Litchi-based Agroforestry Systems in Hai Duong province

Nguyen Thanh Lam

Faculty of environment, Vietnam National University of Agriculture

1           System overview

 

1.1         Description

There were five major types of litchi-based agroforestry systems identified in Hai Duong province: (i) Litchi with other fruit trees, crops; (ii) litchi with forest trees; (iii) litchi with tea; (iv) litchi in paddy fields; (v) litchi and Acacia (see Table 1). Each system was designed to adapt to local conditions. Litchi with other fruit trees and crops is more crop diversity, dynamic crop varieties in season and time of the years, and covers a wide area, while litchi-with forest area is almost unchanged since mid of 1990’s. Other models are declining like those intercropped in paddy fields, with acacia, and with tea due to low productivity and economic efficiency. In this chapter, the discussion is focused only on litchi with other fruit trees and crops, which is considered potential AF system for development in Hai Duong province. 

Table 1. Descriptions of the litchi AF systems in Hai Duong province, Red River Delta

System

Description

Location

Litchi with other fruit trees, crops

- Intercropped with: Citrus, Bananas, Guava, longan, honey bee raising; vegetables

- Found in flat lands, usually in homestead gardens

- Formerly paddy fields in the mid-1990s

- Very popular among farmers, trend of transforming litchi mono-cropping plantations to litchi with other fruit trees and vegetables

- Diverse system is a key factor for local livelihood considering market constraints, risks reductions, maintaining income generation and labor use efficiency

- Diverse market channel and middle men (Farm gate, local market, other provinces)

- Output and market price are key problems.

- Post harvest is problematicin litchi production.

- Increasing the area of early litchi (U hong, vai chua) to compare with medium (Hybrid litchi) and late litchi (Vai Thieu Thanh Ha) to improve market output and storage ability.

- The system has different canopies and density and rice straw covers the soil surface.

- High techniques are used to control flowering and fertilizing: farmers can control flowering time of litchi by using fertilizer and pesticide.

- Pesticide is used.

- District authority has policy to enhance quality of litchi Thanh Ha (Brand name).

Thanh Ha Chi Linh

Kinh Mon

Litchi with Forest

- Forest trees like Acacia, eucalyptus, Castanopsisboisii, are located on the hilltop and litchi located from the base to the middle of the hill

- The land was allocated under 327 program since 1997

- Local authority and extension officers promote planting litchi in forest allocated land to generate income

- When the price of litchi was good, farmers adopted the system but when the price of litchi declined in the mid-2000s, farmers stopped investing

- Low productivity, poor standing biomass and less interaction between forest and litchi as limitation of fertilizer applications and poor soil fertility on hill slope.

Chi Linh, Kinh Mon

Litchi with tea

- Litchi was intercropped in former tea plantations in the mid-1990s due to low economic efficiency of tea production.

- The land belongs to tea enterprises in Chi Linh

- Tea provides monthly incomes while litchi fruits are only available to harvest at the end of June

- Litchi was integrated into the tea production system for its shade, weed control, leaves and labor efficiency

- A few of ha litchi intercropping with tea has been established based on Vietgaps tea’s procedures.

Chi Linh

Litchi in paddy fields

- Litchi is grown on the soil bund in the paddy

- Litchi is used to maintain the paddy. There was no investment for litchi. The main product of the system are from paddy;

- This system is maintaining and not expandable area since the mid of 1990’s due to low litchi productivity and nutrient deficiency.

Cam Che (Thanh Ha)

Litchi + Acacia

- Young acacia is grown in litchi gardens/orchards and farmers try to replace litchi by Acacia.

- Acacia was grown in litchi plantations due to market constraints with litchi

- Few households applied this model

Chi Linh

Source: Field work, 2013

 Photo 2: Litchi in Paddy fields, Cam Che, Thanh Ha district

Photo 3: Forest on the top hill (eucalyptus, Castanopsisboisii), litchi located from base to the mid of hill in Chi Linh, Hai Duong

1.1         System management

1.1.1        Soil and fertilizer management

Fertilizers were applied on fruit orchards for a certain period of the growth cycle, including the pruning, blooming, and fructification stage. Both chemical and organic fertilizers are applied to the crops. Organic fertilizers are often applied to fruit gardens as the basal fertilizers and right after each harvest. Inorganic fertilizers are used more widely during the growing period of the trees. Thus, farmers have difficulties in estimating the amount of the chemical fertilizers applied on their gardens as they used both inorganic fertilizers and compost, and the rate of application. In order to evaluate the soil fertility management of the farms, the use of organic fertilizers in different fruit crops is investigated.

The composted animal manure is the most common organic fertilizer used by the fruit growers. However, there is a significant difference among households in their application of these fertilizers to different fruit crops depending on the available storage of animal manure on farm or the its market price.

1.1.2        Pest and disease management

The fruit crops may be susceptible to various types of pest and diseases, especially when there is a considerable change of the weather condition. Nearly all parts of the trees can be damaged by specific kinds of pests or diseases. The young buds, flowers and fruits are more vulnerable to attacks of pests and diseases than other parts. Therefore, pesticides are sprayed regularly on fruit crops during the budding, blooming and fructification period to protect them from certain types of pests and diseases.

