of about 0.3 ha, farmers
produce maize commercially (usually for animal feed) in
this agro-ecological zone, and income from cultivated
maize is an important source of household income.


2.2.3 Central highlands-central coast
upland
This ecology is found at elevations of 400-1500 masl,
and is predominant in the central highland area, but
also includes upland maize-producing areas of the
central coast. The topology is relatively flat and is
characterized by vast plains and meadows in the central
highland areas, but is high sloping in the upland areas
of the central coast and in Lam Dong province, where
the risk of soil erosion is high. The infrastructure in most
places is still underdeveloped. Soil and climatic
conditions in this agro-ecological zone are very
favorable for perennial crops such as coffee, rubber, and
black pepper as well as annual crops like maize, beans,
and cotton. This agro-ecological zone has the third
largest maize growing area of the country, after the
northern upland and the southeast-Mekong Delta
upland agro-ecological zones. On the average, farmers
have a relatively large farm size of about 1.3 ha but
rural poverty is still very high. The common maize-
based cropping systems are either a rainfed maize-
beans crop, or one upland maize crop. Both
commercial and semi-commercial maize production
systems are found in this agro-ecological zone. One
single maize crop planted in the summer-autumn crop
season is usually found in semi-commercial maize
production systems in areas with sloping topography










and little access to markets. In the past, maize was an
important food crop for most ethnic farmers, but easy
access to cheap rice grown in other areas has reduced
the importance of maize as food.



2.2.4 Central highlands-central coast
lowland

This agro-ecological zone is located in the central coast
lowlands, where commercial irrigated maize is the
major maize production system. The dominant maize-
based cropping pattern is winter-spring maize grown
after two successive rice crops on very small farms
averaging 0.3 ha. Maize is also planted in rotation with
beans, tobacco, or sweet potato. Flooding and storms
often negatively affect agricultural production during
the rainy season, and rural poverty is remarkable in this
area.



2.2.5 Southeast region-Mekong Delta
upland
This agro-ecological region is located in the southeast
region of Vietnam, between the Mekong Delta and the
central highlands. Elevation varies from 100-200 masl.
Topography ranges from medium to high sloping land
in some areas, and elevation ranges from 100-200
masl. Seasonal flooding from rivers and streams during
the rainy season, and drought during the dry season are
two constraints to agricultural production in this area.

Rainfed maize is grown twice, in the summer-autumn
and autumn-winter seasons. The common maize-based
cropping pattern is maize-maize, although maize is also
planted in rotation with beans and tobacco. This agro-
ecological zone has the second largest area planted to
maize in the country. Most maize areas in this region
are planted for commercial production, as the relatively
good road system and close proximity to a major feed
processing center facilitate this. The average farm size is
about 1.0 ha, and income from selling maize makes up
a large share of total farm income.



2.2.6 Southeast region-Mekong Delta
lowland

This agro-ecological zone includes the predominantly
flat wetlands of the Mekong Delta. Little maize is grown
here as compared to other agro-ecological zones of the
country, but some maize is grown in the winter-spring
dry season after two successive rice crops. Commercial
irrigated hybrid maize varieties are grown in An Giang
province. In other provinces, maize farmers mainly


cultivate improved open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) and
the local/traditional glutinous maize. This region has
relatively large farms that average about 1.3 ha, with
maize contributing little to the total farm income.



2.3 Biophysical Environment

2.3.1 Climate

The climate varies substantially between regions of the
country, from temperate to subtropical in the north, and
tropical in the south. The northern part of the country is
affected by the northeast monsoon wind that makes the
climate hot and rainy from May to October, and cold
and sunny from November to April. The rainiest months
are in the summer from May to September, but rainy
days are also frequent in the winter months from
January to March. The temperature is low in winter
(150C) and high in summer (290C), with an annual
average of 230C. In the northwest area, the rainy season
is from April to September with the highest rainfall in
June and July, contributing to an annual rainfall of 1400
to 2000 mm. In the northeast, winter is cold and dry
while heavy rain and storm damage may occur in the
summer from June to August in the coastal provinces.
The average temperature is 22.60C in Ha Giang
province. Annual rainfall is 1400 mm in Lang Son
province and 2300 mm in Ha Giang province. The
annual average temperature is 23.40C in the Red River
Delta, with a range from 160C in January to 28.80C in
June and July. Annual rainfall is about 1800 mm with
most of the rainfall concentrated in the period from May
to October.

The southern part of the country has a tropical climate
with hot weather in all months of the year. The annual
average temperature is around 270C, with slight
fluctuations throughout the year from 250C to 290C.
There are two distinct seasons a rainy season from
May to October and a dry season from November to
April. The rainy season in the southern part of the
country begins about a month later than in the northern
part of the country, with similar rainfall amounts. The
southwest monsoon winds from May to November
come across the Indian Ocean bringing an average
annual rainfall of 1900-2000 mm to most of the
southeast-Mekong Delta lowlands, and about 2200 mm
to the higher elevations of the southeast-Mekong Delta
uplands.

The central coast lowlands are affected by the western
dry wind from Laos from April to June. In the central
coastal region total rainfall is high, but unevenly
distributed with very heavy rainfall from September to
November and a long dry season of seven or eight










months. From September to January, the northeast
monsoon coming through the China Sea brings very
high rainfall to the central coast highland region, which
suffers from severe flooding and typhoon damage
during the rainy season from September through
November. This region also experiences extreme
climate variation due to the 400-1500 masl elevation
range. Annual average temperature varies from 21.4C
in Lien Khuong (Lam Dong) to 23.50C in Buon Me
Thuot (Dak Lak). Rainfall varies from 1757 mm in Lam
Dong to 2396 mm in Pleiku (Gia Lai), with 70% of
annual rain falling from May to October. The dry season,
from November to April brings cold, dry, windy
weather.


2.3.2 Soil types
During the PRA surveys, farmers were asked to describe
and classify the type of soil of the land that they plant
with maize. Farmers classified the soil based on soil
texture and color, and also identified the advantages
and different problems of each soil type. Red basal soil
for example is largely found in the central highland-
central coast upland and in the southeast-Mekong Delta
upland agro-ecologies. The soil has good texture and
drainage, deep cultivation depth, and is therefore easy
to prepare for cultivation. Farmers consider this to be
fertile soil good for the cultivation of annual crops like
maize, beans, and groundnut, as well as for perennial
crops like coffee, rubber, black pepper, and fruit trees. It
is however susceptible to erosion, and soil nutrients are
easily leached out, causing loss of both topsoil layer
and soil fertility. Soil erosion control and soil fertility
management are important for maintaining the
productivity of this soil type.

Diverse soil types can be found across the six major
maize agro-ecologies in the country (Table 2). Common
soil types in the northern uplands are humic gray soil
humicc acrisols), red-yellow humic soil humicc ferrasols),
gray soil (ferralic acrisols), alluvium soil (eutric fluvisols)
and new alluvial soil (dystric fluvisols) along rivers and
creeks, and brown-red soil on limestone (luric calcisols).
Alluvium soil (eutric fluvisols) is the most common soil
type in the Red River Delta of the northern lowland
agro-ecological zone. The central highland-central coast
uplands have large areas with red basal soil (rhodic
ferrasols) from basalt weathering. Other soil types found
include degraded basal soil (ferric ferrasols), humic gray
soils humicc acrisols) in the valleys, new alluvial soils
(dystric fluvisols) along the rivers and large streams and
some gray soils (haplic acrisols), stony black soils lithicc
luvisols), black soil humicc gleysols), red-yellow soils
(xanthic ferrasols), and red-brown soils (rhodic


ferrasols). In the central highland-central coast lowlands,
major soil types include alluvium (eutric fluvisols),
sandy clay (gleyic acrisols), and sandy soils (haplic
arenosols). Major soil types in the southeast region
uplands are gray soils (haplic acrisols), reddish brown
soils (rhodic ferrasols), red-yellow soil (xanthic
ferrasols), stony black soils lithicc luvisols). Black soil
humicc gleysols), new alluvial soils (dystric fluvisols)
along river and large streams, low-humic clay soil
(haplic acrisols) and swampy soil (staglic gleysols) in the
valleys are also found there. Alluvium soil (eutric
fluvisols) is the major soil type in Mekong Delta, but
there are also large areas of acid sulfate soil (thionic
fluvivols) and saline soils (salic fluvisols).

Based on the advantages and disadvantages of each
soil type, farmers make crop management choices such
as type of crop to plant, type and level of fertilizer
application, and control of soil erosion and soil fertility
issues (Table 2). Recognizing and understanding
farmers' classification of their soils can help researchers
and extension workers more effectively communicate
and disseminate maize technologies.



2.4 Institutional Environment

2.4.1 Line agencies
The national ministries have their equivalent
departments at the provincial level; however, the
provincial People's Committee stipulates the tasks and
responsibilities of these departments. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) supervises
the professional extension system under the central
level of the Division of Agricultural and Forestry
Extension. MARD disseminates extension services to all
provinces and most districts. At the village level, there
is a cadre responsible for the agriculture sector but the
responsibility for agricultural extension rests with the
provincial extension center run by MARD. These
extension centers transfer technology to the farmers by
providing training in crop production, plant protection,
animal husbandry, etc.

The extension system is highly centralized, is entirely
dependent on the national budget for its funding, and
operates from the national to the local level. Inadequate
funding limits the service areas and the number of
activities the system can provide to the farmers. There
are too few extension workers, who are paid little, have
poor working conditions, and have little incentive to
perform their services well. Extension activities do not
effectively address the real problems of the farmers.











Table 2. Soil types in the six major maize agro-ecologies, Vietnam, 2001.

Soil type Soil type Maize agro-ecology where found
(farmer's (technical
classification) equivalents) NU NL CHCCU CHCCL SEMDU SEMDL Advantages Disadvantages


Red basal soil


Degraded basal soil



Sandy soil


Rhodic Ferrasols



Ferric Ferrasols



Haplic Arenosols


Sandy clay soil Gleyic Acrisols


Black soil humicc clay) Humic Gleysols


Low-humic clay soil



Swampy soil



Gray soils


Haplic Acrisols



Stagnic Gleysols



Haplic Acrisols/
Ferralic Acrisols


Red-brown soil Rhodic Ferrasols


Red/brown soil
(on limestone)
Red-yellow soil


Alluvium soil


New alluvial soils
(along rivers,streams)
Humic gray soils


Red-yellow humic soil


Luric Calcisols

Xanthic Ferrasols


Eutric Fluvisols


Dystric Fluvisols

Humic Acrisols


Humic Ferrasols


Stony black soil Lithic Luvisols



Acid sulfate soil Thionic Fluvivols


Saline soils


Salic Fluvisols


V V/


High fertility, good drainage,
deep cultivation depth, easy for
land preparation, good for various
annual and perennial crops




Easy for land preparation,
good drainage

Good drainage, easy plowing in
rainy season, good water access,
good for rice, vegetables
High fertility, good for rice field


Good water-holding capacity



High humus and moisture content,
light texture, good for paddy rice


Good drainage, deep cultivation
depth, suitable for perennial crops
with deep roots
Deep cultivation depth, good soil
fertility, suitable for various crops
Deep cultivation depth, good soil
fertility, suitable for various crops
Medium fertility, suitable for
annual crops

Well-drained, fertile, rich in organic
matter, suitable for rice, other
annual crops
Easy for land preparation, good
for rice, maize, other annual crops
High fertility, good water holding
capacity, easy for land preparation,
good for rice field
Relatively high fertility, suitable for
perennial crops

High fertility, good drainage, good
for various annual crops (maize,
tobacco, beans), perennial crops
(in area with deep cultivation depth)
Easy for land preparation, could be
planted with rice, pineapple,
other annual crops
Easy for land preparation, under
good irrigation condition could be
planted with rice and other
non-rice annual crops


The soil is susceptible to
erosion, nutrient loss


Loss of fertile surface soil layer,
surface is hard, poor soil structure,
difficult land preparation, low yield,
requires high fertilizer inputs
Low fertility, need additional
inputs, poor water-holding
capacity, low yield
Low fertility, low moisture content,
hard during dry season, difficult
land preparation, low yield
Becomes sticky in rainy season,
hardens and cracks in dry season,
difficult land preparation
Low fertility, become waterlogged
in heavy rain, difficult land
preparation, low yield, requires
high fertilizer inputs
Become waterlogged in heavy rain,
difficult land preparation, need to
use potassium, phosphorus to
improve soil fertility
Low to medium fertility, dry and
easily eroded

Susceptible to erosion and
nutrient loss
Susceptible to erosion and
nutrient loss
Need additional inputs to obtain
high yield, difficult land preparation
in dry season



Drought in dry season, flooding in
rainy season
Poor in phosphorus


Usually found in sloping land
therefore difficult land preparation,
low pH, susceptible to erosion
Difficult land preparation
mechanical land preparation
not possible, shallow cultivation
depth, water shortage
Low pH, low soil fertility, need
irrigation water for reducing acidity

High salinity, dry, low soil fertility
Need fresh water for irrigation and
fertilizer inputs to obtain high yield


Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.
NU northern upland; NL northern lowland; CHCCU central highland-central coast upland; CHCCL central highland-central coast lowland; SEMDU southeast region-Mekong Delta upland;
SEMDL southeast region-Mekong Delta lowland.










2.4.2 Cooperative and user groups
Agricultural cooperatives are operating in some of the
surveyed villages but most provide only limited services
that include helping farmers procure credit or inputs,
and the collection of irrigation fees and land taxes. Input
supply organization was once an important activity of
the agricultural cooperatives, but nowadays farm inputs
are readily and cheaply available through private
traders.

However, cooperatives still play a relatively significant
role in agricultural production in some villages of the
central coast, as in Dien Phuoc and Dai Quang of Quang
Nam province. These cooperatives organize irrigation,
plan and organize collective mechanical land
preparation and seeding, help farmers gain access to
formal credit, and work with extension workers to
disseminate technical information through farmer
training.

Farmers associations and other social organizations like
the women's association are present in all villages but
have limited activities. Their activities may include
supporting farmers in organizing training in crop or
animal production, or helping poor farmers access
formal credit sources. In some villages, farmers also
form their own interest groups like a water user group
for irrigation management or a small farmer's credit
group.



2.4.3 Sources of inputs
In all surveyed villages, most inputs in maize production
were supplied to farmers through the private trade
system. The availability of inputs like fertilizer was good
in most villages, except for the remote villages of the
northern uplands and the central highlands-central coast
uplands that were hard to access by road. While the
major source of organic fertilizer comes from animal
production at the farm, some villagers in the central
highlands-central coast uplands bought manure from
traders for high value crops like coffee and black
pepper. Most farmers are aware that organic fertilizer is
good for maize cultivation and for improving soil
fertility, but few had enough manure on their farm or in
other accessible places, to use for their maize crops.

The supply of improved OPV and hybrid maize seed
comes from various sources, including extension
services; the government marketing and distribution
network at the provincial, district and some village
levels; private companies; and local agricultural input
wholesalers and retailers. In some areas, farmers have
the additional option to obtain seed from farmers'
associations, extension clubs, and local agricultural
officers.


