Promising prospects for agroforestry in Vietnam

ACIAR and the World Agroforestry Centre are trialling different systems

An estimated 250,000 farmers are currently growing Acacia woodlots in Vietnam and earning equivalent to an additional adult wage from their agroforestry ventures. Finding other tree-based farming systems that can give sound financial returns to farmers within 5 or 6 years will see agroforestry increase even more in the country.

In northern Vietnam, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the World Agroforestry Centre are trialling different agroforestry systems with farmers to determine what is most suitable for the region.

Stronger marketing arrangement

One system showing promise involves the native fruit tree, Son Tra, grown with fodder grass. Hmong ethnic farmers have been provided with grafted Son Tra trees that should produce large fruit crops in 2 to 3 years, and the fodder grass is expected to improve the nutrition of the cattle. Farmers are involved in cooperative marketing so that they can gain the best price for their fruit.

“If the project can improve the yields and quality of Son Tra fruit as well as establish better marketing arrangements, farmers’ incomes will likely increase even further, and more farmers will become interested in this agroforestry system,” says Tony Bartlett, ACIAR’s forestry program manager.

Site adapted management

Bartlett outlines how it is unlikely that a single tree-based system can provide the best options for all farmers in a country. Research is needed to find trees that work best for a given site and fit with farmer’s preferences, and there must be markets for the products of these trees.

 

, Submitted by Kate Langford on May 1, 2014

Read the full story: Making money from trees in Vietnam

Photo: Mats Sandewall

SIFIs projekt: Erfarenheter från Vietnam