In the litchi-livestock production system, farmers are less interested in pest management and rarely take the field trips to examine the occurrence of pests and diseases so the pesticide application is often ineffective in preventing or treating these pathogens. Nearly 40% of surveyed households do not apply pesticide to fruit crops because of the cost-effectiveness of producing litchi. Litchi has a low frequency of pesticide application, around seven times annually, so pests and insects significantly damage litchi crops leading to the decrease in productivity.

1.1.3        The irrigation and drainage system

In Thanh Ha district, the irrigation and drainage activities are less convenient for agricultural production than in other districts in Hai Duong province. It is located in the south region that has a lower elevation. It is also where many streams from the north of the province meet, making it more vulnerable to flooding during rainy season.

Generally, perennial fruit crops with stand flooding and drought conditions, irrigation and drainage activities are important in developing intensive production systems like guava or kumquat plantations. In Lien Mac commune (Thanh Ha district), guava fields lie along the Huong riverside, a tributary of the Thai Binh river system, making it more convenient for producers to pump water into their crops or pump water out to the river. Similarly, in Thanh Son commune (Thanh Ha district), the diversified litchi-kumquat-guava production system is also developed along the Me riverside, a small branch of the Thai Binh river system. The soil fertility in these areas is richer than that in other regions making it favourable to growing fruit trees.

In the central area of litchi gardens in Thanh Son commune, farmers have difficulty in diversifying their litchi crops due to the limitation of irrigation and drainage system. The participatory interviews with the chief of the village and some groups of producers point out that it is difficult to take water from rivers into the litchi field in the centre locations as it needs to pass many fields owned by different households in order to reach final destinations. The litchi orchards are also more vulnerable to the flood in the rainy season because of the poor drainage system. In 2007 and 2008, for instance, the extreme flood caused the high death rate of litchi (approximately 10% of total litchi areas of the commune). The irrigation and drainage systems need to be improved to sustainably develop fruit plantations.

1.2         Costs and benefits of the system

1.2.1        Productivity of the fruit-based production system

The productivity of litchi is about 650kg/sao[1] in the litchi-livestock production system and 516.7kg/sao in the litchi-kumquat-guava production system, which is similar to the survey results reported by Dinh et al. (2005) which is about 550-700kg/sao in 2004 in Thanh Son commune (Thanh Ha district). Litchi trees reach the peak level of productivity at 20 years, if the weather conditions are favourable, and the nutrition components are sufficiently provided. The productivity of litchi will decrease afterwards (Ton et al., 2006).

However, the productivity of litchi varies significantly over the years due to their biological characteristics. Generally, the litchi trees bear fruits every two years if they are not provided with nutrition components. In this case, farmers implement some specific techniques to stimulate litchi to bear fruits every year. Due to the decline of litchi price, farmers do not take care their fruit crops any more. Thus, the litchi productivity is not stable across the years.

The productivity of guava is high at about 1,472.3 kg/sao in spring and 1,672.5 kg/sao during autumn-winter harvest. However, the productivity of guava varies depending on the age of the trees as well as their mortality rate. In many farms, the mortality rate of guava trees is very high due to high soil moisture with high flooding frequency. Farmers have to multiply their crops regularly.

In the early stage of life cycle, the productivity of kumquats is about 479.7 kg/sao, which is lower than that of litchi and guava because the productivity of kumquat crops increases gradually due to the growth of the trees. Although the kumquat crop has lower productivity than that of litchi, the increasing price of kumquat in recent years encourages farmers to continue transforming from litchi to kumquat gardens under market limitation of litchi.

1.2.2        Types of the market and products of the system

-          The price of Litchi sold at the farm gate varies depending on the time of harvest; early season: 20,000 VND/kg; late season: 10,000 – 12,000 VND/kg (2013). However, according to farmers, litchi sold at less than VND10,000/kg provides them with no benefits.

-          Type of market: local market, farm gate,

-          Sold to Chinese collectors and traders from the southern part of Vietnam, provinces in Red River Delta.

-          The farm gate price of Litchi in Thanh Ha: 10,000 – 12,000 VND/kg. The local market has price of litchi from 12,000 – 15,000 VND/kg of litchi.

-          Price of retailer market in Red River Delta: 20,000 VND/kg of litchi fruits.

-          All products in the system ripen from end of June to July (3 weeks). This situation pressures farmers or producers due to market constraints such as market outputs, storage, and price.

1.2.3        Input-output of litchi-based agroforestry system in Thanh Ha district

Table 2 presents an estimation of income from 1 ha of 5 years litchi in Thanh Ha district. Some farmers have expressed their wish to return to paddy production as the litchi production efficiency is not high as they considered to compare with paddy production. In this system, litchi spacing was 7-8 m in order to accommodate other crops. Income generation is created for whole year and litchi contributes 50% of the total income. The cost included fertilizer, pesticide, labor cost, tree seedling.