2.4.4 Credit institutions


Farmers need appropriate agricultural technologies, but
they also need access to credit to buy them. Today,
rural credit is indispensable for farmers if they are to
increase agricultural production and their family's
income. The most important credit source reported by
farmers is the Vietnam Bank of Agriculture (VBA),
established to provide short and medium term credit to
rural public institutions, as well as farmers and the
emerging private sector. A subsidized interest rate arm
of this bank is the Vietnam Bank for the Poor (VBP),
established in 1995 to offer subsidized credit to poor
households, including poor farmer households. The VBP
credit is administered through the People's Committees
as the 'Hunger Eradication and Poverty Alleviation
Scheme'. The main office of the VBA is in each province
center with district branches.

Many farmers, however, reported having difficulties
meeting the requirements (land use rights or collateral)
demanded by the VBA for getting loans. Others
reported being afraid of having no ability to pay back
the loan. Information generated from farmer group
discussions revealed that lack of credit for investment in
agricultural production was one of the major constraints
in agricultural production for poor farmers. Lack of
credit and access to it seriously constrains resource-
poor and collateral-less farm households from
expanding their production, while larger and wealthier
farmers are usually in a position to finance their own
activities or have easy access to formal credit sources.
The credit demand of maize farmers has only been
partially met by the VBA.

When farmers cannot access formal credit, they borrow
from private lenders, relatives, friends, other farmers,
the women's associations, peasant associations or
farmers' credit groups. Farmers, however, have to pay a
relatively high interest rate when borrowing from
private moneylenders or local traders, and can usually
access only insufficient amounts from associations.



2.4.5 Prices of inputs and outputs
Major inputs purchased by farmers are hybrid and
improved OPV seed, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides.
For local maize, farmers usually keep their own seed at
home. Few farmers also buy small quantities of local/
traditional and improved OPV seed at local markets.
These seeds cost the lowest ranging from 1700 VN
Dong to 2500 VN Dong per kg (US$ 0.12-0.18/kg)
(Table 3). Farmers, however, have to pay much higher
price for hybrid seed, about 7 to 19 times that of local
and improved OPV varieties. For the same type of
hybrid seed, the price did not vary much among agro-
ecologies. There are, however, significant price











differences across various types of hybrids. The seed
price of LVN 10, a single-cross hybrid planted by most
farmers, is relatively lower than that of other hybrids
such as DK 888 and those from Cargill and Bioseed
seed companies. Across agro-ecologies, the price of
LVN 10 seed ranged from 1800 VN Dong to 19000 VN
Dong/kg (US$ 0.13-1.36/kg). Seed of Cargill hybrids
registered the highest prices from 34000 VN Dong to
37000 Dong/kg (US$ 2.43-2.64/kg).

The prices of fertilizer did not vary much among
ecologies, but were expectedly higher in remote upland
areas with poor market access. In subsistence and semi-
commercial production areas, the use of exchange labor
is common among farmers. More hired labor is used in
commercial maize production areas, particularly for
labor-intensive activities such as land preparation,
weeding, and harvesting. Hired labor is usually paid in
cash, and the wage rate for hired labor did not vary
much across regions. On the average, however, wage
rate for men was higher than that for women, primarily
because men are hired for more difficult activities such
as land preparation, pesticide application, and
transportation of inputs and produce, while women
were hired for less difficult activities such as weeding
and harvesting.


Compared to those in the lowland agro-ecologies, the
prices of seed, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides were
higher in the upland agro-ecologies due to higher
transportation and other marketing costs. The rental
rate for tractor power is also higher for more difficult
working conditions in upland agro-ecologies than for
lowland agro-ecologies. Farmers in irrigated areas of
lowland agro-ecologies mainly pay irrigation fee. Land
tax is another fixed cost that farmers have to pay. It is
specified based on soil quality and is higher for the
northern lowlands, southeast-Mekong Delta lowland,
and central highland-central coast uplands as compared
to other agro-ecologies.

Across agro-ecologies, the prices of maize grain do not
vary much, and those in the lowlands are only slightly
higher than those in upland agro-ecologies. Farm gate
prices of maize grain ranged from 1300 VN Dong/kg to
2000 VN Dong/kg (US$ 0.09-0.14/kg) while average
price at nearest market ranged from 1900 VN Dong to
2500 VN Dong/kg (US$ 0.14-0.18/kg) (Table 3). Grain
prices of local/traditional varieties are slightly higher
than those of hybrids but prices were the same for
hybrid maize genotypes.


Table 3. Average prices of farm inputs and outputs, Vietnam, 2001.
Major maize agro-ecologies
Northern Northern Central Highlands- Central Highlands- Southeast-Mekong Southeast-Mekong
Inputs Uplands Lowlands Central Coast Uplands Central Coast Lowlands Delta Uplands Delta Lowlands
Fertilizer (VND/kg)
Urea 2300 2000 2100 2000 2200 2000
NPK 2600 2500 2600 2500 2500 2500
Phosphorus 1200 950 1250 900 1200 1000
Potassium 2300 2100 2300 2400 2200 2000
Maize seed (VND/kg)
Local 1700 2000 2000 2000 2500 2500
OPV 2000 3500 2500
Hybrids: -VN10 19500 1800 18500 18000 18000 19000
-DK888 30000 29000 29000 29000 28000
-Cargill 34000 37000 35000
-Biocide 33000 33000 33000 32000
Labor (VND/person/day)
Men 20000 25000 25000 25000 25000 25000
Women 18000 20000 20000 20000 20000 20000
Pesticides (VND/liter)
Bazudin 60000 21000 64000 22000 25000 20000
Bassa 195000 170000 195000 180000 190000 165000
Power rental
Tractor-plowing (VND/ha) 160000 120000 120000 100000 130000 120000
Animal (VND/day) 32000 35000 37000 35000 37000 35000
Irrigation fee (VND/ha) 375000 300000 375000
Land rent (VND/ha) 360000 475000 435000 360000 37500 555000
Maize grain (VND/kg)
Farm gate price 1300 1700 1400 1900 1400 2000
Nearest market price 2000 2200 1950 2100 1900 2500
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.
US$ 1.00 = 14,000 Vietnamese dong.











2.5 Infrastructure

Economic development in the rural areas of Vietnam
depends on a number of critical infrastructure
components, such as credit facilities, communication
systems, and marketing facilities. A good rural
infrastructure system plays a critical role in enhancing
commercialization and modernization in the agricultural
sector in general, and in increasing maize productivity
growth in particular. Most upland agro-ecologies have
only a poor and undeveloped infrastructure to support
maize farmers.



2.5.1 Accessibility status
In general, the northern uplands, particularly in the
mountainous areas of the northwest, have much poorer
road systems than the other upland areas in the country.
In villages where vehicle access is difficult, farmers use
horses and cattle for transporting inputs and farm
products. The roads of the northeast are better but still
underdeveloped. Most upland villages in the survey
have road systems connecting them to the district and
province centers, which were built up in the last decade
to facilitate the exchange of goods and inputs within the
region. The local road systems within the village,
however, are still poorly developed, making the
transportation of inputs and farm produce difficult. The
accessibility status (road conditions) of the surveyed
villages is presented in Table 1.

Compared to the northern uplands, the central
highland-central coast has a much better road system,
but the upland villages of the central coast still have
poor road access. Relatively good transportation
systems are found in the southeast-Mekong Delta
upland agro-ecologies, perhaps due to feed processing
centers located near commercial maize growing areas.
Table 4 presents the percentage of villages having
vehicle access, by agro-ecological region.




Table 4. Percentage of villages having vehicle access,
Vietnam, 2001.
Villages with
Agro-ecology vehicle access (%)
Northern Uplands 67.8
Northern Lowlands 99.6
Central Highland-Central Coast Uplands 90.1
Central Highland-Central Coast Lowlands 88.0
Southeast-Mekong Delta Uplands 96.4
Southeast-Mekong Delta Lowlands 66.1
Source: Computed using secondary data from Vietnam Statistical Yearbook, 2002.


The lowland areas of the Red River and the central coast
usually have good transportation systems. The
provinces of the Mekong River Delta located near Ho
Chi Minh City also have good transport, but other Delta
provinces have no well-developed road system and
most transport of goods is done by waterway.



2.5.2 Markets and marketing practices

Most of the lowland villages surveyed have their own
local markets. The average distance from farm to local
market varies slightly among lowland villages, ranging
from 2 4 km. In contrast, the average distance from
farm to local market varied widely among the surveyed
villages in the upland agro-ecologies. Farmers in the
remote villages in the northern uplands and in the
upland areas of the central coast have to walk a very
long distance of 10 25 km to get to the nearest
market (Table 1). Farmers in Phu Tam village in Soc
Trang province of the Mekong Delta reported that they
wanted to grow hybrid maize but would have difficulty
selling their product, as the maize feed processing
center is too far away, and no local marketing system
exists. An efficient marketing system for maize for the
feed processing industry is an important factor affecting
the adoption of hybrid maize, and its absence in Soc
Trang province severely limited production.

In most villages, the tractor is normally used for the
transportation of large loads, while motorbikes are used
for transporting small amounts of farm inputs and
produce to and from the local market. Boats are an
important means of transportation in the canals of the
Mekong Delta. In remote villages of the northern
uplands, local farmers have to transport farm produce
and inputs to and from market manually or using horses
and ox-cart. In most villages surveyed, however,
farmers could buy farm inputs from warehouses or
stores located near the main road of the village.

With a relatively large quantity of maize, farmers in
most villages reported that they could sell their
produce to local traders and collectors right at the farm
gate. In commercial maize areas of the southeast region
and the central highlands, farmers having a substantial
yield prefer to sell fresh shelled maize to local traders
right on the field at harvest. This marketing practice is
more popular in the rainy season as farmers do not
have sufficient drying and storage facilities. In villages
with good road access, local traditional and improved
OPV maize that is grown for fresh home consumption is
sold at the farm gate to local traders who harvest and
transport it.










Most farmers use local marketing channels operated by
private traders. In commercial maize-producing areas,
the marketing system also involves small village-based
collectors and also commission agents, middlemen, and
independent traders. There is intense competition
among them to get the most farm produce to maximize
their capital output.



2.5.3 Irrigation facilities
Irrigated maize is mainly grown in the lowland
ecosystems where tubewells and communal irrigation
cover more than 60% of the total arable land in the
villages under survey (Table 1). There is well-developed
irrigation infrastructure in the surveyed villages of the
northern lowland and the southeast-Mekong Delta
lowland agro-ecologies. In most upland villages, more
than 60% of the total agriculture land is rainfed, with
communal irrigation systems present primarily to supply
water for rice production. Groundwater irrigation is
widespread in the central highlands, but is mostly used
for high value crops like coffee and black pepper.
Overuse of groundwater on a large scale for coffee
irrigation can threaten the groundwater resources.



2.5.4 Processing and post-harvest
facilities

The majority of small farmers throughout the country
shell their maize manually. However, in the commercial
maize growing areas of the southeast region and the
central highlands, the corn-shelling machine, recently
introduced to farmers to reduce labor costs, has
become popular. Large maize farmers usually hire the
corn-shelling machine to reduce labor and time,
especially when the crop is harvested under unfavorable
weather conditions. In some commercial maize areas of
the southern central coast, farmers also commonly use a
small electric shelling device.

Few drying facilities exist at the farm level in most
upland villages in the survey, and there are no large
storage facilities at the village level. Farmers usually dry
their maize under the sun, using flat cement floors or
roads, drying baskets, or on top of plastic sheets. Sun-
dried maize grains are stored in plastic sacks at home. A
limited number of power-operated drying facilities are
available, mainly in large commercial maize areas and to
serve local traders during rainy season. While there are
a number of existing multipurpose mills in all surveyed
villages, only a few farmers in semi-commercial villages
practice corn grinding, mainly for farm animal feed.
Commercial maize farmers also report that they do not
store maize for long periods due to high storage losses
due to weevils.


2.6 Socioeconomic
Characteristics

2.6.1 Households and ethnicity

The number of households varied widely among the
villages in the survey. The villages of the lowland agro-
ecologies had from 1,420 to 15,960 households (Table
1). Very high numbers of households were recorded in
the surveyed villages in the central highland, ranging
from 10,167 to 18,583 households. In other upland
villages, the total number of households per village
varied from 140 to 8,191. On the other hand, the
average household size did not vary much across agro-
ecologies, ranging from 5.2 to 5.9 members per
household.

There are 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam. The
Kinh people account for nearly 90% of Vietnam's total
population. Major ethnic minority groups include Tay,
Thai, Muong, H'Mong, Dao and Khmer, most of whom
live in the upland areas of the country. The vast majority
of all households in the northern lowlands and the
central highland-central coast lowlands and a smaller
majority of the households in the southeast-Mekong
Delta lowland agro-ecologies are Kinhs. The second and
third largest ethnic groups are the Khmer and
Vietnamese Chinese, with little representation from the
other ethnic groups in the surveyed villages.

A diversified ethnic composition was reported in the
upland villages of the northern upland, the central
highlands and central coast uplands, and the southeast-
Mekong Delta upland agro-ecologies. On the average,
Kinh people comprised 43% to 55% of the total
households in the surveyed villages (Table 5). In the
northern upland, the major ethnic minority groups are
Tay and Thai, followed by the Muong, Hoa, Nung, and
H'mong. In the villages of the central highland-central
coast upland, the ethnic minority groups include Bana,
Chill, Churu, Ktu, Ede, Giarai, Muong, Hoa, K'ho, Tay,
Man, Nung, and Thai. The ethnic composition in many
areas of this agro-ecological zone has changed as large


Table 5. Ethnic composition of population in survey sites,
Vietnam, 2001.
Percentage of total households
Agro-ecology Kinh Other ethnic groups
Northern Uplands 43 57
Northern Lowlands 100 0
Central Highland-Central Coast Uplands 53 46
Central Highland-Central Coast Lowlands 100 0
Southeast-Mekong Delta Uplands 55 45
Southeast-Mekong Delta Lowlands 54 46
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.
Note: Other ethnic groups include Tay, Thai, Muong, Man, Nung, Hoa, Giao, Tho, H'mong,
Bana, Chill, Churn, Ktu, Ede, Giarai, and K'ho.










numbers of people of the Muong, Hoa, K'ho, Tay, Man,
Nung, and Thai ethnic minority groups have migrated
from the northern provinces over the last few decades.
In the surveyed villages of the southeast-Mekong Delta
upland, there is a relatively large number of Vietnamese
Chinese ethnic minority groups. Other ethnic minority
groups are Nung, Tay, Giao, and Tho.



2.6.2 Farmer classification
Farmer-respondents in the upland agro-ecologies were
asked to classify maize farmers in their respective
villages as an exercise in wealth ranking. They first
chose to classify maize farmers by the size of their farm,
then by availability of cash for farm investment, level of
technical knowledge, and a few more minor
considerations (Table 6).

Farm size that ultimately defined each farmer group
varied substantially in each village, and reflected or
indicated some or all of the following farmer
characteristics:

* Ability to produce enough food for the family;

* Ability to produce surplus to sell for income;

* Ability to sustain a variety of crops on his farmland;

* Ability to adopt farm mechanization (tractor);

* Access to credit; and

* Level of education or training that allows them to
understand and adapt new farming technologies.

The second most important criterion of farmer
classification was either availability of cash for farm
investment (as stated by farmers in the northern
uplands and the central highland-central coast upland


agro-ecologies), or level of farmer's technical
knowledge (as stated by farmers in the southeast-
Mekong Delta upland agro-ecological zone). Farmer-
respondents characterized farmers with adequate
capital as those having enough credit or personal
capital to pay at least 95% of the annual investment in
crop and animal production. This allows them to invest
intensively in farming, to use advanced technology and
to buy adequate levels of inputs such as seed, fertilizer
and hired labor. Farmers without access to formal credit
must practice non-intensive agriculture or borrow
money from informal sources.

