Rice-Based Cropping Systems in the Delta of the Vu Gia Thu Bon River Basin in Central Vietnam

  • Rui Pedroso
  • Dang Hoa Tran
  • Viet Quoc Trinh
  • Le Van An
  • Khac Phuc Le
Part of the Water Resources Development and Management book series (WRDM)


Despite high pressures for agricultural land conversion, increasing competition for water, and the relatively low net benefits of rice production, rice is still by far the predominant farm occupation in the Vu Gia Thu Bon basin in Central Vietnam . This study examined the reasons for such persistence by surveying and analyzing a comprehensive set of qualitative (planting and harvesting dates) and quantitative data (yields , labor and nonlabor inputs, prices) for all the crops present in the cropping systems of 113 farms in the region. The net benefit derived from rice production was on average 23 M VND ha−1, with a relatively low labor input of 144 man-days per ha−1. The net benefits generated by vegetable production are more than 9 times higher (ca. 215 M VND ha−1) with a labor demand of ca. 928 man-days ha−1. Despite the very high net benefits of vegetable production, in this region they do not translate into an equivalently high added value per ha and man-day. These values are ‘only’ nearly double than those for rice, and not much higher than those for watermelon, chili, and groundnut. The results indicate that farmers’ decisions for not rushing in diversifying production to vegetables are wise when looking at the high risks of vegetable production, shortage of on-farm labor resources, and high opportunity costs of nonfarm labor opportunities. Rice is a robust crop and a pillar of families’ food security, demanding low labor inputs. Under current conditions, farmers will most probably continue predominantly cropping rice. There is nevertheless the need to improve the rice system. Technical efficiency of rice production in the delta of the VGTB basin is 78 %, a low figure if compared to recent average estimations of 86 % for the Vietnamese Mekong and Red River deltas. The small scale of production, land fragmentation and irrigation challenges due to salinity intrusion are the main factors impacting on technical efficiency in the region.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Pedroso
    • 1
  • Dang Hoa Tran
    • 2
  • Viet Quoc Trinh
    • 1
  • Le Van An
    • 2
  • Khac Phuc Le
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Technology and Resources ManagementCologneGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and ForestryHue UniversityHueVietnam

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