Table 2. Input-output of litchi with fruit trees and crops system (2013)

Cost (VND)

Income (VND)

Net income (VND)

Litchi

11,000,000

31,900,000

20,900,000

Bananas

16,200,000

33,800,000

17,600,000

Honey bees

50,000

3,450,000

2,950,000

Total

69,150,000

41,450,000

Sources: Survey in 2013

1.3         Area covered by the system

Table 3: Area coverage of the litchi-based AF system in Hai Duong

 

Location

Start

2007

(ha)

Interval

2010

(ha)

Interval

2011

(ha)

Interval

2012

(ha)

Latest

[2013]

(ha)

 

Total area –Hai Duong

5,170.56

7,794.00

7,617.00

6,593.40

6,553.20

1

Chi Linh

3,607.80

3,258.00

3,258.00

2,635.80

2,635.80

2

Nam Sach

114.00

84.00

84.00

82.80

82.80

3

Kinh Mon

186.00

186.00

183.00

180.00

180.00

4

Kim Thanh

241.80

241.80

241.80

258.00

243.60

5

Thanh Ha

3,359.40

2,970.00

2,796.00

2,388.60

2,367.00

2           Site overview

2.1         Location

2.1.1        Province

Hai Duong is located at the centre of the Red river delta in Northern Vietnam. Its total natural area is 1651.85 km2 which makes up 7.8% of the total area of the Red River Delta and 0.5% of the whole nation (GSO, 2012). The province lies from latitude 20041’10” to 21014’20” north and longitude from 106007’20” to 106036’35” East. It has boundaries with six other provinces: Hai Phong to the East, Hung Yen to the West, Thai Binh to the South and Bac Giang to the North, Quang Ninh to the Northeast and Bac Ninh to the Northwest. The province has 10 districts: Nam Sach, Kinh Mon, Kim Thanh, Thanh Ha, Cam Giang, Gia Loc, Binh Giang, Tu Ky, Ninh Giang, and Thanh Mien districts, Chi Linh town, and Hai Duong City (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Administrative map of Hai Duong province in the Red River Delta, Northern Vietnam 

1.1.1        District/s

Thanh Ha district:

Thanh Ha is situated in the southeast of Hai Duong city, about 20km far from the city centre. The district shares the boundaries with several other districts and provinces, involving Nam Sach and Kim Thanh districts to the north, Hai Phong city to the east, Tu Ky district to the south and Hai Duong city to the west. Thanh Ha has a total natural area of 159.1km2 or 15,908.74ha.

Lien Mac is located in the north of Thanh Ha district, which has a higher territory as compared with ones in the south. It has a boundary with Kim Thanh district and Thanh Xuan commune to the east, Cam Che commune to the west, Thanh An, Thanh Lang communes to the north and Thanh Binh, Thanh Xa communes to the south. There are several rivers and canals flow around the commune, involving Rang and Huong river, as a disposal water resource for agricultural activities.

Thanh Son commune is located at the south of Thanh Ha district, away from the district town (5km). It is bordered by Thai Binh river to the south, Thanh Khe commune to the north, Thanh Thuy commune to the east and Phuong Hoang commune to the west. This geographical location makes the commune difficult to develop economic activities.

Chi Linh town:

Chi Linh town locates in north east of Hai Duong province in a distant 40 km from Hai Duong city. Chi Linh town has mountainous landscape with transition from lowland to upland.

Topography of Chi Linh town can be divided into 3 zones:

·         Hilly – mountainous zone in the North: natural forest, plantation forest, mountain with the highest elevation is named Day Dieu 616 m als.;

·         Hilly landscape interface with flat plain (2.5 m asl.) with slope 10-15 decree, hilly elevation 5-60 m asl.

·         Fluvial soils in the south of province and national road number 18. Flat topography was observed with elevation is 0.8 m asl.

Total natural land of Chi Linh town is 29,618 ha, in which agricultural land 9,784 ha (33.03%), forestry land 14,470 ha (48.86%), special use land 2,467 ha (8.33%), residential area 1,110 ha (3.75%), unused land 1,787 ha (6.03%).

1.2         Land use

Thanh Ha is an agriculture-based economy with a high contribution of the agriculture sector to total GPD of the district (about 46.1% in 2008). It is known as an original region of various types of sweet fruit such as litchi, guava, banana, etc. The district has the second largest area of perennial crops (6,718ha) after Chi Linh, a mountainous district (7,472ha). It shares 30% of total provincial perennial crop area. Litchi is traditionally planted in Thanh Ha as the most special fruit of Hai Duong province. In 2008, litchi planted area occupied 4,924ha, accounted for 71.4% of total district’s perennial crop area. However, because of strong fall of litchi price in recent years, its cultivated areas have reduced dramatically and have been replaced by other fruit crops like guava, banana, kumquat, etc.

Table 4 presented land distribution among mono-planted and integrated litchi (Agroforestry) in several districts from 2007 to 2013. The area of litchi (Table 4) has declined from 14,211 ha (2007) to 10,922 ha (2013). The largest areas of Litchi were found in Chi Linh and Thanh Ha districts. These have litchi areas that are 10-20 times higher than other districts. The most changes in decreasing trend of litchi area were seen in Chi Linh, Thanh Ha districts.