The level of a farmer's technical knowledge is used
either as the second or third criterion for farmer
classification. Farmer respondents identified other
farmers as having good technical knowledge based on
their level of education and training, their ease of access
to technical advice, and technical understanding of wise
farming practices. Farmers rated as having little
technical knowledge were identified by their low level
of educational or training as well as poor farming
practices that result in lower income status.

Other classification criteria used by farmers include level
of commercial farming, major source of farm income,
ownership of farm machinery and draft animals, and
farmer age.

Respondents also pointed out the negative aspects of
different characteristics of maize farmers:

* Poor or medium farmers may have food security in
that they can raise enough to feed their family, but
have no crops to sell for cash to satisfy other family
needs;

* Owners of draft animals get animal labor and organic
fertilizer, but must have feed for the animals and
manpower to use them;


Table 6. Classification of farmers in the surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001.
Upland agro-ecology First criterion (farm size) Second criterion Other criteria
North Large Adequate cash for farm investment Technical knowledge
SMedium Lack of cash for farm investment Level of commercial farming
SSmall Ownership of machinery, draft animals
SAge of farmers
Central Highlands- Central Coast Large Adequate cash for farm investment Technical knowledge
Medium Lack of cash for farm investment Level of commercial farming
Small Source of major farm income
Ownership of machinery, draft animals
SAge of farmers
Southeast-Mekong Delta Large Having good technical knowledge Availability of cash for farming
SMedium Having poor technical knowledge Level of commercial farming
SSmall Source of major farm income
Ownership of machinery, draft animals
Age of farmers
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.











* Large or rich farmers may not have enough in-house
(i.e. family) labor to work the farm;

* Commercial farmers can earn a high cash income, but
it is dependent entirely on a market where prices can
fluctuate up or down;

* Machine owners can harvest and plant on time, but
also have associated manpower and maintenance
costs;

* Younger farmers usually have fewer assets and less
capital than older farmers, but they have more
energy, strength, and willingness to learn and adopt
new technologies.

The PRA survey of farmer classifications revealed that
farmers within any community are very diversified as to
their land, educational attainment, credit, and
technological assets. Understanding these differences is
important to the successful design and implementation
of development interventions.



2.6.3 Literacy and level of education

The distribution of population by literacy and education
level across agro-ecologies is shown in Table 7. The
majority of the surveyed population has attended or
completed elementary school. More people surveyed in
the lowland agro-ecologies have attended or
completed secondary school or university than in the
upland agro-ecologies, with a low of 19.9% in the
northern uplands to a high of 56.3% in the central
highland-central coast lowland region. Remote upland
villages populated predominantly by ethnic minorities
had the lowest educational levels. Illiteracy was higher
in these villages than in the general population. For
example, in the central highland-central coast uplands,
illiteracy in such villages as Ating village in Quang Nam
province, Cour Knia village in Dak Lak province and



Table 7. Distribution of population by literacy and
education levels in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001.
Illiterate Elementary High- University
Agro-ecology (%) (%) school (%) (%)
Northern Uplands 1.7 79.4 16.6 3.3
Northern Lowlands 0.0 56.5 35.0 8.5
Central Highland-Central
Coast Uplands 8.6 62.1 28.7 0.6
Central Highland-Central
Coast Lowlands 0.0 43.7 45.8 10.5
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Uplands 5.0 54.0 40.0 1.0
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Lowlands 5.0 55.0 35.0 5.0
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.


Kado and Pro' village in Lam Dong province, ranged
from 8% to 20% of the total population. However,
illiteracy was low in most other surveyed villages with a
maximum of only 5% of the population.



2.6.4 Landholdings and tenure systems

Across all agro-ecologies in the country, the average
farm size in the lowland is much smaller than that of the
uplands, except for the southeast-Mekong Delta
lowland where the average farm size is relatively large
(Table 8). Very small farm size of about 0.3 ha was
recorded in the northern lowland and the central
highland-central coast lowland. Among the upland
villages under survey, average far m size also varied
widely. The lowest average farm size of 0.28 ha was
recorded for Thanh Van village in Phu Tho province and
the highest average farm size of about 3.5 ha in Pache
villages of Son La province. All commercial maize-
producing villages in the uplands have an average farm
size of more than 1.0 ha. The farm size also varied
among local farmers within one village. Some have
farms too small to produce enough food or generate
enough income for the family. In all surveyed villages,
most of the land cultivated by farmers is family owned,
and there are few landless farmers overall.

While most farmers in the lowland agro-ecologies have
been provided the red book (land use certification) for
the land they own, many farmers in the upland agro-
ecologies still do not have legal land use privileges for
cultivating the land they do, particularly farmers in
villages located near forest areas. These farmers cannot
access formal credit sources and have little incentive to
invest in land that is not theirs.




Table 8. Distribution of income by sources in surveyed
villages, Vietnam, 2001.
Percentage of total
household income
Other Non-
House- Farm agricul- agricultu-
hold size Maize tural ral
Agro-ecology size (ha) sale income income
Northern Uplands 5.9 1.5 32.7 60.0 7.3
Northern Lowlands 5.2 0.3 14.5 47.0 38.5
Central Highland-Central
Coast Uplands 5.7 1.3 16.6 73.3 10.1
Central Highland-Central
Coast Lowlands 5.2 0.3 14.2 54.5 31.3
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Uplands 5.7 1.0 22.0 76.0 2.0
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Lowlands 5.7 1.3 0.5 79.5 20.0
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.










2.6.5 Level of income and poverty

Agriculture is the most important source of income in
all surveyed villages, although the contribution of maize
to farm income varied widely among agro-ecologies,
ranging from 0.5% to 32.7% of the total farm income,
and making up less than 40% of total farm income
across all surveyed villages (Table 8). The sale of maize
made a higher contribution to farm income in the
upland agro-ecologies compared to that of the lowland
agro-ecologies. Upland maize farmers however have
less non-farm income than do farmers in the lowlands.
In the maize growing villages located near big cities like
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there are opportunities for
young villagers to find a job in the city and to send a
portion of their income back to the villages.

A high level of poverty still exists in rural areas,
although Vietnam on the whole has experienced
relatively high economic growth in recent years.
Approximately 16% of the total population is very poor,
with the highest levels of poverty (19.7-23.3%)
recorded in 1999 in the northern upland and in the
upland and lowland areas of the central highlands-
central coast (Table 9).



2.6.6 Maize utilization
Maize has become a major element of people's diets
and the preferred substitute for rice during periods of
rice shortage, especially for ethnic minorities in the
northern upland and the central highland-central coast
upland. Most maize, however, is grown not for human



Table 9. Rural poverty situation in Vietnam, 1999.
Rural Rural Number of Share of
population poverty rural poor total rural
Agro-ecology ('000) (%) ('000) poor (%)
Northern Uplands 9,268 19.8 1,832 0.22
Northern Lowlands 13,516 8.7 1,169 0.14
Central Highland-Central
Coast Uplands 5,714 23.3 1,332 0.16
Central Highland-Central
Coast Lowlands 10,866 19.7 2,140 0.25
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Uplands 5,743 7.4 427 0.05
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Lowlands 13,409 11.7 1,574 0.19
Source: Computed using poverty data for 1999 in Population and Socioeconomic Statistics Data
1975-2001, General Statistics Office, 2002.


consumption, but for animal feed as the livestock and
poultry production industry in the country has rapidly
expanded. The proportion of total maize production
used as human food is also negatively impacted by the
availability of cheap rice.

Across the agro-ecologies, the average proportion of
maize sold to the market is high, ranging from 40% to
97% of the total maize production (Table 10). Most of
the maize kept for home consumption is used for farm
animals, mainly for raising pigs and poultry. The
proportion of maize used for farm animals is relatively
high in central highland-central coast lowland and the
northern upland and lowland agro-ecologies, ranging
from 28.5% to 60% of the total production, which
corresponds to the larger numbers of pigs and poultry
raised by farmers in these agro-ecologies.

On the average, around 13% and 10% of the total
production of maize is used for human consumption in
the central highland-central coast upland and in the
southeast-Mekong Delta lowland agro-ecological
zones, respectively. In all other agro-ecologies, less
than 10% of total maize production is used for human
consumption. However, in villages with a high
proportion of ethnic minorities, more maize is allocated
for home than in other villages, as 40% of the maize
yield was allocated for human consumption in Phong
Quang village (Ha Giang province), 35% being
allocated in Ating village (Quang Nam Province), and
30% in Kado village (Lam Dong Province). Maize used
for human consumption is mainly local/traditional
varieties. In all surveyed villages, the proportion of
maize kept for seed was very small.



Table 10. Utilization of locally produced maize as % of total
production, Vietnam, 2001.
Sold to Home consumption (%)
market Human Animal
Agro-ecology (%) Total consumption feed Seed
Northern Uplands 62.2 37.8 9.0 28.5 0.3
Northern Lowlands 40.0 60.0 0.0 60.0 0.0
Central Highland-Central
Coast Uplands 73.3 26.7 13.1 13.5 0.1
Central Highland-Central
Coast Lowlands 70.0 30.0 0.7 29.1 0.2
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Uplands 97.0 3.0 1.0 2.0 0.0
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Lowlands 89.0 11.0 10.0 0.0 1.0
Source: IIAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.











3. Maize Production Trends and Systems
















3.1 M aize Production Trends Since 1991 the government has strongly supported the
introduction of hybrid maize throughout the country.
In the period from 1961 to 1980, the area planted to Hybrid seed production increased domestically as did
maize increased from 260,200 ha to 389,600 ha. Maize hybrid seed importation, and hybrid maize varieties were
varieties used were mostly local cultivars, synthetics, widely adopted by farmers to replace low yielding local/
and composite. A few imported hybrid maize varieties traditional and open pollinated varieties. Hence in 2000,
were planted in a very small area, and these yielded a area planted to maize was an impressive 730,200 ha and
low average of about 1.1 t/ha. From 1980 to 1992, yield averaged at 2.75 t/ha (Table 11). Currently, large
maize area increased to 478,000 ha and the wide commercial maize areas are concentrated in the upland
adoption of improved open pollinated varieties agro-ecologies, namely the northern upland, southeast-
increased average yield from 1.1 t/ha in 1980 to 1.56 t/ Mekong Delta upland, and central highland-central coast
ha in 1992 (Tran Hong Uy 1998). upland. In the southeast-Mekong Delta lowland agro-
ecology, there is only a small area of maize.


Table 11. Area, production and yield of maize, Vietnam, 1995-2000.
Crop years
Agro-ecology 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Area ('000 ha)
Northern Uplands 214 249 244 250 268 287
Northern Lowlands 95 89 114 105 103 93
Central Highland-Central Coast Uplands 65 61 90 90 97 111
Central Highland-Central Coast Lowlands 67 75 82 81 94 97
Southeast-Mekong Delta Uplands 95 121 115 107 112 123
Southeast-Mekong Delta Lowlands 20 21 18 17 18 19
Total maize area 557 615 663 650 692 730
Production ('000 t)
Northern Uplands 340 469 467 497 553 653
Northern Lowlands 249 267 349 306 320 280
Central Highland-Central Coast Uplands 142 153 256 261 281 380
Central Highland-Central Coast Lowlands 117 150 178 177 215 239
Southeast-Mekong Delta Uplands 245 411 345 317 336 402
Southeast-Mekong Delta Lowlands 84 91 55 54 48 52
Total maize production 1177 1541 1651 1612 1753 2006
Yield (t/ha)
Northern Upland 1.59 1.80 1.86 1.95 2.05 2.28
Northern Lowland 2.70 3.00 3.17 3.08 3.20 3.11
Central Highland-Central Coast Uplands 1.91 2.70 2.68 2.85 2.84 3.65
Central Highland-Central Coast Lowlands 1.71 1.90 2.09 2.06 2.07 2.48
Southeast-Mekong Delta Uplands 2.69 3.40 3.17 3.10 3.13 3.34
Southeast-Mekong Delta Lowlands 4.16 4.40 3.12 3.16 2.72 2.73
Average yield 2.11 2.50 2.49 2.48 2.53 2.75
Source: Computed using secondary data from Statistical Yearbook, 2001 and Statistical Data of Vietnam Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 1975-2000.










Major factors contributing to the rapid increase in
hybrid maize area in Vietnam include the improvement
of market access and commercialization of the upland
systems, increasing demand of maize for animal feed,
strong support from the government (particularly
through policies supporting research and extension
activities to expand hybrid maize production) and
technical and financial support from international
organizations such as FAO and CIMMYT.

The increase in maize production and yield varied
among agro-ecologies. From 1995 to 2000, maize
area increased in all upland agro-ecologies but
decreased in lowland agro-ecologies, except in the
central highland-central coast lowland, due to the
competition for land by other cash crops. In the
southeast-Mekong Delta lowland agro-ecology, not
only maize area but also average maize yield declined
due to the unfavorable market outlet for feed maize.
However, in all other agro-ecologies, maize yield
increased over this period, mainly due to the adoption
of hybrid maize varieties. The average yield is relatively
high in the northern lowland, the central highland-
central coast upland, and the southeast-Mekong Delta,
ranging from 3.11 t/ha to 3.65 t/ha.



3.2 Maize Production Systems

3.2.1 Major farm enterprises
In all the surveyed villages, agricultural production is
the major occupation of local farmers, and most farm
investment is concentrated on crop production.
Although animal husbandry is an also important farm
enterprise, the level of animal production and its
importance to farm income varied across surveyed
villages. The average number of animals by type raised
per household in each agro-ecology is reported in Table
12. In addition to providing meat, cattle and buffalo are
used as draft animals for land preparation and
transportation. The number of swine and poultry per
household was reported to be high in the northern
upland and lowland and central highland-central coast
lowland as compared to other agro-ecologies in the
country. While inland fisheries is a well-developed farm
enterprise in many villages of the southeast-Mekong
Delta lowland agro-ecology, there is little fish
cultivation in lands devoted to maize.

There are few non-farm work opportunities in the
upland areas. Buying and selling activities and local
service businesses are mainly concentrated in and near
local markets or along the main road of the village. In
upland villages located close to large forest areas, forest
protection and harvesting of forest products are
important livelihood activities for resource-poor
farmers.


3.2.2 Maize cropping patterns and
calendar

There is diversity in the numbers and types of crops
grown across agro-ecologies. In the upland agro-
ecologies, maize is the second most important food
crop after rice, and rice is cultivated in one or two crops
per year. Cassava, sweet potato, beans, tea, and fruit
trees are other major crops grown by farmers in the
northern upland. Important crops grown in the central
highland-central coast upland and the southeast-
Mekong Delta upland are cassava, beans, groundnut,
tobacco, sugar cane, cotton, coffee, rubber, cashew,
and black pepper.

In the lowland agro-ecologies, maize is also the second
most important food crop after rice, except for the
southeast-Mekong Delta lowland. In most places
irrigated rice is cultivated in two to three crops per year,
and other important crops grown include sweet potato,
beans and groundnut in the northern lowland; sweet
potato, groundnut, sugarcane, and cassava in the
central highland-central coast lowland; and sweet
potato, vegetable, and fruit trees in the southeast-
Mekong Delta lowland.

