Maize boom in the uplands of Northern Vietnam : economic importance and environmental implications
Zeller, Manfred; Saint-Macary, Camille; Keil, Alwin (2008-04), Maize boom in the uplands of Northern Vietnam : economic importance and environmental implications. https://basepub.dauphine.fr/handle/123456789/11414
TypeDocument de travail / Working paper
External document linkhttp://purl.umn.edu/92829
Series titleResearch in Development Economics and Policy (Discussion Paper Series)
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract (EN)In Vietnam, the demand for meat products has grown dramatically due to rapid economic growth and urbanisation and is expected to further increase in the future. Being the primary source of feed for the country’s livestock and poultry industry, maize has become the second most important crop after rice. While this maize boom has the potential to reduce rural poverty, it promotes the expansion of agricultural cultivation into fragile agro-ecological zones, often leading to deforestation and soil degradation, especially in the uplands. Using empirical evidence from mountainous Yen Chau district in north-western Vietnam, the objective of this paper is to investigate the current economic importance and environmental implications of maize cultivation. Furthermore, particular emphasis is placed on the identification of factors influencing farmers’ decision how much area to allocate to maize in order to derive research and policy recommendations. Maize is the dominant crop in Yen Chau, covering most of the uplands and generating the lion’s share of households’ cash income. Although farmers are well aware of soil erosion on their maize plots, effective soil conservation measures are rarely practiced. Maize is attractive to farmers from all social strata, notably the poor, and through marketing arrangements with traders its cultivation is also not constrained by poor infrastructural conditions. Access to low-interest credit should be enhanced to mitigate farmers’ risk of being caught in a poverty trap when maize revenues plummet due to pests, diseases, price fluctuations, or adverse weather conditions. To address the problem of soil degradation in the maize-dominated uplands, research is needed on soil conservation options that are economically more attractive than those promoted thus far.
Subjects / KeywordsMaize area expansion; environmental sustainability; Tobit regression; Vietnam
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