Table 4. Total area of litchi by the districts of Hai Duong from 2007 to 2013

District name

Area of Litchi (ha)

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Hai Duong city

11

11

73

60

60

50

45

Chi Linh

6,013

5,470

5,470

5,430

5,430

4,393

4,393

Nam Sach

190

190

138

140

140

138

138

Kinh Mon

310

301

310

310

305

300

300

Kim Thanh

403

403

403

403

403

430

406

Thanh Ha

5,599

5,455

5,132

4,950

4,660

3,981

3,945

Cam Giang

214

214

214

214

214

214

213

Binh Giang

175

175

175

175

175

175

175

Gia Loc

327

332

334

336

336

336

336

Tu Ky

430

428

428

427

427

427

426

Ninh Giang

352

356

358

358

358

358

358

Thanh Mien

187

187

187

187

187

187

187

Total

14,211

13,522

13,222

12,990

12,695

10,989

10,922

Source: DSO, 2013; DARD of Hai Duong province, 2013.

The survey of July 2013 studied the distribution of the agroforestry systems in three districts of Hai Duong province. The areas where litchi is found are homestead gardens, former paddy fields, and upland areas under the land allocation program and the forest plantation program (327, 661).

Figure 2 shows land use map in Thanh Ha. The yellow parts are paddy farms, while the dark green from the center to the east are orchards, litchi plantations in lowland, alluvial soils. Despite the decline in litchi areas, Thanh Ha district has the second largest litchi area in Hai Duong province.

 Figure 2. Landuse map in Thanh Ha district, 2010

Figure 3 shows landuse map in Chi Linh town, Hai Duong province. The litchi plantation mainly located in the central and northern parts of Chi Linh town. Midland landscape and small mountain have strongly impacted on distribution of litchi, which prefers be planted in lower hill slope. 

 Figure 3. Landuse map in Chi Linh town, 2010

Figure 4 presents the landuse map in Kinh Mon district. The fruit areas are along the mountain. Most of the litchi area was established during 1990s during the implementation of the land allocation program and the 327 program. The agroforestry implementation of litchi-based agroforestry systems is weak in this district.

Figure 4. Landuse map in Kinh Mon district, 2010 

Table 5: Land use distribution in Hai Duong

 

 

Start of AF [2007]

Latest/Present [2012]

 

 

Type of land use

Area covered (ha)

Area covered (%)

Area covered (ha)

Area covered (%)

 

Total area –Hai Duong

188,393

100

192,194

100

1

Agricultural uses

88,612

47.04

84,953

44.20

 

Annual crops

70,667

37.51

69,499

36.16

 

Perennial crops

17,945

9.53

15,454

8.04

2

Forest

8,814

4.68

10,861

5.65

 

Production forest

202

0.11

4,421

2.30

 

Protection forest

7.21

0.00

4,901

2.55

 

Special uses forest

1,402

0.74

1,539

0.80

 

Aquaculture & others

9.093

0.00

9.26

0.00

3

Unused land

735

0.39

557

0.29

Table 5 presents land use status of Hai Duong province from 2007-2012. The total natural area of Hai Duong province was 165,598 ha, of which agricultural land was 105,143 ha, non-agricultural land was 59,898 ha, un-used land 557 ha.

1.1         Changes in land use

The most important change in land use pattern in Hai Duong was the gradual reduction of agriculture-forestry-fishery land area and the slight increase of non-agricultural land area. The proportion of these two land areas in 2002 was 69.2% and 30.1%, by 2009, agriculture-forestry-fishery land made up 64.4% and non-agricultural land accounted for 35.1%. This increase in non-agricultural land area was due to the increase of the demand for habitation in both urban and rural locations, and industrial land. In 2008, the total habitation land area was 14,292ha, or 28.9% higher than that in 2000 (11,089ha). The development of industrial zones attracted a huge number of workers from surrounding regions to Hai Duong in the last decade.

In contrast, the agriculture-forestry-fishery land area has decreased gradually, especially from 2002 to 2007. There was a significant decline in land planted with rice (8.8 thousand ha or 11.3%) because of land conversion into industrial zones and urban areas. The rice land was also converted into fishponds and perennial crops increasing the areas dedicated to these crops (23.8% and 43.8% respectively).

1.1.1        The whole rice fields were completely transformed into litchi orchards

The conversion of rice fields into litchi orchards was a significant change in the agrarian landscape during 1990s (Figure 5). The soil layers were removed to form the land ridge and the indented area. Litchi trees were planted in these ridges while the indented holes became water borders, transforming the relatively flat rice fields into uneven ground. Litchi was then intecropped with longan, vegetables, and small fruit trees as an agroforestry system in 2000.

In Kinh Mon district and Chi Linh town, forests and barren lands were converted into forestry plantations on the hill and mountain tops while litchi was planted in down slope.  

The construction of rice fields into litchi orchards consumed a lot of human resource. Most farming households used their family labours and hired day laborers because the work required collective work. The workers completed a production line where each member was responsible for a specific activity including: soil digging, transportation, and filling the ridge up. It took time to complete these tasks. According to key-informants, it took three to four nine-hour days for a group of eight workers to turn one sao (i.e. 360 m2) of rice fields to a litchi garden.