Cropping calendars and cropping patterns differ across
agro-ecological zones, reflecting variations in
environmental conditions like soil, topography,
irrigation, drainage, rainfall and other climatic
characteristics. Farmers in the northern upland agro-
ecology can grow three crops of maize, with the
spring-summer maize crop planted in January/February
and harvested in May; the summer-autumn crop
planted in April/May and harvested in August; and a
large area of maize is planted in September/October
and harvested in January; (Table 13). The autumn-winter
maize sown by the end of July or early August and




Table 12. Average number of livestock per household in
surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001.
Buffalo Fish
or cattle Swine Poultry (water Goat
Agro-ecology (heads) (heads) (heads) area, m2) (heads)
Northern Uplands 2.1 4.1 34.8 6.7 0.0
Northern Lowlands 0.7 3.5 25.0 10.0 0.0
Central Highland-Central
Coast Uplands 0.8 1.9 7.7 20.8 0.0
Central Highland-Central
Coast Lowlands 0.8 3.0 16.7 5.0 0.1
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Uplands 0.0 0.6 5.5 0.0 0.0
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Lowlands 0.0 1.2 10.0 15.0 0.0
Source: IID-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.











harvested in November covers only a small area. In this
agro-ecology, the winter-spring maize or in some areas
the autumn-winter maize planted after two rice crops is
an important cropping pattern covering 45.4% of the
total maize area (Table 14). The spring-summer maize
as the first crop, followed by two rice crops, also
comprises about 17.8% of the maize area. These
cropping patterns are mainly concentrated in irrigated
areas, particularly in the northeastern provinces near
the Red River Delta. A single spring-summer maize
crop is more common under rainfed conditions. This
cropping pattern covers about 22.1% of the total maize
area. The pattern of two continuous maize crops
contributes only about 12.6% of the total maize area in
the northern upland agro-ecology.



Table 13. Distribution of maize area by crop seasons (% of
total maize area), Vietnam, 2001.
Spring- Summer- Autumn- Winter-
Agro-ecology summer autumn winter spring
Northern Upland 19 34 1 47
Northern Lowland 50 0 0 50
Central Highland-Central
Coast Upland 3 75 21 1
Central Highland-Central
Coast Lowland 7 12 0 81
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Upland 0 59 41 0
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Lowland 100 0 0 0
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.


In the northern lowland agro-ecology, the dominant
pattern is one maize crop and two rice crops. Maize is
planted either in the winter-spring or spring-summer
crop seasons. Winter-spring maize is fitted as the third
crop to the cropping pattern of spring rice-early
summer rice-winter maize. Winter-spring maize planted
in September/October and harvested in January has
become a stable cropping pattern in this agro-ecology.
Maize-soybean-maize is also a common cr opping
pattern with two maize crops planted in the spring-
summer and winter-spring seasons. Winter-spring
maize planted after two rice crops is also the main
maize crop in the central highland-central coast
lowland agro-ecology covering about 62.6% of the
total maize area (Table 14). Winter-spring maize is
usually planted in September/October and harvested in
January/February, with two maize crops planted under
both irrigated and rainfed conditions. This cropping
pattern is followed on about 15.9% of the total maize
area. Maize is usually planted in the spring-summer
season from January to April/May and in the summer-
autumn season from May to August/September.
Summer-autumn maize is planted after two crops of
beans or after one crop of tobacco, beans, or
groundnut. The area planted with one maize crop is
relatively small, and is confined mainly to rainfed
ecosystems. Figure 2 presents the crop calendar for the
different maize agro-ecologies in Vietnam.

In the central highlands-central coast upland agro-
ecology, maize is cultivated mainly in the summer-
autumn and autumn-winter seasons, with summer-
autumn maize (the major maize crop) planted in April-


Table 14. Distribution of major cropping patterns (% of total maize area), Vietnam, 2001.
Central Highland- Central Highland- Southeast- Southeast-
Northern Northern Central Coast Central Coast Mekong Delta Mekong Delta
Cropping patterns Upland Lowland Upland Lowland Upland Lowland
Maize-rice-rice 17.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 100.0
Rice-rice-maize 45.4 67.0 0.0 62.6 0.0 0.0
Maize-soybean-maize 1.1 33.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Maize 22.1 0.0 31.5 3.0 0.0 0.0
Maize-beans (intercropping with coffee) 0.0 0.0 4.3 0.0 2.0 0.0
Maize-maize-watermelon 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.9 0.0
Maize-maize 12.6 0.0 8.7 15.9 70.0 0.0
Maize-beans 0.0 0.0 16.4 0.0 20.0 0.0
Maize-sesame 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.9 0.0 0.0
Maize-cotton 0.0 0.0 10.9 0.0 0.0 0.0
Maize-maize-maize 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.1 0.0
Groundnut-maize 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.5 0.0 0.0
Beans-maize 0.0 0.0 26.4 7.9 5.0 0.0
Maize-maize+beans 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
Upland rice-maize 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
Maize-maize+upland rice 0.0 0.0 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0
Beans-beans-maize 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 0.0 0.0
Tobacco+chili-maize 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 0.0 0.0
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.











May and harvested in July-August. Autumn-winter
maize is planted in July-August and harvested in
October-November. In many rainfed upland areas of
this agro-ecology, there is usually a single monocrop
maize planted in the summer-autumn crop season,
contributing about 31.5% of the total maize area (Table
14). A single summer-autumn maize crop is usually
planted in semi-commercial maize production areas
with sloping topography and more difficult access to
market. The maize-maize pattern planted in the
summer-autumn and autumn contributes to 8.7% of the
maize cultivated area. In many areas, farmers intercrop
maize with beans or groundnuts, or they replace the
second maize crop with beans to maintain soil fertility.
Upland farmers commonly grow summer-autumn
maize as the first crop, followed by a crop of beans or
cotton. In coffee producing areas of the central
highland, maize and beans are also intercropped with
coffee. Another common cropping pattern is one
autumn-winter maize crop planted after beans. In some
sloping lands, there is also a small area planted with
autumn-winter maize after an upland rice crop. The
normal winter-spring maize is planted in December-
January and harvested in April, but some areas planted
spring-summer maize in January-February and
harvested in May.


In the southeast-Mekong Delta upland agro-ecology,
two rainfed maize crops (summer-autumn and autumn-
winter) are common, covering about 70% of the total
maize cultivated area. Summer-autumn maize, the
major crop is planted in April to early May, and
harvested in July to early August, and autumn-winter
maize is planted at the end of July to early August and
harvested at end of October to early November. Many
farmers also plant maize and beans in rotation to
maintain soil fertility.

In the southeast-Mekong Delta lowland agro-ecology,
one winter-spring or spring-summer maize crop
planted after two rice crops is the dominant maize-
based cropping pattern. A maize crop is planted on
land with relatively high elevation either in November
and harvested in January-February or in January and
harvested in April. Commercial irrigated maize, mainly
hybrid varieties, is cultivated in An Giang province, but
semi-commercial maize production systems with OPV
and local glutinous maize varieties are common in
other provinces.


Figure 2. Maize crop calendar, Vietnam, 2001.
Agro-ecology Crop season Crop Dur ton
Northern Upland SS 1
SA
AW
WS
Northern Lowland SS /
SA
AW
WS
Central Highlands SS
Central Coast Upland SA
AW
WS
Central Highlands- SS
Central Coast Lowland SA W \
AW
WS
Southeast-Mekong SS
Delta Upland SA

WS
Southeast-Mekong SS
Delta Lowland SA
AW

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Note: SS= Spring-summer, SA= Summer-autumn, AW= Autumn-winter, WS= Winter-spring.










3.2.3 Soil management
Among the upland villages surveyed, soil erosion and
fertility deficiency are major constraints to increasing
maize productivity. Under sloping soil conditions with
high rainfall, the risk of soil erosion is high in most
upland villages of the northern upland and the central
highlands-central coast upland agro-ecologies. The level
of soil depletion varies across surveyed sites depending
on cropping intensity, topography, soil characteristics,
and rainfall. A very high level of soil fertility loss was
reported in upland villages where ethnic minority
peoples cultivate maize in a slash and burn cultivation
system on sloping land. In Ating village (Quang Nam
province), farmers reported that maize yield declines
rapidly after cultivating for two or three years on cleared
forestland without chemical fertilizer inputs. In some
areas, farmers report that high soil erosion has led to
irreversible land productivity damage.

Farmer-respondents nevertheless opined that different
measures to control soil erosion and losses in soil
fertility could be adopted. To maintain or improve soil
fertility, some farmers replace the second maize crop
with a legume crop such as green beans, soybean, or
groundnut, and others intercropped maize with legume
crops. Farmers also use organic fertilizer and lime to
improve soil fertility, but many farmers also reported
that more chemical fertilizers are needed to increase
soil fertility.

For soil erosion control, farmers discussed such
available options as planting pineapple, banana, or
other crops or bushes around field boundaries; using
contour lines during land preparation; or intercropping
maize with perennial crops such as coffee or fruit trees.
They also mentioned that reducing land preparation and
weeding on steep sloping lands would reduce soil
erosion. Only a few farmers, however, apply soil erosion
control measures, and farmers reported that under
sloping land conditions, the return of investment in soil
erosion control is low. In the central highland-central
coast upland and the southeast-Mekong Delta upland
agro-ecologies, farmers did not use organic fertilizers to
improve soil fertility because these were not available
even for higher value crops such as coffee and black
pepper. Proper soil management is, therefore, an
important factor for stabilizing maize yields under
upland conditions.

One common method practiced by ethnic farmers in the
uplands was to let the land lie fallow for a certain
period. Farmers return to cultivate the rested land when
natural vegetation is recovered. In the past, many
ethnic farmers in the central highland, the southeast
region, and in mountainous areas of northern provinces,
and the southern central coast region also used this


method of recovering soil fertility, but increasing
population pressures now make this practice unfeasible
for most upland areas. Government policy does not
allow shifting cultivation, although ethnic people in
Ating village of Quang Nam province practice it
anyway. Some ethnic farmers in Lam Dong province
also practice shifting cultivation, but under higher
population pressure and limited land resources, the
fallow period becomes too short, leading to faster soil
degradation.



3.2.4 Maize varieties grown and farmer
preferences
Until 1991-1992, maize farmers planted mostly
improved OPVs and local varieties. The rapid expansion
of area planted to hybrid maize was attributed to the
research, development, and promotion of hybrid maize
in the late 1990s. In commercial maize-producing
villages, hybrid maize replaced old OPV cultivars and
traditional maize varieties and made up 89% of the total
maize grown. Popular maize varieties planted by
farmers include LVN 10, DK 888, DK 999, LVN 20, and
hybrids released by private companies such as Pacific,
Bioseed, and Cargill. The variety planted most widely is
LVN 10 due to its good field performance and relatively
cheap seed compared to other hybrids. Farmers in
many areas also like DK 888 for its high yield potential,
but its seed price is restrictive. Farmers did not adopt
Bioseed and Pacific hybrid maize varieties because the
price of seed is a major constraint.

Sweet corn, an improved OPV with good eating quality,
was adopted by farmers in Soc Trang province of the
Mekong Delta and in some villages in the southeast
region for producing fresh maize for cooking and selling
to local markets. In many commercial and in semi-
commercial maize-producing areas, the area planted
with traditional and OPV maize varieties has declined
significantly since the introduction of hybrid maize in
early 1990s. In Soc Trang province, the introduction of
hybrid maize was not successful due to poor access to
feed processing centers and an underdeveloped
marketing system to sell maize for animal feed.

In most areas, seed availability and market conditions
are significant determinants of hybrid maize adoption.
Where there is good availability of hybrid seed and easy
access to markets, farmers with large land areas are the
first to adopt hybrid maize. Under less favorable market
access, such as in Phu Tam and Ating villages, the
proportion of land planted to hybrid varieties is small.
Output price of local varieties relative to that of modern
varieties does not seem to be an important factor
affecting farmers' adoption of hybrid maize.










During the survey, upland farmers were asked to rank
characteristics of maize varieties by importance (Table
15), and all respondents considered high yield to be
the most important. Other important characteristics
include early maturity, insect resistance, firm (hard)
stalks, and large ears. Early maturity is a particularly
important factor for farmers in the northern upland
agro-ecology for avoiding drought at the end of the
crop season. Firm stalks are important for areas with
relatively strong wind such as in the northern upland
and the central highland-central coast upland agro-
ecologies. Large ears are considered by farmers to be
an indicator of high yield and therefore valued, and
drought resistance is a characteristic considered to be
important as well. On the other hand, grain color and
eating quality are not deemed to be very important
characteristics because most farmers cultivate maize to
sell for animal feed.



3.2.5 Land preparation and crop
management practices

Land preparation practices for upland maize cultivation
vary greatly depending on rainfall patterns and soil
conditions. Land preparation is intensive in commercial
maize-producing villages in the northern and the
central highland-central coast upland agro-ecologies,
that are accessible by road, have flat or medium
sloping topography, and soil that can support
mechanized preparation. In most other upland areas,
however, land preparation is done primarily by hand
with some animal power, and is the only option for
farmers in upland villages with unfavorable field
conditions such as high sloping or rocky land. In some



Table 15. Desirable varietal characteristics for different
maize production systems, Vietnam, 2001 (% of farmers in
favor).
Central Coast- Southeastern-
Northern Central Highlands Mekong River
Characteristic Upland Upland Delta Upland
High yield 100 100 100
Drought resistant 65 68 58
Ability to grow on less fertile
soil and still give some yield
with low inputs 45 40 25
Short-duration / early maturing 75 65 70
Insect resistant 70 60 65
Disease resistant 35 40 42
Good grain color 14 6 15
Good eating quality, sticky 35 20 12
Firm (hard) stem 70 80 60
More number of ears per plant 65 60 63
Large corn cob 75 70 62
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.


remote areas of the central highland-central coast
upland agro-ecology like in Ating village (Quang Nam
province) and Kado village (Lam Dong province),
shifting cultivation is still practiced by ethnic peoples,
and land preparation begins with slashing and burning
forest, bush or grassland before the onset of the
monsoon rains, and is continued with hand tools. In
contrast to upland agro-ecologies, land preparation in
the lowland agro-ecologies is done with either animal
or machine power.

Maize seeds are most commonly sown in the plow
marks or in holes and covered with soil. The first maize
crop is planted at the beginning of the rainy season in
the rainfed ecologies, and the time of the year depends
entirely on the advent of the first rains. In areas with
two succeeding crops, early planting assures more
available water for the second crop, but also puts it at
more risk of early drought or unstable rainfall at the
beginning of the rainy season. Crops planted late may
suffer yield loss from pests among other constraints. In
the upland rainfed villages with steep sloping fields,
farmers sow maize seed in small holes made with a
stick or small hoe. Alternatively, maize is also grown as
transplanted seedlings under irrigated systems, in the
northern upland, northern lowland, and the central
highland-central coast lowland agro-ecologies.

Weeding in maize fields is done manually two or three
times per season, and is consistent across all surveyed
villages. All weeding is done by hand, and no herbicide
was applied anywhere. The first weeding is done 15-20
days after maize seed germination, the second after 25-
30 days and the third after 45-50 days. Fertilizer
application is usually done first before sowing the seed,
and then during weeding.