There was a wide range of litchi varieties planted in Thanh Ha district but these were not classified scientifically. They were mostly identified by the appearance and morphology of the ripe fruits, especially their colours. There were three types of litchi varieties in Thanh Ha district based on their ripening periods: the early ripening variety (namely U Tham, U Hong, Tuhu, as local name), the medium ripening variety (such as Tau lai, Ma quan tai), and the late ripening variety (the Thieu litchi). The Thieu litchi was the most important variety, whose area accounted for more than 75% of total litchi area of the district.

Figure 5. Dynamics of the fruit-based cropping system in the lower zone of Hai Duong 

(Source: Han, 2013)

Table 6: Land use change in Hai Duong

 

 

Land use type

Hai Duong

Thanh Ha District

Chi Linh town

Kinh Mon District

2007

(ha)

2012

(ha)

2007

(ha)

2012

(ha)

2007

(ha)

2012

(ha)

2007

(ha)

2012

(ha)

 

Total

256,659

254,091

34,782

33,733

21,390

20,175

25,382

25,657

1

Agricultural use

202,799

197,203

21,273

19,877

16,371

14,951

19,129

19,090

 

Annual crops

170,408

165,212

13,199

12,593

14,810

13,539

17,267

17,346

 

Perennial plants

22,743

21,794

7,949

7,004

748

635

1,337

1,171

 

Aquaculture

9,648

10,197

125

280

813

777

525

573

2

Forest use

10,442

10,630

9,161

9,232

-

-

1,280

1,397

3

Special used land

29,150

30,640

1,895

2,012

4,014

4,110

3,387

3,475

4

Homestead land

14,268

15,618

2,453

2,612

1,005

1,114

1,586

1,695

1.1         Drivers of land use change

Market driven factor: The price of litchi plays important role in AF application. In the past few years, many farmers have to shift the AF system based Litchi into dragon fruit or citrus due to market output limitation. Recently, many Chinese traders came and local farmer continue to develop their litchi intercropped with other crops.  

Population growth: According to the Hai Duong Province People’s committee, the total population of the province is rapidly increased in recent year. The land is under population pressure.

Urbanization: Urbanization is an important driver of land-use change in Chi Linh town and Hai Duong city.

Land conversion: total areas of natural forest ecosystem, aquatic ecosystem and agro-ecosystem have been declining significantly. Particularly, during the period from 1998 to 2010, the natural forest decreased from 3,104 hectares to 2.335 hectares; the agricultural cultivation areas reduced from 91,440 hectares to 85,570 hectares; the areas of water surface decreased nearly 1000 hectares (General Statistics Office of Hai Duong , 2012).

Climate change: it has many clear evidences in Hai Duong like: drought, extremely cold and hot weather, especially the increase of annual temperature.

Trade policy: Local authority encourages farmers to develop Thieu litchi (local name) and to establish brand name for thieu litchi.

2           Environmental conditions

2.1         Geography

Hai Duong is located at the heart of the Red river delta but it has both highland and lowland territories. The province is slightly sloped from the northwest to the southeast with the difference of the altitude ranging from 10 to 616m in the high area sand from 0.9 to 5m in the plain delta. The highland part in the North occupies 262.85 km2, or 15.91% of the total province area, including 13 communes of Chi Linh district and 18 communes of Kinh Mon district, which are characterized by not very high mountains and hills. The plain basin in the South shares 1389.00 km2, equal to 84.09% of total natural areas, which is shaped and deposited by alluvium soil layers of Thai Binh river system.

Based on the geomorphology, Hai Duong can be divided into four regions (Hai Duong People's Committee, 2008):

-          The low mountainous region in the northeast of Chi Linh district: Average altitude is about 200 - 300m to the sea level. This area is difficult for agricultural production.

-          The hilly region in the South of Chi Linh district and some areas of Kinh Mon district: Average altitude is about 40 – 50m, mostly clear hills and being cultivated by new plants.

-          The limestone mountain region in Kinh Mon district occupies small areas

-          The plain delta is the largest regions and suitable for agricultural activities.

2.2         Soils

The soils in Hai Duong have 4 major groups: Fluvisols (51.88%), Thionic Fluvisols (1.83%), Salic Fluvisols (2.46%), and Acrisols (8.65%) (see Table 7&8). The litchi based AFsystem locates in Fluvisols for lowland and Acrisols in Chi Linh and Kinh mon districts. The minor area of Fluvisols (i.e. Thionic and Salic Fluvisols) is used for plantation of annual crops.

Table 7: Soil classes in Hai Duong

 

 

Soil classification

Total of provincial area

(ha)

Total of provincial area (%)

 

Location

1

Salic – Fluvisols

 

4,064.1

 

2.46

 

Kinh Mon, Kim Thanh, Thanh Ha, Tu Ky along to Kinh Thay river and Van Uc river.