Irrigation is not common in the upland maize growing
areas, as most maize is rainfed, and any available
irrigation is applied to maize growing near home
gardens. On the other hand, maize grown under
irrigated conditions in the lowland and northern upland
agro-ecologies was irrigated several times (up to 30
times) per crop season.

With the adoption of hybrid maize, farmers reported an
increase in pesticide use to combat major maize pests
and diseases-stem borer, maize ear borer, maize bug,
grasshopper, field rats, blight, and root and stalk rot.
However, pesticide use by many farmers was inefficient
since the level of insect and disease infestation was
reported to be low to medium. Farmers growing maize
commercially commonly use chemical pesticides, but
subsistence farmers report not using them for local/
traditional maize, nor for hybrid maize varieties.
Integrated pest management (IPM) was not reported at
all in most of the surveyed villages.










The shift from OPVs and local/traditional varieties to
hybrids brought changes to crop management
practices for maize farmers, as:

* Much higher fertilizer use was reported;

* The adoption of mechanical land preparation became
more location-specific; and

* Labor-saving post-harvest technology such as the use
of shelling machines became widely adopted,
particularly among large maize farmers.

In contrast, the adoption of modern maize varieties did
not alter crop establishment, irrigation and harvesting
methods nor increase the amount of family or hired
labor for pre-harvesting activities.



3.2.6 Labor and material input use

The amount of seed used by maize farmers did not
differ much across ecologies, ranging from 17 kg/ha in
the southeast-Mekong Delta upland areas to 24 kg/ha
in the northern upland areas. Farmers in the northern
lowland agro-ecology used the most seed at 27 kg/ha.
However, the amount of chemical fertilizer used varied
widely across agro-ecologies, with the highest level of
810 kg/ha reported in the northern lowland agro-
ecology and the least of 242 kg/ha reported in the
central highlands-central coast upland agro-ecology
(Table 16). In all surveyed villages, farmers applied
more fertilizer to hybrid maize than to OPV or local
varieties, and more fertilizer to maize grown on flat
lands than on the marginal sloping or hilly lands. In
most upland villages surveyed, the amount of chemical
fertilizer used for local maize varieties was reported to
be very low, and ethnic minority farmers in remote
upland villages such as in Ating village (Quang Nam
province) do not use chemical fertilizers at all.


The average amount of each type of chemical fertilizer
used by farmers (urea, NPK, phosphorus, potassium,
ammonium sulfate) varied widely across agro-
ecologies. This variation is partly explained by
differences in specific soil conditions, but also reflects
the different levels of farmers' understanding of the
basic nutrient requirements of the maize plant. A
relatively high level of nitrogen fertilizer use was
recorded in both upland and lowland agro-ecologies of
the north and the southeast-Mekong Delta regions, but
tremendous quantity variation was reported among
farmers from the same village. This indicates that
improving farmers' technical knowledge, particularly on
timing, type and quantity of fertilizer application, is
essential to increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use and
the overall yield performance of maize in the country.

In general, the use of organic fertilizer is more common
among farmers in the lowland than among those in the
upland agro-ecologies. While maize farmers in most
villages in the northern upland and lowland agro-
ecologies applied 4.7-8.1 t/ha of manure, no organic
fertilizer was used for maize cultivation in all villages in
the upland agro-ecologies of the central highlands-
central coast and the southeast-Mekong Delta (Table
16). In the latter regions, farmers tend to use organic
fertilizers only on high value crops like rice, vegetables,
coffee or black pepper. The use of organic fertilizers
also requires high labor input and high transportation
costs, while chemical/inorganic fertilizers are readily
available in the market and easier to transport and
apply.

On average, maize production in Vietnam used a total
of 170-243 person-days/ha with little difference
between commercial and semi-commercial maize
production. The use of male and female labor is also
relatively equal, as male and female laborers participate
in almost all production activities in most villages. Land
preparation, fertilizer and pesticides application, and


Table 16. Average level of input use in maize cultivation in surveyed villages, Vietnam, 2001.
Chemical fertilizer Labor
Seed Total Urea NPK DAP Phosphorus Potassium Ammonium Manure Pesticides (person-
Agro-ecology (kg/ha) (kg/ha) (kg/ha) (kg/ha) (kg/ha) (kg/ha) (kg/ha) sulfate (kg/ha) (kg/ha) (kg/ha) days/ha)
Northern Upland 24 604 216 177 0 155 57 0 4750 25 181
Northern Lowland 27 810 270 0 0 405 135 0 8100 270 243
Central Highland-Central
Coast Upland 22 242 66 86 0 31 46 13 0 1 188
Central Highland-Central
Coast Lowland 21 516 74 260 70 90 22 0 2000 62 195
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Upland 17 725 250 150 0 207 100 18 0 4 170
Southeast-Mekong
Delta Lowland 18 714 214 143 0 179 178 0 893 14 178
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.










transportation of inputs and produce tend to be done
by the men, while more female labor is used for
weeding, sowing, shelling and drying maize grain.



3.2.7 Yields and yield gap

All the villages surveyed reported that hybrid maize
varieties give a much higher yield than do traditional
and OPV varieties. On average, local/traditional
varieties yielded low ranging from 1.2 t/ha in the
southeast-Mekong Delta upland to 2.5 t/ha in the
southeast-Mekong Delta lowland (under irrigated
conditions in Phu Tam village, Soc Trang province). The
average yield of OPVs was higher in the same agro-
ecologies at 1.5-3.5 t /ha. As expected, hybrids yielded
the highest at about 3.5-5.0 t/ha, with the highest
average yield recorded in the central highlands-central
coast lowland (Table 17). Some surveyed villages in the
central highlands-central coast upland such as Nhan
Hoa village (Gia Lai province) and Pache village (Thanh
Hoa province) recorded very high average maize yields
of 6.0 t/ha and 7.5 t /ha, respectively.

Yield varied widely among farmers in each village,
particularly for hybrid varieties, as well as between
surveyed villages, and across maize production agro-
ecologies. For hybrid maize varieties, yields are
frequently lower than the potential yield levels, making
it important to understand why many farmers are
unable to achieve the full potential of the new maize
technology. The identification of the reasons for the gap
between yield and the yield potential in the farmer's
environment, and the yield gaps between poor-practice
and best-practice farmers, would provide valuable
information to researchers on the efficacy of their
technologies under farm conditions.

During the RRA survey, farmers were asked to describe
what they felt were the causes of the clear yield
differences among them. They broke the causes down
into two categories-those relating to environmental


conditions not under farmers' control, and those under
farmers' control, as defined by his ability and
willingness to achieve the yield potential on his farm.
According to farmers, a part of the yield gap could be
explained by different factors in maize cultivating
environments, such as soil fertility, topography, rainfall,
irrigation/drainage conditions, and weed, insect and
disease constraints. The differences in maize yield were
also attributed to differences in fertilizer/pesticide
application, planting time, seed quality, crop
management practices, and farmer knowledge of
cultivation techniques. Interestingly, no farmer reported
that lack of fertilizer available in the local market was
limiting maize production.



3.2.8 Post-harvest practices

In all villages in the survey, maize is harvested by hand.
After harvesting, farmers either transport the produce
to the farmhouse, or they shell the maize immediately
in the field. Maize is shelled either by hand or by hired
shelling machine. Maize is commonly shelled by hand
across the northern provinces. In the southern
provinces, the recent introduction of maize shelling
machines to commercial maize areas has made
mechanical shelling popular. It enables farmers to sell
their maize right after harvesting, as well as reduce
shelling labor costs. Mechanized shelling is also popular
in the commercial maize areas of the southeast and
central highland regions, especially when the crop is
harvested in unfavorable weather. Farmers growing
local/traditional or improved OPVs for local
consumption usually sell fresh maize on the field or
directly after harvesting. After shelling on the field,
maize grain is sold to traders who transport maize to
drying facilities and sell it to feed companies, or farmers
transport the produce to their house and sell it after
sun-drying. In most villages in the survey, maize is sun-
dried, and no farmer reported having access to drying
facilities.


Table 17. Maize yield by variety (kg/ha), Vietnam, 2001.
Local maize Improved OPV Hybrid
Agro-ecology Max. Min. Avg. Max. Min. Avg. Max. Min. Avg.
Northern Upland 5000 1000 2300 4000 1800 2500 10000 2000 4760
Northern Lowland 5200 2700 3750
Central Highland-Central Coast Upland 3000 500 1454 4000 900 2100 9000 1200 3460
Central Highland-Central Coast Lowland 3000 900 1700 4000 1000 2900 8500 2500 5000
Southeast-Mekong Delta Upland 2500 800 1233 2500 1000 1500 8000 2000 4250
Southeast-Mekong Delta Lowland 3500 1200 2500 2000 5000 3500
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.
Note: Max= Maximum, Min= Minimum, Avg= Average.











Most farmer-respondents did not store their maize to
wait for higher grain prices, as they cannot afford the
potential storage losses. In commercial maize
production areas, maize grain can be stored from a few
weeks to three months, whereas maize for home
consumption might be stored for up to six months. The
extent of storage loss varied among farmers depending
on how farmers dried their maize, the quality of their
storage facility, and the duration of storage. Farmers
who stored maize for longer than six months reportedly
lost as high as 90% to rats and weevils. On the other
hand, only 2-10% loss was reported by farmers who
stored their grain for short periods (Table 18).


Farmers harvesting grain from local/traditional varieties
and OPVs reported selecting large and good-looking
ears to store as seed for the next season. The ears
were sun-dried, bunched and stored inside the house
in plastic bags or wooden boxes, and no chemicals
were applied to protect them in storage. Ethnic
minority people hang harvested maize ears selected
for seed in their kitchens to store for the next season,
protecting the ears from pest attack.


Table 18. Losses due to major diseases and pests in maize fields and in storage (% of total production), Vietnam, 2001.
Agro-ecology
Northern Northern Central Highland- Central Highland- Southeast-Mekong Southeast-Mekong
Maize pests Upland Lowland Central Coast Upland Central Coast Lowland Delta Upland Delta Lowland
Field pests
Stem borer 4.1 2 2.7 3.7 3 2
Maize ear borer 0 0 2.5 2.3 1 2
Cutworm 2 0 0 0 0 0
Maize bug 0.7 5 0.2 0.7 0 0
Field mice 4.2 0 2.9 1 0 0
Blight 1.2 3 1.9 1.2 1 1
Grasshopper 0 0 0 0 3 0
Stalk rot 0 0 0.1 0 2 0
Other pests 0 0 0.7 0.5 0 0
Total 12.2 10 11 9.4 10 5
Storage pests
Weevils 5.2 2 8 3 3 2
Rodents 2.7 0 2 1 2 0
Total 7.9 2 10 4 5 2
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam RRA/PRA Surveys, 2001.











4. Maize Production Constraints


There is a strong incentive for farmers to intensify their
maize production given the increasing demand for
maize from the expanding livestock and poultry
industry in Vietnam, coupled with the introduction of
high-yielding hybrid maize varieties. Indeed, most of
the surveyed villages showed an increase in land
planted to maize over the last five years. However, in
some semi-commercial maize-growing upland areas
such as Kado village of Lam Dong province and Ating
village of Quang Nam province, the area planted to
maize declined due to restrictions on shifting
cultivation. In the southeast-Mekong Delta upland and
the central highlands-central coast upland areas, some
maize farmers have shifted to more profitable crops
such as coffee and black pepper. Others, however,
shifted from annual crops such as beans or groundnut
to maize, particularly when hybrid maize varieties were
introduced to these areas. The adoption of hybrid maize
varieties increased yields in all agro-ecological regions,
although yield variations exist across agro-ecologies
and among farmers in the same area. The actual yield
obtained by many maize farmers is also still below the
potential yield of modern maize varieties.

During the RRA/PRA village surveys, farmers were
asked to identify factors that affect maize productivity
in their respective areas and to rank them according to
importance. The same exercise was conducted with
local key informants, extension officers, and
government officers at the village, district and
provincial levels. The responses of both sets of
respondents were later grouped into abiotic, biotic,
institutional, and other constraints, as discussed in the
following sections.


4.1 Biotic and Abiotic
Constraints

Abiotic constraints to increasing maize productivity
vary across agro-ecological zones. In the northern
upland agro-ecology, the second maize crop is usually
affected by drought at the end of the rainy season
when rains stop early. In the mountainous and midland
areas of this upland agro-ecology, there is a high risk
of soil erosion due to steep sloping topography. Other
problems include poor soil fertility and irregular rainfall.

Major abiotic constraints for maize production in the
southeast-Mekong Delta upland and the central
highlands-central coast upland include water shortage
and seasonal drought, medium-to-high risk of soil
erosion, unstable rainfall patterns, seasonal flooding in
some areas, and a medium-to-high risk of soil fertility
depletion. The northern part of the central highlands-
central coast upland and lowland agro-ecologies is also
affected by hot, dry western winds. In many upland
villages, farmers reported a trend of declining maize
productivity and also observed that the yield gain
brought by the introduction of hybrid maize in the
early 1990s has been in decline ever since. This decline
in hybrid maize yield was reportedly due to the
depletion of soil fertility and exhaustion of soil
resources, particularly in sloping field conditions.

Flooding is a major problem reported in all lowland
agro-ecologies, especially in the Red River and
Mekong Deltas as well as in the plains of the central
coast. Storms and typhoons affect the northern
lowland, the central highland-central coast lowland
agro-ecologies, and some areas in the north of the
central highlands-central coast upland.










Farmers also reported an upward trend in insect and
disease infestation particularly stem borer and blight,
although current losses from these pests averaged fairly
low at 15% of yield (Table 18). Some farmers reported
using more pesticides with the adoption of hybrid
maize varieties, yet yield loss due to pests and disease
might reach more than 30% of the expected yield level.



4.2 Institutional Constraints

Although services are available in all rural areas, the
national agricultural extension system is still highly
centralized and does not meet the real demand of local
farmers. Only a few local extension workers are
available to provide service to a limited number of
farmers. In the upland areas, poor transportation and
difficult working conditions combined with low salaries
lead to ineffective service and lack of motivation of
government extension workers. In terms of credit,
insecure land tenure, particularly in more remote
mountainous areas, makes it difficult for farmers to
access formal credit sources. It also does not provide
farmers enough incentive for investing in soil erosion
control and maintaining and improving soil fertility.



4.3 Information Constraints

In general, maize farmers in commercial maize-
producing areas have better access to information than
do farmers in semi-commercial upland areas. Farmers
learn about new maize varieties through a myriad of
sources:

* Extension services;

* Government marketing and distribution networks at
the provincial, district, and (sometimes) village levels;

* Farmers' associations and extension clubs;

* Local agricultural officers;

* Fellow farmers;

* Private company marketing ventures;

* Local agricultural input wholesalers and retailers;

* Radio and television, and


For information on maize cultivation techniques, most
farmers appear to rely on their interpersonal network of
co-farmers, friends, and relatives. Recognizing the
ability of farmer networks to effect information
exchange could improve the efficiency of maize
technology dissemination.

The extension service system is also an important
source of information, even though there are too few
extension agents to meet the needs of farmers. In many
areas, extension services focus more on the introduction
of high-return modem farm technologies that benefit
richer farmers than they focus on small, resource-poor
farmers.