2

Thionic – Fluvisols

 

3,028.9

 

1.83

 

Kinh Mon, Kim Thanh, Thanh Ha, Tu Ky

3

Fluvisols

 

85,852.9

 

51.88

 

All districts and city in Hai Duong province

4

Acrisols

 

14,320.2

 

8.65

 

Chi Linh and Kinh Mon


Table 8: Soil types in Hai Duong

 

 

Soil classification

Total of provincial area

(ha)

Total of provincial area (%)

 

Location

1

Salic – Fluvisols

+ Molli-Salic-Fluvisols

4,064.1

4,064.1

 

2.46

2.46

 

Kinh Mon, Kim Thanh, Thanh Ha, Tu Ky along to Kinh Thay river and Van Uc river.

2

Thionic – Fluvisols

+ Sali-Proto-Thionic-Fluvisols

3,028.9

3,028.9

 

1.83

1.83

 

Kinh Mon, Kim Thanh, Thanh Ha, Tu Ky

3

Fluvisols

+ Eutric-Fluvisol

+ Dytric-Fluvisol

+ Gleyic-Fluvisol

+ Cambic-Fluvisol

85,852.9

4,595.5

6,237.6

58,268.8

16,751.0

51.88

2.78

3.77

35.21

10.12

 

 

All districts and city in Hai Duong province

4

Acrisols

+ Haplic-Acrisols

+ Ferralic-Acrisols

+ Gleyic-Acrisols

14,320.2

2,286.0

11,645.9

388.3

 

8.65

1.38

7.04

0.23

 

 

Chi Linh and Kinh Mon

2.3         Weather

Hai Duong has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons, the cold winter that has little rainfall, and the hot and humid summer with heavy rain. Between these two seasons, there are transition periods from winter to summer (April) and from summer to winter (October). The evolution of the average annual rainfall and temperature from 1997 to 2009 is presented in figure 7.

Figure 7. Evolution of annual average temperature and rainfall of Hai Duong province

(Hai Duong Statistics Office, 1998,2001,2010 quoted in Han, 2013)

During winter (November to March), the average temperature falls under 20oC, and the rainfall is limited to less than 100mm per month, so lack of water for agricultural production is a problem during this period. Seedling rice growth also became a problem when the temperatures reached below under 100C. Farmers had to transplant new seedlings effectively changing the crop calendar. The cold weather also affected the growth of livestock and fish (see more detail in Table 3).

Temperature and rainfall start increasing in April and reach the peak in July or August and falls by the end of November. Due to the poor irrigation system, some places face terrible damage from storms and floods during the rainy season, especially in lowland areas of the south province. This was one of the reasons for the fluctuation of crop yield and productivity. The extremely heavy rain also caused the losses suffered by fish farms in recent years.

Farmers are more concerned recently about climate change because of tis obvious influence on crop and animal production. In Hai Duong, the annual average temperature in last 20 years (from 1986-2005) was 23.520C, which is 0.190C higher than that of the previous period (1960-1979). The frequent variation of the weather made it more difficult for farmers to manage their production activities. The sudden occurrence of extremely bad weather (storm, flood, etc.) has caused significant failures of many farms recently.

Table 9. Some biophysical/environmental parameters of Hai Duong province

No.

Categories

Description

1

Soil characteristics: type, fertility status, profile, chemical and physical properties

Ferralsol (Acrisols) in Chi Linh&Kinh Mon

Lowland soils (Fluvisols) are high fertility, adequate for plant growth

2

Elevation

0.9-5.0 m a.s.l. (86% territory), 50-200 m a.s.l. (14% territory)

3

Rainfall (mm)

1,197 – 1,593

4

Air temperature (0 C)

23.52

5

Soil temperature

-

6

Humidity (%)

75-90

7

Overall climate

tropical monsoon climate with typical cold winter, potential heat and high humidity

Source: Statistic data year book of Hai Duong province, 2012

1.1         Water

As one of the provinces of the Red river delta, Hai Duong has sufficient water resources provided by interconnected stream and river systems. Based on the main water flows, the stream system in Hai Duong can be divided into two sub-systems: the outside river system (or major natural rivers), and the inside canal system. The outside river system is naturally formed and originates from the Northern upstream. Its flows depend largely on the physical environment conditions such as rainfall, flood and the regulation of the reservoir in the upstream. The inside system includes small rivers and canals which the flow regulated by directly pumping from natural rivers.

The natural river systems involve the Thai Binh River and its flows are located in the southeast of the province. These small rivers are Kinh Thay, Kinh Mon, Rang, Van Uc, Lach Tray, Gua, Mia, Han Mau and Da Vach. They flow down from northwest to southeast and turned around Hai Duong province.

The small river and inner canal system may be further divided into two different sub-regions, including the region of Bac Hung Hai irrigation system and the region of left side of Thai Binh river. The region of Bac Hung Hai irrigation system is made up of two main streams, the north stream (62km) and south stream (51km). The canals on the left side of Thai Binh River were built around the 1950s. There are many cross-linked flows that provide enough water for agricultural production of the province among these major streams. 