Other common sources of information on input use and
pest management are radio, TV, and local traders. Few
farmers listed interest groups or associations or clubs as
valuable information sources; however, farmer
cooperatives were named as important sources of
information on agricultural production and maize
cultivation techniques in many villages in the northern
provinces and in the southern central coast.

Although commercial farmers have better access to
information than do the rest of Vietnam's maize
farmers, they still report that the lack of technical
knowledge in maize production was a major limiting
factor to improving maize cultivation. They particularly
cited the need for more information on optimal levels of
fertilizer application; management of nutritional
deficiencies; nature of insect and disease populations;
types of pesticides to use and methods of application;
optimal spacing for specific soil conditions, and best
maize variety to use.

An even greater information gap exists for maize
farmers in the sloping and mountainous regions, and
especially for those in remote villages. They report a
need for specific information and extension services to
help out with cultivation techniques of modern maize
seed technology and sustainable maize production in
their fragile upland environments.


* Demonstration trials.










4.4 Input Supply Constraints

Most inputs in maize production in Vietnam are
supplied to farmers through private trade systems. In
commercial maize areas, the private trade system for
inputs and farm outputs is relatively efficient, and
inputs are readily available in villages except in areas
having poor road access. In remote mountainous areas
in the northern upland and the central highlands-central
coast upland agro-ecologies, poor road conditions can
increase the cost and limit the availability of inputs like
fertilizers, which in turn discourages the application of
the recommended quantities. Lack of cash, lack of
access to formal credit sources, and high interest rates
on loans from informal sources have forced many poor
farmers to apply too little fertilizer on hybrid maize
varieties resulting in low yield.

Shortage of hired labor as a constraint in maize
production was also mentioned by farmers in some
villages with large commercial maize areas, particularly
those located near Ho Chi Minh City and in the central
highland-central coast upland agro-ecology. In these
areas, hired labor is more often used for higher value
crops like coffee than on maize.


4.5 Other Constraints


Other factors affecting maize productivity growth
include:

* Lack of market infrastructure;

* Lack of post-harvest storage and drying facilities;

* Lack of price information and fluctuating input and
output prices;

* High input price, particularly chemical fertilizer and
hybrid seed;

* Low farm income and lack of capital for farm
investment;

* Unreliable quality of maize seed sold by local private
traders;

* Lack of short-duration and drought tolerant varieties;

* Undeveloped infrastructure, and

* High production costs and tight crop calendar in the
northern lowland agro-ecology.











5. Priority Constraints for Maize Research

and Development


5.1 Methodology for Identifying
Priority Constraints

The constraints to increasing maize production in
Vietnam were identified by farmers during the RRA and
PRA fieldwork, and their perspectives provide
important input into the country's research and
development planning and policy-making process.
However, 75 constraints to maize production across all
agro-ecologies in Vietnam were identified through this
survey, and it is obvious that not all of these constraints
can be adequately addressed with the limited resources
available. In order to help the maize sector better target
its research and development efforts, it was necessary
to prioritize these constraints.

The National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop in
Vietnam was conducted at the Victory Hotel, Ho Chi
Minh City, on January 14-16, 2002. Participants
included senior maize research scientists from
agricultural research institutions and universities,
CIMMYT scientists, representatives from provincial
extension centers, and district Peoples' Committee
members. The first day of the workshop was devoted to
the discussion of major constraints to maize production,
and to setting priorities for maize research and
development work in Vietnam. The second day was
spent identifying available and potential research and
technology suppliers who could provide the means to
alleviate maize production constraints.

The workshop provided good opportunities for linking
farmer and researcher perspectives in the maize sector
of the country. Constraints identified by the farmers
during the RRA/PRA were the starting point of the
national prioritization workshop. During the workshop,
major characteristics of maize production systems and
constraints that had been identified from RRA/PRA field
surveys were presented and further validated by
workshop participants. CIMMYT scientists then
introduced a methodology to use in identifying priority
constraints.


For the priority setting work, participants were divided
into two working groups-one group working on the
northern areas, and the second group on the central
coast-central highland and the southeast-Mekong Delta
areas. The groups discussed the constraints and ranked
each one based on its relative importance to maize
production. Participants also estimated possible yield
gain if each constraint could be alleviated, and
estimated the probability of finding a solution to this
specific constraint (Annex 1). Outputs from group
discussions were presented in the panel session for
further discussion and validation.

Public investment in agriculture in Vietnam aims to
achieve a high return per unit investment in research
and development, and to alleviate poverty. The process
of identifying and assigning priorities to specific
constraints in maize production was geared toward
these two major objectives through the use of three
criteria-efficiency, poverty, and marginality. Based on
the results from group discussions, the efficiency,
poverty, and marginality indices were computed for
each of the constraints.

The efficiency index is used as a criterion for ranking
constraints based upon the expected return to research
and development efforts, i.e. highest expected
production gain due to alleviation of the constraint. The
efficiency index of a specific constraint was estimated to
be a product of:

* The importance of the constraint (rank multiplier);

* Yield gain associated with constraint alleviation, and
total production of maize in specific agro-ecologies;

* Probability of finding a solution to the constraint, and

* Adoption history (I, i., i l.z-' of farmers who
adopted the new technology in the past).











In this study, the total maize production of each agro-
ecology was computed based on the national statistical
data for 2000.

The poverty index was used as a prioritization tool that
redirects research and development efforts in the maize
sector to areas with the highest rural poverty. The
poverty index was derived as a product of the
efficiency index and proportion of rural households
living below the poverty line in each agro-ecology. The
proportion of rural poverty in each agro-ecology was
computed based on the national statistical data. As
there were no detailed data on rural poverty available
for the year 2000, statistical data on rural poverty for
1999 were used in this study.

Another index for priority setting is the subsistence
index used to target R&D investments in areas with a
high proportion of subsistence farmers. This index is
computed as the product of efficiency index and the
proportion of maize used as food by farm households.
However, because maize has lost its importance as food
for home consumption in many areas of Vietnam, the
proportion of maize used as food was found to be very
small in all agro-ecologies, and subsistence index was
therefore not included in the analysis.


To consider the problems of the production
environment and maize yield variability across maize
production agro-ecologies, a marginality index was also
included in the analysis. The marginality index was
computed as the inverse of the average yield of maize
in a specific agro-ecology.

The combined index was then derived as a sum of the
weighted efficiency, poverty, and marginality indices.
Based on the importance of efficiency and poverty
issues and risk factors in the production environment,
participants agreed to use a weight of 0.5, 0.3, and 0.2
for the efficiency, poverty, and marginality index,
respectively. Hence, the combined index was computed
by adding the products of 0.5 efficiency index, 0.3 *
poverty index, and 0.2 maiginality index.



5.2 Priority Constraints

The efficiency, poverty, marginality, and combined
indices were used for ranking maize production
constraints across maize production agro-ecologies in
the country. The most important 25 constraints based on
the combined index are listed in Table 19.


Table 19. Top 25 priority ranked major maize production constraints in Vietnam.
Rank based on
Region Production System Constraint Efficiency Poverty Marginality Combined
North UPSC Lack of knowledge-cultural practices 1 1 1 1
North UPSC Lack of investment capital 4 2 2 2
North UPSC Lack of suitable varieties 6 3 3 3
North UPSC Poor market access and undeveloped transport system 7 4 4 4
North UPSC Poor technology transfer system 8 5 5 5
SEMK UPC Declining soil fertility 2 30 8 6
SEMK UPC Drought 3 31 9 7
North UPSC Drought 10 6 6 8
North UPSC Undeveloped input supply system 11 7 7 9
CCH UPC Lack of info on technology 9 9 15 10
SEMK UPC Lack of info on technology 5 33 11 11
CCH UPC Inefficient use of fertilizers & pesticides 12 10 18 12
CCH UPC Declining soil fertility 14 12 19 13
CCH UPC Lack of investment capital 15 14 20 14
North LWC Tight cropping calendar 17 18 12 15
SEMK UPC Lack of capital 13 37 14 16
North LWC High production costs 18 19 13 17
SEMK UPC Uneven distribution of knowledge on maize cultivation 16 41 16 18
North UPSC Lack of post-harvest facilities 19 8 10 19
CCH UPC Drought 21 20 26 20
SEMK UPC Lack of market information 20 46 23 21
CCH UPC Lack of post-harvest facilities 22 21 27 22
North UPSC Sloping land and soil erosion 23 16 17 23
CCH LWC Lack of info on technology 24 11 21 24
CCH LWC Inefficient fertilizer use 25 13 22 25
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.
Notes: 1 is the highest priority and 25 is the lowest priority.
CCH=Central highland-central coast, SEMK= Southeast-Mekong Delta. UPSC=upland semi-commercial maize production, UPC=upland commercial,
I[C=lowland commercial.











Of these 25 top priority constraints, 16 are from
commercial maize production systems in the north,
central coast and highlands, and southeastern region-
Mekong River Delta, and nine are from semi-
commercial systems all in the northern region. In terms
of maize agro-ecology, nine constraints were identified
for the northern upland, seven for the central highlands-
central coast upland, six for the southeast-Mekong Delta
upland agro-ecology, and only four constraints for the
lowland agro-ecologies (the northern lowland and the
central highlands-central coast lowland). The priority
constraints to maize production in each agro-ecology
are discussed below.



5.2.1 Northern upland

There are nine priority constraints identified for this
agro-ecology (Table 20), with the foremost constraint to
improving maize cultivation being lack of technical
information, that is, poor technology transfer. Ethnic
minority farmers, who are semi-literate and have little
access to information, populate the remote villages in
this region. A very poor technology transfer system
characterized by few human or financial resources, few
public extension services, and bad roads limits the
amount and quality of technology transfer. Limited
experience in working with ethnic farmers and language
barriers are also problems that reduce the efficiency of
the few existing extension services.


Lack of investment capital is the second most important
constraint to maize production, particularly for the poor
ethnic minority farmers. Farmers also suffer from too
few suitable varieties, specifically high-yielding varieties
with short-duration, to fit with their upland soil,
climatic, and cropping pattern conditions. An
underdeveloped transportation system in this often
mountainous or sloping terrain limits the exchange of
inputs and farm products from and to the local market
or to other regions, and also makes it difficult and
costly. Poor market access and the underdeveloped
transportation system are therefore important
constraints to maize production in this agro-ecology.
Other priority constraints to maize production in the
northern upland agro-ecology include drought,
undeveloped input supply system, lack of post-harvest
facilities, and sloping land and soil erosion.



5.2.2 Northern lowland
Only two priority constraints to maize production were
identified for the northern lowland agro-ecology, a tight
cropping calendar and high production costs. In the
northern lowland agro-ecology, particularly in the Red
River Delta, there is a large commercial maize area
cultivated under irrigated conditions. Maize is usually
planted in the winter-spring or spring-summer crop
seasons. The winter-spring maize planted in
September-October and harvested in January is the


Table 20. Priority problems of maize production across agro-ecologies, Vietnam.
Ecology Upland Lowland
North Lack of knowledge on cultural practices Tight cropping calendar
Lack of investment capital High production costs
Lack of suitable varieties
Poor market access and underdeveloped transport system
Poor technology transfer system
Drought
Undeveloped input supply system
Lack of post-harvest facilities
Sloping land and soil erosion
Central Coast- Lack of info on technology Lack of info on technology
Central Highlands Inefficient use of fertilizers and pesticides Inefficient fertilizer use
Declining soil fertility
Lack of investment capital
Drought
Lack of post-harvest facilities
Southeast-Mekong Declining soil fertility
River Delta Drought
Lack of info on technology
Lack of capital
Uneven distribution of knowledge on maize cultivation
Lack of market information
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.










third crop after two rice crops. This very tight cropping
calendar is the most important constraint in the area, as
farmers have only a very short time between the two
consecutive crops. High production cost is the second
constraint in this agro-ecology, particularly due to high
input use such as labor and chemical fertilizer, and very
small farm size.



5.2.3 Central highland-central coast
upland
There were seven priority constraints identified for this
agro-ecology, with the foremost constraint to
improving maize cultivation being lack of technical
information, that is, poor technology transfer. Inefficient
use of fertilizers and pesticides is another important
priority constraint associated with this lack of
technology awareness. While the risk of soil erosion is
not so severe as compared to that in the northern
upland agro-ecology, declining soil fertility is another
important factor that hinders maize productivity growth
in the central highlands-central coast upland. As in the
northern upland areas, lack of investment capital,
drought, and lack of post-harvest facilities are also
priority constraints identified for this upland agro-
ecology.



5.2.4 Central highland-central coast
lowland

Lack of technical information and inefficient fertilizer use
are two priority constraints to maize production in the
central highlands-central coast lowland agro-ecology.
While farmers in this agro-ecology are also often
severely affected by storms, typhoons, and dry and hot
western winds, these problems were not considered to
be high priority constraints, as there is nothing man can
do to change the weather.


5.2.5 Southeast region-Mekong Delta
upland
Priority constraints to maize production in this agro-
ecology include declining soil fertility, drought, lack of
technology understanding, lack of capital, and lack of
market information, which are similar to those identified
in other upland agro-ecologies. Declining soil fertility
(leading to declining maize yields) and exhaustion of
soil resources, particularly under sloping field
conditions, were identified as the most important
constraints for maize production systems in this agro-
ecology. In general, there is a relatively good marketing
system in this agro-ecology, but the development of
more efficient marketing systems is considered to be a
major stimulus to maize productivity growth here. Lack
of market information is also a major constraint,
particularly for farmers in more remote areas of this
region.



5.2.6 Southeast region-Mekong Delta
lowland

No priority constraint in this agro-ecology appeared in
the top 25 priority constraints of the maize sector of the
country. This is probably due to the fact that maize
production in this agro-ecology contributes only a small
proportion to total maize production in the country.
Investment in research and development efforts to
eliminate constraints in this agro-ecology will have
negligible impact on the country as a whole.











6. Agenda for Maize Research and

Development in Vietnam


The maize R&D planning process proceeded to identify
possible solutions to the top 25 priority constraints
identified for the upland and lowland maize production
systems. At the national priority-setting workshop, the
working groups also estimated the probability of
success for each solution to alleviate a specific
constraint and the probability that farmers would adopt
the solution. The most effective alleviating technologies
or processes would have a high probability of success
and high probability of being adopted by farmers. For
each possible solution, a likelihood index was


calculated as the product of the probability of success
and the probability of adoption (Table 21). The potential
suppliers for each of the solutions were also identified
(Annex 2).