The estimated total annual water flow of rivers in Hai Duong is about 35 billion cubic metres, and the total amount of alluvium gains 26.6 million tons per year. These rich natural resources are greatly advantageous for agricultural production. However, the distribution of water is not equal throughout the year (85% of total rainfall belongs to summer season, from May to October). Therefore, the floods and droughts occur widely occurred and terribly damage crop and animal production, especially in lowland territories, where the altitude is lower than 2m. This kind of territory shares about 55% of total cultivated land areas of the province.

2           Socio-economic conditions

According to GSO (2013), population growth rate was 0.36% from 2005-2010 and it was relatively lower than growth rate of whole country. However, population was growing so fast from 1,685,500 (2005) to 1,718,895 persons (2011) (see Table 10). Urbanization is going fast and urban citizens were 3 times in 2011 to compare with that in 2005. 

 Table 10. Population growth in urban center of Hai Duong from 1995 to 2011

Criteria

1995

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

Total (thousand persons)

133.2

229.3

230.9

235.2

266.4

278.9

323.7

376.4

Growth Rate to compare with the rate in 1995 (%)

100.0

172.1

173.3

176.6

200.0

209.4

243.0

247.0

-         Source: GSO Hai Duong, 2012

 

-          GDP

-         Table 11: GDP of Hai Duong province in 2011

-         (based on price in 1994)

Criteria

GDP 2011

(Billion VND)

Rate (5) to compare with 2010

(%)

Growth rate

(%)

GDP

14,689

9.3

9.3

Agriculture, forestry, aquaculture

2,278

4.2

0.7

Industry, construction

7,934

10.2

5.4

Services

4,477

10.5

3.2

-         Source: GSO Hai Duong, 2012

Table 11. Socio-economic parameters in Hai Duong province

No.

Information/data

1

Average farm size & land size of farmers implementing the system

0.1-0.5 ha/hh

Agroforestry model is only in Thanh Ha, Kinh Mon and Chi Linh

2

Labor availability in the area

Surplus

 

3

Average family income

10-30 million VND/yr

 

4

Education level

High school

 

5

Ethnicity

Kinh majority

 

6

Land ownership

Household management/red book certificate

 

7

Migration trends

Slightly, to Hanoi

 

8

Population trends

Increase sharply

 

Han (2013) found that the shortage of agricultural active labours is an emerging issue in the fruit-based production system. This shortage is due to the lack of young and active labours who work on farm. Although the number of potential wage labourers in the province is equivalent to that in other regions, they mostly migrate to industrial zones to find off-farm work. Older people have to take responsibility for most of the farming including the heavy tasks.

Table 11 presents socio-economic conditions of Hai Duong province. The average farm size is narrow 0.1-0.5 ha/household and become constrain for households applying agro-forestry model. Labour force is still abundant in this area and most labour finished high school. Kinh is a major ethnicity and some Dzao ethnic minority living in far distance from the Hai Duong city (in Chi Linh town). Migration is not a serious problem.

2.1         Poverty

Provincial poverty rate was monitored one per 2 years for record. However, each year, local authorities (i.e. communal or ward levels) have to do quick survey to identify the poor. The survey team has members from hamlet head men, communal staff. After one day training in the district, the team went to every household in hamlet/village for asset checking on the list (properties, land, livestock, houses, motorcycles, etc) to compare with some standard thresholds. If households were lower than standard thresholds, the questionnaire was used for interview to identify income, expenditure and belonging properties in a year. If income per capita less than 400,000 VND then the household was classified to the poor; and near the poor from 400,000 VND – 520,000 VND per month per capita.

-          Government and Hai Duong province have implemented a number of program for poverty reduction such as credit for the poor, training in agriculture and aquaculture, and subsidy activities. In general, the benefits of households having certificate for the poor are: (i) subside from government in term of seeds, fertilizers; (ii) received 80,000 VND/hh for electricity; (iii) credits from the bank not above 50 million VND/hh; (iv) deduction of education fees when they children go to school or universities/colleges.

The poverty rate was declining from 17.64% (2004) to 9.4% (2012). There was big gap between urban and rural areas in term of poverty rate: 2010: 4.8% (urban), 14.10% (rural); 2012: 3.20% (urban), 10.8% (rural). In the past, some households applied AF system still belonged to the poor (2004). Recently, none of households applied AF system was classified to the poor.

2.2         Education

-          According to GSO (2012), 100% children went to school and education system is in advance condition in Hai Duong province. Most interviewed farmers were knowledgeable and have high skills in agriculture.   There were not differences between education level of farmers adopt and not adopt AF system.

2.3         Adoption of the agroforestry system

-          Local farmers adopt litchi based AF system firstly in Thanh Ha district with their orchards or gardens since mid’s 1980. The soils are fluvisols with pH from 5.5-6.5. Most farmers are Kinh having knowledgeable for farming. More than 80% households applied this AF system.

-          The second type of litchi based AF system is designed for forest tree on the top hill, litchi on hilly slope and some grain or crops are on valley bottom. This type of AF system locates in Chi Linh and Kinh Mon districts. Local farmer adopt this system since 1994-1995 when land allocation was started. About 70% of households applied this AF system. Most of them were Kinh group, some were Dzao.      