Future interventions in the maize sector should focus on
those problems addressable by research and
development, whose alleviation will bring the most
benefits to the largest number of poor people. It is clear
that the strongest intervention efforts should be
directed to the upland maize production agro-
ecologies, and specifically to the northern upland where


Table 21. Approaches ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to maize production in Vietnam.
Probability Probability Likelihood
Constraint Technology / Policy options of success of adoption ratio
UPLAND
Unsustainable cultivation Research on integrated farm resource management 0.8 0.5 0.40
practices Promote available sustainable farming systems through extension 0.75 0.5 0.38
Research on sustainable crop management 0.6 0.4 0.24
Use organic fertilizer, bio-fertilizer 0.75 0.3 0.23
Lack of investment capital Easier access to formal credit for poor farmers 0.8 0.6 0.48
Subsidies for new seed, fertilizer to encourage poor farmers to adopt new/improved
technologies, high yield variety 0.55 0.45 0.25
Encourage farmers to participate in credit groups 0.3 0.2 0.06
Lack of suitable varieties (short- Develop short-duration, high yield varieties. 0.7 0.55 0.39
duration and high yield varieties Test available short-duration varieties for adoption to local condition 0.7 0.5 0.35
fit with bio-ecological conditions Introduce available short-duration varieties, and appropriate cropping pattern to farmers 0.75 0.45 0.34
and cropping pattern)
Poor market access and More investment for rural road systems 0.8 0.6 0.48
undeveloped transportation Encourage private sector to become involved in marketing systems in areas with poor market access 0.6 0.5 0.30
system Encourage animal producers to use locally produced products 0.6 0.4 0.24
Encourage farmers to raise horses, cattle for local transportation in mountainous areas 0.7 0.3 0.21
Poor technology transfer system Reorient the focus of extension activity to the need of local farmers 0.8 0.7 0.56
Allocate more resources (budget, personnel) for extension activities, particularly in the uplands 0.8 0.5 0.40
Human resource development for extension centers 0.7 0.4 0.28
Strengthening the linkage between research and extension 0.7 0.4 0.28
Develop demonstration plots, farming models for technology transfer 0.8 0.2 0.16
Decline in soil fertility Research on integrated soil fertility management (considering biophysical and socioeconomic
conditions of resource-poor farmers) 0.8 0.45 0.36
Dissemination of available soil fertility management techniques, sustainable farming practices 0.7 0.5 0.35
Accelerate the process of providing land use right to upland farmers (to encourage them invest
in soil fertility conservation and management, soil control) 0.7 0.4 0.28
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.











Table 21. Approaches ranked by .....cont'd

Probability Probability Likelihood
Constraint Technology / Policy options of success of adoption ratio


Research on organic fertilizer use and balanced use of chemical fertilizer 0.6
Bio-fertilizer research 0.5
Research on appropriate crop rotation 0.5
Strengthening farmers' knowledge on effects of soil erosion and soil fertility loses, community education, 0.5
Research on intercropping with nitrogen fixing crops 0.4
Improving germplasm adapted to nutrient deficiencies and other edaphic stresses 0.3
Testing available early maturing high yield varieties for local conditions to avoiding drought;
cropping systems research. 0.8
Develop early maturing variety to avoid drought 0.65
Introduce available short-duration varieties that are resistant to drought; introduce available
farm-level drought management options. 0.7
Develop drought tolerant variety (high yield) 0.4
Crop management research to mitigate drought effects (land preparation, planting time, crop management) 0.6


Undeveloped input supply system



Inefficient use of fertilizer
and pesticides (uplands)








Lack of post-harvest facilities



Lack of technical information




Lack of market information

Sloping land and soil erosion






LOWLAND
Tight crop calendar


High production cost

Lack of technical information



Inefficient use of fertilizer
and pesticides


Improve irrigation system
Encourage private sector to become involved in input supply systems in mountainous, remote areas with poor
market access (such as credit policy, subsidy for state enterprises, farmers organization or cooperatives
involved in input supply system).
Develop input supply system for areas with poor market access
Research to increase efficiency of fertilizer use considering biophysical and socioeconomic
conditions in the uplands
Increase farmer training on IPM, efficient use of fertilizer, pesticides, and integrated crop management
Pesticide research
Crop management research
Research on IPM for maize
Pest resistant varieties
Through private sector, provide training and information for local input dealers; encourage them to
disseminate the information to farmers
Research to improve farm level post-harvest facilities, particularly for poor farmers
Provide incentive to encourage various stakeholders to invest in agriculture processing, post-harvesting
facilities (credit support price policy)
Research on varieties resistance to post-harvest storage pests
Improve extension services for farmers, particularly for remote upland villages (more resource
allocation, demand driven extension program, appropriate extension approach)
More technical information for farmers through mass media and other channels
Develop extension network
Community based extension, farmer extension clubs
Enhance private sector involvement in marketing, exchange of good, products


0.6 0.48
0.6 0.39


0.5
0.75
0.3
0.3


0.35


0.4 0.2 0.08
0.6 0.5 0.30

0.5 0.5 0.25
0.3 0.2 0.06


0.75
0.35
0.6
0.4
0.5


Develop government supported market information system 0.6
Testing available sustainable cultivation practices and modify for adoption to site specific sloping land conditions 0.75
More extension activities to introduce appropriate soil erosion control measures and cultivation
practices for upland farmers. 0.7
Research on sloping land intercropping system, cropping pattern, and crop rotation. 0.6
Research on soil control measures for sloping land 0.5
Research on appropriate land preparation (minimum/reduced tillage), weeding practices for sloping land. 0.5


Cropping systems research (use available short-duration varieties, appropriate cropping pattern)
Use short-duration varieties
Improve land preparation
Research to improve efficiency of input use.
Crop management research
Improve extension services for farmers.
More technical information for farmers through mass media and other channels.
Develop extension network
Community based extension, farmers extension clubs
Research to increase efficiency of fertilizer use
Increase farmer training on IPM, efficient use of fertilizer, pesticides, and integrated crop management
Pesticide research
Crop management research
Research on IPM for maize
Pest resistant varieties
Through private sector, provide training and information for local input dealers; encourage them to
disseminate the information to farmers


0.6 0.45
0.35 0.12
0.2 0.12
0.3 0.12
0.6 0.30
0.3 0.18
0.5 0.38


0.7 0.4
0.5 0.3
0.4 0.2
0.7 0.5
0.5 0.3
0.75 0.55
0.7 0.3
0.65 0.3
0.4 0.25
0.75 0.6
0.75 0.5
0.6 0.45
0.7 0.3
0.4 0.4
0.3 0.35


0.3 0.3 0.09


Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.


Drought










there is the largest maize area and a large number of
rural poor. A modest effort should be directed to
alleviating maize production constraints in the lowland
areas, concentrating on the northern lowland and the
central highlands-central coast lowland agro-ecologies.

Interventions in the maize sector need also consider the
specific climatic, biophysical, and socioeconomic
conditions of different maize production systems in the
country. These interventions could be grouped into
technology research and development (on varieties,
cropping systems, soil erosion and soil fertility issues,
pest control), technology dissemination, input supply
and marketing, and policy development. Most
constraints to maize production in Vietnam can best be
addressed by a combination of all these.



6.1 Research and Technology
Development

Public sector efforts in maize research should address
the following constraints to maize production:

* Unsustainable cultivation practices;

* Lack of varieties suitable to specific bio-ecological
conditions and farmer-preferred cropping patterns;

* Declining soil fertility;

* Inefficient use of fertilizer and pesticides;

* Soil erosion, and

* Drought.



To effectively alleviate these constraints, both variety
development and crop management research need to
be implemented in an integrated approach. There is a
need for location-specific maize technologies, especially
for marginal upland maize production systems and
resource-poor farmers. High levels of public sector
investment in varietal research and development will
help address variety-related maize production
constraints in Vietnam. The breeding of short-duration/
high-yielding varieties that will resist drought and fit
into the tight cropping calendar will aid upland and
lowland farmers. Long-term research to develop
improved pest resistant germplasm that is adapted to
nutrient deficiencies and other stresses is also a priority.
Varietal development for resistance to post-harvest
storage pests is, however, not very important.


On the other hand, integrated farm resource and crop
management research for upland agro-ecologies can
focus on making yield levels sustainable, and on
reducing the negative environmental consequences of
intensification. Cropping systems research that helps
generate productivity-enhancing, resource-conserving
maize cultivation practices for the marginal upland areas
is expected to have high benefits, both short- and long-
term. It can for one focus on testing available maize
technologies for adoption to specific local conditions.
This, together with the development of short-duration
varieties, will effectively address the need for suitable
varieties that fit the bio-ecological and socioeconomic
patterns of the uplands.

The problem of inefficient use of fertilizer is usually due
to farmers' lack of technical knowledge as to how and
when to apply it. This study discovered, however, that
recommendations on the amount and type of fertilizer to
use are often made without fully considering the specific
local soil and climatic conditions, which can lead to
unnecessary expense for the farmers. Increasing the
efficiency of fertilizer use would substantially reduce
production costs, improve farm income and market
competitiveness in the maize sector. Crop management
research can therefore provide farmers with correct and
appropriate fertilizer application information for different
maize production systems. More research is also
needed to address the problem of declining soil fertility,
possibly through intercropping with nitrogen-fixing
crops, the use of organic fertilizers, chemical fertilizers
and bio-fertilizers, and adoption of appropriate cropping
patterns or crop rotations.

Another important issue in upland maize production
systems is how to reduce soil erosion and maintain/
improve soil fertility. Cropping systems research can
focus on the development and dissemination of
integrated soil fertility management technologies
appropriate for the biophysical and socioeconomic
conditions in these environments. Other research areas
directed at this problem include intercropping, cropping
patterns, and crop rotations, as well as appropriate land
preparation (minimum/reduced tillage) and weeding
technologies. The expected positive impacts from soil
fertility and soil erosion control research can only be
obtained through a long-term commitment to research
and extension activities.

Farmers report that losses due to pests are currently not
very high. Increasing intensification in most maize
production areas could, however, increase pest
incidence, which would in turn increase the amount of
pest-related production loss. Inefficient use of pesticides
was identified as a constraint to maize productivity
growth; hence research on integrated pest management
(IPM) is needed to provide farmers with new
technologies for controlling pests.










Drought is a common problem in most upland areas,
and its alleviation requires more testing of available
early maturing varieties for adaptation to local
conditions, as well as research on related crop
management issues. Transplanting maize in the
northern lowland agro-ecology is extremely labor
intensive. Management practices that ease labor
requirements for transplanting and weeding should be
developed. Efforts also need to be directed to the
development and management of high quality protein
maize to increase the value of farm output.



6.2 Technology Dissemination

Most maize-producing areas in Vietnam are widely
planted to high-yielding maize varieties, yet many
farmers, particularly poor farmers, still have little
technological knowledge or only limited access to
available improved technologies like efficient crop
management practices, soil fertility management
techniques, and soil erosion control measures. The
improvement of the national extension service system
will be critical for improving maize productivity and
efficiency by providing sufficient technical information
to farmers through training and education.

Agricultural extension services must be redirected to
meet the real needs of local farmers, for which a greater
investment in personnel and human resource
development will be essential. Farmers can become
better resource managers if local extension staff are
better trained and informed as to the farmers' specific
needs and worries, are more responsive, available, and
more service-oriented, and are more appropriately
rewarded for their services. The promotion of a
participatory approach in extension services is crucial
for improving the efficiency of local extension services.

Providing farmers with technical information through
mass media and the extension network (including the
community base and farmer organizations) is a parallel
complementary approach to the formal extension
service system of the government. The linkages
between research and extension should also be
strengthened through a closer collaboration among
stakeholders such as research institutions, universities,
extension systems, and farmer communities.

Understandably, there is a large and diverse demand
for extension services across agro-ecologies and
locations, but the priority for extension services related
to maize production will be to focus on the constraints
identified in this study. The extension system ought to
provide a wide range of technical information and
services covering topics such as sustainable farming


systems and resource management practices, available
varieties that fit local biophysical and socioeconomic
conditions, soil fertility management and soil erosion
control techniques, farm-level drought management
options, efficient use of fertilizer and pesticides, and
integrated crop management.



6.3 Input Supply and Output
Marketing

In recent years, increasing feed maize demand in
Vietnam has led to increasing commercialization of
maize production in the upland agro-ecologies, for
which more inputs are purchased and a larger share of
farm outputs is marketed. Better marketing
infrastructures in the upland areas will support the
expected increases in marketable production.
Transportation is an essential link in marketing farm
produce, and more investment in rural infrastructures in
the uplands will be essential. These will also help the
poorest of the poor have access to markets, and can
encourage the private sector to become more involved
in input and output marketing.

It is also important to support farmers with a timely,
accurate flow of market price information to help them
make the best decisions in the production and
marketing of farm produce. Lack of knowledge and
information about the market places many small
farmers in remote areas at a disadvantage. The lack of
market information could be addressed by the
development of a government-supported market
information system, and by enhancing the marketing
and exchange of farm products.



6.4 The Role of Public and
Private Sectors

The public sector, including the national agriculture
research centers, universities, provincial departments of
agriculture and rural development, and extension
centers, have long experience in doing research and
development activities with OPVs and, in recent years,
with hybrid maize varieties. The private sector was
allowed to enter the maize industry only in 1990/91 but
has since become more active in hybrid maize research,
development, and dissemination. In effectively
alleviating maize production constraints and realizing
the recommendations, it is important to identify the
possible roles of the public and private sectors and
areas where they could work together to maximize
benefits to society.










To alleviate constraints in the maize sector, human
resource development in general and farmers' training
and education in particular are also critical. Over the last
decades, the public sector in Vietnam, through its
extension system and university education, significantly
contributed to human resource development for the
maize sector. The public sector will continue to play a
major role in this direction.

Constraint prioritization results imply that future
interventions in the maize sector will need to focus on
upland maize production agro-ecologies. Many of these
upland agro-ecologies, however, have poor market
access, making the profit from investment in research
and development less attractive to the private sector.
For this reason, the public sector will continue to be the
more important supplier of research products and
technology for farmers in these areas, particularly poor
farmers. Public sector efforts in variety development
will need to focus more on maize production
constraints that the private sector does not address.
Major efforts of the public sector in maize research,
particularly in crop management research, should
address priority constraints such as unsustainable
cultivation practices, lack of varieties suitable to specific
bio-ecological conditions and farmer-preferred
cropping patterns, declining soil fertility, inefficient use
of fertilizer and pesticides, soil erosion, and drought.

It is expected that the private sector will be more active
in high-potential commercial maize production areas.
There is, however, also a need for public sector support
to encourage the private sector to be more active in
subsistence and semi-commercial maize production
areas, particularly in input supply and output marketing,
towards the sustainable commercialization of maize
production in these areas.

Increasing public and private sector collaboration is
particularly important in addressing/alleviating maize
production constraints. The public sector would benefit
from access to maize technologies developed by the
private sector, while the private sector would benefit
from the public extension system for disseminating
new, improved maize technologies to farmers. Public
and private sector collaboration and coordination would
help lessen the duplication of R&D efforts, accelerate
the delivery of new technologies to maize farmers, and
promote the spillover of research results from favorable
to less favorable maize production areas. Maize farmers
would also benefit from activities of NGOs and mass
organization in extension, credit, and community-based
resource management activities.


Overall, for effectively alleviating and/or eliminating
priority production constraints in the maize sector, there
is a real need for an interdisciplinary, integrated and
participatory research and development approach that
will involve scientists from various disciplines,
extension workers, the private sector, NGOs, as well as
the farming community.



6.5 Institutional Policies

As a large number of small farmers still face the
problem of lack of capital, policies should continue to
help poor farmers access formal credit. Short-term seed
and fertilizer subsidies should be made available to
poor farmers, which will encourage them to adopt
new/improved maize technologies to help increase
their productivity and farm income. Credit policy should
also focus on providing sufficient incentives to
encourage various stakeholders (private sector, state
enterprises, farmer organizations and cooperatives) to
invest in agricultural processing operations like post-
harvesting facilities and to become more involved in
input and output marketing especially in mountainous
and remote areas with poor market access.

There is also an urgent need to grant land use rights
especially to upland farmers to encourage them to
invest in soil fertility conservation and management
techniques, as well as in other sustainable agricultural
production technologies. More investment in
infrastructure development, particularly the upgrading
and development of rural road systems in the uplands,
is also needed.

Last but not least, more resources (budget, personnel)
for extension activities should be allocated particularly
to address the problem of a poor technology transfer
system in the uplands. There is a need for a more
effective and coordinated linkage between research
and extension services, both at the national and local
levels, in order to reduce unnecessary competition and
duplication of efforts and to improve the cost
effectiveness of research and extension activities. Public
funding to research and extension should to be linked
to their performance.












7. References


General Statistical Office. 2000. Statistical Data of Vietnam
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 1975-2000. Statistical
Publishing House, Hanoi.
2000. Statistical data of Vietnam's Socio
Economy 1975-2000. Statistical Publishing House, Hanoi.
2001. Statistical Yearbook, 2001.
2002. Population and socioeconomic
statistics data 1975-2001. Statistical publishing House, Hanoi.


Gerpacio, R.V (ed.). 2001. Impact of Public and Private-Sector
Maize Breeding Research in Asia, 1966-1998 Mexico, D. E:
CIMMYI
Tran Hong Uy. 1988. Maize development in Vietnam. In
Proceedings of the Planning Workshop for Maize Research and
Development Project, FAO/UNDP/VIE/80/004. March 29-31,
1988. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.












8. Annexes


Annex 1. Prioritization of maize production constraints in Vietnam.

Yield gain associated Probability of success
Production Scientist ranking with constraint in finding solution
Region system Production constraint of constraint alleviation (%) to the constraint (%)


North LWC High production costs
North LWC Tight cropping calendar
North LWC Rat damage
North LWC No available land
North LWC Lack of suitable winter-crop varieties
North LWC Undeveloped irrigation system
North LWC Lack of technology to plant maize on wet soil
North LWC Typhoons and floods
North UPSC Sloping land and soil erosion
North UPSC Lack of knowledge on cultural practices
North UPSC Lack of investment capital
North UPSC Poor market access and undeveloped transport system
North UPSC Lack of suitable varieties
North UPSC Drought
North UPSC Lack of post-harvest facilities
North UPSC Poor technology transfer system
North UPSC Undeveloped input supply system
North UPSC Lack of knowledge on pest management
North UPSC Rat damage
CCH LWC Floods
CCH LWC Typhoons
CCH LWC Western wind
CCH LWC Lack of info on technology
CCH LWC Inefficient fertilizer use
CCH LWC Lack of knowledge on intensive cropping
CCH LWC Lack of investment capital
CCH LWC Lack of short-duration varieties
CCH LWC Lack of post-harvest facilities
CCH LWC Stem borers
CCH LWC Ear borer
CCH LWC Insects
CCH LWC Rats
CCH LWC Blight
CCH LWC Lack of draft power
CCH UPC Drought
CCH UPC Typhoons
CCH UPC Western winds (dry high temp winds)
CCH UPC Lack of info on technology
CCH UPC Inefficient use of fertilizers & pesticides


1 12.5 0.60


Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.
Notes: 1 is the highest priority and 25 is the lowest priority..
CCH=Central highland-central coast, SEMK= Southeast-Mekong Delta. UPSC=upland semi-commercial maize production, UPC=upland commercial, LWC=lowland commercial.











Annex 1. Prioritization of .....cont'd

Yield gain associated Probability of success
Production Scientist ranking with constraint in finding solution
Region system Production constraint of constraint alleviation (%) to the constraint (%)

CCH UPC Lack of investment capital 6 27.5 0.61
CCH UPC Lack of post-harvest facilities 7 18.2 0.54
CCH UPC Declining soil fertility 8 23.0 0.75
CCH UPC Undeveloped infrastructure 9 14.5 0.28
CCH UPC Lack of drought-tolerant varieties 10 25.0 0.41
CCH UPC Lack of inputs 11 23.0 0.59
CCH UPC Stem borers 12 15.5 0.46
CCH UPC Ear borers 13 14.2 0.42
CCH UPC Blight 14 14.3 0.43
CCH UPC Poor market access 15 16.0 0.37
CCH UPC Lack of draft power 16 11.0 0.49
CCH UPC Localized flooding 17 11.7 0.15
CCH UPC Rats 18 9.4 0.37
SEMK LWC Drought 1 21.5 0.65
SEMK LWC Floods 2 29.0 0.09
SEMK LWC Lack of info on technology 3 25.5 0.53
SEMK LWC Lack of market information 4 17.5 0.45
SEMK LWC Inefficient use of fertilizers 5 22.0 0.52
SEMK LWC Lack of capital 6 22.5 0.55
SEMK LWC Lack of post-harvest facilities 7 17.0 0.43
SEMK LWC Stem borers 8 8.8 0.36
SEMK LWC Ear borers 9 7.1 0.37
SEMK LWC Stalk rot 10 7.4 0.39
SEMK LWC Blight 11 7.3 0.36
SEMK LWC Rats 12 8.8 0.39
SEMK LWC Poor soil 13 18.0 0.31
SEMK UPC Drought 1 27.5 0.50
SEMK UPC Lack of info on technology 2 24.5 0.49
SEMK UPC Uneven distribution of knowledge on maize cultivation 3 18.5 0.46
SEMK UPC Lack of market information 4 16.5 0.41
SEMK UPC Lack of capital 5 23.5 0.51
SEMK UPC Declining soil fertility 6 22.5 0.70
SEMK UPC Lack of post-harvest facilities 7 14.0 0.33
SEMK UPC Stem borers 8 9.5 0.33
SEMK UPC Ear borer 9 7.3 0.35
SEMK UPC Blight 10 8.1 0.34
SEMK UPC Rats 11 8.0 0.29
SEMK UPC Lack of draft power 12 9.7 0.42
SEMK UPC Lack of labor 13 13.0 0.37
SEMK UPC Floods 14 12.0 0.09

Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Vietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.
Notes: 1 is the highest priority and 25 is the lowest priority.
CCH=Central highland-central coast, SEMK= Southeast-Mekong Delta. UPSC=upland semi-commercial maize production, UPC=upland commercial, LWC=lowland commercial.












Annex 2. Solutions ranked by likelihood of producing an impact on alleviating constraints to maize production and
potential suppliers of solutions.
Proba- Proba- Likeli- Possible suppliers of technology
ability of ability of hood NMRI/ Exten- Private Prov Mass
Constraint Solution success adoption ratio IAS Univ CIMMYT sion Policy sector NGO DARD IARC media


UPLAND
Lack of
knowledge on
cultivation
practices




Lack of
investment
capital


Research on integrated farm 0.8
resource management
Promote available sustainable 0.75
farming systems through extension
Research on sustainable 0.6
crop management
Farming system research 0.75
Easier access to formal 0.8
credit for poor farmers
Subsidies for new seed, fertilizer to 0.55
encourage poor farmers to adopt
new/improved technologies,
high yield variety
Encourage farmers to participate 0.3
in credit groups


Lack of suitable Develop short-duration, high 0.7
varieties (short- yielding varieties
duration and high Test available short-duration varieties 0.7
yield varieties to fit for adoption to local conditions
bio-ecological Introduce available short-duration 0.75
conditions and varieties, appropriate cropping
cropping patterns) pattern to farmers
Poor market access More investment in rural road systems 0.8
and undeveloped Encourage private sector to become 0.6
transportation involved in marketing systems in
system areas with poor market access
Encourage animal producers to use 0.6
locally produced products
Encourage farmers to raise horses, 0.7
cattle for local transportation in
mountainous areas
Poor technology Reorient the focus of extension activity 0.8
transfer system to the need of local farmers
Allocate more resources (budget, 0.8
personnel) for extension activities,
particularly in the uplands
Human resource development for 0.7
extension centers
Strengthen the linkage between 0.7
research and extension
Develop demonstration plots, farming 0.8
models for technology transfer
Declining soil Research on integrated soil fertility 0.8
fertility management (considering biophysical
and socioeconomic conditions of
resource-poor farmers)
Dissemination of available soil fertility 0.7
management techniques, sustainable
farming practices
Accelerate the process of providing 0.7
land use right to upland farmers
(to encourage them to invest in soil
fertility conservation and
management, soil control)
Research on organic fertilizer use and 0.6
balanced use of chemical fertilizer


0.5 0.40 X X X

0.5 0.38

0.4 0.24 X X

0.3 0.23 X X
0.6 0.48

0.45 0.25


0.2 0.06


0.55 0.39 X

0.5 0.35 X

0.45 0.34



0.6 0.48
0.5 0.30


0.4 0.24

0.3 0.21


0.7 0.56

0.5 0.40


0.4 0.28

0.4 0.28 X X

0.2 0.16


0.45 0.36 X X



0.5 0.35


0.4 0.28




0.4 0.24 X X


Source: IFAD-CIMMYTVietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.
Note: NMRI= National Maize Research Institute, IAS= Institute for Agriculture Science, Univ= University, Extension= Extension centers, Prov. DARD= Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, IARC's=
International Agricultural Research Centers.
Probability of success: Probability of success in finding a solution to the constraint.
Probability of adoption: Probability of adoption of the new technology by farmers.
Likelihood ratio: Likelihood index is the product of probability of success and probability of adoption.


X
X X


X X X












Annex 2. Solutions ranked by likelihood of ....cont'd


Proba- Proba- Likeli- Possible suppliers of technology
ability of ability of hood NMRI/ Exten- Private Prov Mass
success adoption ratio IAS Univ CIMMYT sion Policy sector NGO DARD IARC media


Bio-fertilizer research 0.5
Research on appropriate crop rotation 0.5
Strengthening farmers' knowledge on 0.5
effects of soil erosion and soil
fertility loses, community education
Research on intercropping with 0.4
nitrogen fixing crops
Improving germplasm adapted to nutrient 0.3
deficiencies and other edaphic stresses


0.4
0.35
0.3


X
X X


0.3 0.12 X X

0.4 0.12 X


Drought


Testing available early maturing, high
yielding varieties for local conditions
to avoid drought; cropping
systems research
Develop early maturing variety
to avoid drought
Introduce available short-duration
varieties that are resistant to drought;
introduce available farm-level
drought management options
Develop drought tolerant variety
(high yield)


0.8 0.6 0.48 X


0.65

0.7



0.4


Crop management research to mitigate 0.6
drought effects (land preparation,
planting time, crop management)
Improve irrigation system 0.35
Undeveloped input Encourage private sector to become 0.6
supply system involved in input supply systems in
mountainous, remote areas with poor
market access (such as credit policy,
subsidy for state enterprises, farmer
organizations or cooperatives involved
in input supply system)
Develop input supply system for 0.4
areas with poor market access
Inefficient use of Research to increase efficiency of 0.7
fertilizer and fertilizer use considering biophysical
pesticides and socioeconomic conditions in
the uplands
Increase farmer training on IPM, 0.7
efficient use of fertilizer, pesticides,
and integrated crop management
Pesticide research 0.6
Crop management research 0.7
Research on IPM for maize 0.35
Pest resistant varieties 0.3
Through private sector, provide 0.4
training and information for local
input dealers; encourage them to
disseminate the information to farmers
Lack of Research to improve farm level 0.6
post-harvest post-harvest facilities, particularly
facilities for poor farmers
Provide incentive to encourage various 0.5
stakeholders to invest in agriculture
processing, post-harvesting facilities
(credit support, price policy)
Research on varieties resistant to 0.3
post-harvest storage pests


0.6 0.39 X

0.5 0.35



0.75 0.30 X

0.3 0.18 X


0.3 0.11
0.6 0.36







0.2 0.08


0.6 0.42 X X



0.5 0.35


X X X
X X X
X X


0.5 0.30 X X


0.5 0.25



0.2 0.06


Constraint Solution


X X


X X


X X


Source: IFAD-CIMMYTVietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.
Note: NMRI= National Maize Research Institute, IAS= Institute for Agriculture Science, Univ= University, Extension= Extension centers, Prov. DARD= Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, IARC's=
International Agricultural Research Centers.
Probability of success: Probability of success in finding a solution to the constraint.
Probability of adoption: Probability of adoption of the new technology by farmers.
Likelihood ratio: Likelihood index is the product of probability of success and probability of adoption.












Annex 2. Solutions ranked by likelihood of ....cont'd


Constraint Solution


Proba- Proba- Likeli- Possible suppliers of technology
ability of ability of hood NMRI/ Exten- Private Prov Mass
success adoption ratio IAS Univ CIMMYT sion Policy sector NGO DARD IARC media


Lack of technical Improve extension services for farmers, 0.75
information particularly in remote upland
villages (more resource allocation,
demand driven extension program,
appropriate extension approach)
More technical information for farmers 0.35
through mass media and other channels
Develop extension network 0.6
Community based extension, farmer 0.4
extension clubs


Lack of market Enhance private sector involvement in
information marketing, exchange of goods, products
Develop government-supported
market information system
Sloping land and Test available sustainable cultivation
soil erosion practices and adapt to site specific
sloping land conditions
More extension activities to introduce
appropriate soil erosion control
measures and cultivation practices
for upland farmers
Research on sloping land
intercropping system, cropping
patterns, and crop rotation
Research on soil control measures
for sloping land
Research on appropriate land preparation
(minimum/reduced tillage), weeding
practices for sloping land


LOWLAND
light crop
calendar


Cropping systems research (use
available short-duration varieties,
appropriate cropping pattern)
Use short-duration varieties
Improve land preparation


High production Research to improve efficiency
costs of input use
Crop management research
Lack of technical Improve extension services for farmers
information More technical information for farmers
through mass media and
other channels
Develop extension network
Community-based extension,
farmers extension clubs
Inefficient use of Research to increase efficiency
fertilizer and of fertilizer use
pesticides Increase farmer training on IPM,
efficient use of fertilizer, pesticides,
and integrated crop management
Pesticide research
Crop management research
Research on IPM for maize
Pest resistant varieties
Through private sector, provide training


0.5 0.6 0.30

0.6 0.3 0.18

0.75 0.5 0.38 X


0.7 0.4 0.28



0.6 0.3 0.18 X X X


0.5 0.3 0.15 X X X

0.5 0.25 0.13 X X




0.7 0.4 0.28 X X


0.5 0.3 0.15 X
0.4 0.2 0.08 X
0.7 0.5 0.35 X X

0.5 0.3 0.15 X X


X X


0.75 0.55 0.41
0.7 0.3 0.21


0.65 0.3 0.20
0.4 0.25 0.10


0.75 0.6 0.45 X X

0.75 0.5 0.38


0.45 0.27
0.3 0.21
0.4 0.16
0.35 0.11
0.3 0.09


X X
X X X
X X


X X


and information for local input dealers;
encourage them to disseminate the
information to farmers
Source: IFAD-CIMMYTVietnam National Maize R&D Priority Setting Workshop 2002.
Note: NMRI= National Maize Research Institute, IAS= Institute for Agriculture Science, Univ= University, Extension= Extension centers, Prov. DARD= Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, IARC's=
International Agricultural Research Centers.
Probability of success: Probability of success in finding a solution to the constraint.
Probability of adoption: Probability of adoption of the new technology by farmers.
Likelihood ratio: Likelihood index is the product of probability of success and probability of adoption.


0.6 0.45


X X


0.35 0.12

0.2 0.12
0.3 0.12







ISBN: 970-648-122-2


Il CIMMYT.
INTERNATIONAL MAIZE AND WHEAT IMPROVEMENT CENTER
Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
www.cimmyt.org




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