3           Financing, market, and marketing conditions

3.1         Access to financing

All farmers involved in AF systems were mainly self-financed. In addition, partly finance was from their relatives, bank loans, social organizations such as women association, farmer association. Local farmers need to submit their request for fund for agriculture development to local authority for approval before bank. The timing for approval by local authority and bank officers is usually take long and some farmers have to look at other finance sources such as their relatives and social organizations.   

On the other hand, the households, who were certified the poor, are easy to get credits from the bank with maximum amount of 50 million VND under Vietnam government policies. The Vietnam bank for Social Policies and Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) provide families classified as poor with credit that they can use to buy pig, buffalo or cultivate a forest plantation at household level but they require households to provide collateral, which poor households are unable to raise.

3.2         Access to markets

The marketing network, promotion, market and transportation systems in the province are quite developed, so it is easy for farmers to get their products to the market. Most AF products are sold at farm or in the market. Some Chinese traders and business men from the south came to Thanh Ha district to buy directly from litchi producers.

The two main distribution channels of fruit are selling them directly in local and wholesale markets in the neighbors province or sold to buyers at the farm gate at lower than market price.

3.3         Access to information

Farmers can obtain market information from multiple sources of media such as television, retailers, collectors, local markets, neighbors and relatives.

Information on AF systems is learned from other farmers but the knowledge of farmers on the topic is limited. The district Department of Agriculture and Rural Developments has provided demonstration  models or guide farmers in developing AF systems based on litchi.

3.4         Access to farming implements

Land availability for AF system: from farmers land, bidding land from commune, land allocation program.

Fertilizer and pesticide can be obtained at local shops or from extension officers.

Labor force: family members, wage labor. 

4           Policies and programs promoting the adoption of agroforestry systems

4.1         National

·         Policy implications of consolidation of agricultural land

·         Land allocation program and reforestation program 327, 661, 147. 

4.2         Local

The regulation and policy and support system in Hai Duong province should be developed to control competition and stimulate litchi production integrated with other crops in agroforestry system.    

5           Challenges and opportunities

5.1         Policies

Luc Ngan province is the biggest competition in litchi production. The regulation and policy and support system in Hai Duong province should be developed to control competition and stimulate litchi production integrated with other crops in agroforestry system.    

Fragmentation of the agricultural land

The foremost problem in the province is the small and fragmented land plots due to the egalitarian distribution of land in Hai Duong in 1993. Perennial trees and agroforestry system have required larger land for designing and operation. The scattering of land plots rented-in hinders producers in their efforts to consolidate land parcels. Thus, dissemination of unofficial land transaction activity impedes the development of a commercial agricultural production.

Policy implications of consolidation of agricultural land

This policy supports the development of litchi based agroforestry system in Hai Duong, particularly in Thanh Ha, Chi Linh and Kinh Mon districts. Han (2013) summarized the following requirements:

·  Land needs to be offered to the right agents who actually have sufficient assets and capacity for the agricultural production. This means that the land will be given to workers who are currently working full-time or part-time on farms. The farmers who are temporarily engaging in unstable off-farm activities should be involved in this consolidation program.

·  The land consolidation program has to facilitate the development of a commercial and modernized agricultural production. The land plots cannot be small size and fragmented.

·  The land consolidation program needs to ensure the social equity of the rural society. It is of great importance for the project to avoid the social conflicts and disorders. For such objectives, the legitimate aspirations and demands of the most farming families should be taken into account in designing and implementing the land consolidation.

·  When carrying out the consolidation of agricultural land, it is important to place great emphasis on the participation of rural communities in all steps from designing, conducting and inspecting stages. The program should be highly opened-up and encourage the participation of all villagers. 

·  Another requirement is that the land consolidation program has to be consistent with the long-term land use planning of the region. Without consideration of the future land use planning, the project will be soon out of date.

Propositions of auxiliary policies for the land consolidation and redistribution program

In order to have a better result of the land consolidation program, the following policies should be involved:

·  The government should implement some supportive policies to compensate the households who gave back their land plots to others and to help them to find stable jobs in the industry and service sectors. The role of improvement of rural small industry factories and traditional handicraft villages in absorbing the rural employments is well demonstrated in many regions. In some coming years, there is a growing need for supportive programs for the enhancement of these sectors. 

·  The rural infrastructure system, especially the road and irrigation system, needs to be improved by the public investment of the state. This intervention helps to reduce the heterogeneity of production conditions among land plots in different fields. If the facility of the land plots in the unfavourable locations is improved, farmers will readily agree with the land consolidation program.

·  The land consolidation program should be accompanied by the policy of flexibility of land use. It means that the government should encourage and allow land users to transform their land plots from one type of land use to another similar agricultural production activity under the control of the local government.

·  To avoid the abandonment of agricultural land and the illegal land conversion into non-agricultural purposes, the state may consider some specific regulations of land withdrawal in some cases.

5.2         Land use, production, and farming practices

Management issues: The support system for agroforestry based on litchi production is still developed in term of litchi association, land management, land fragmentation in the lowland and social aspects: the litchi producers are always suffered from the risks.  

AF production constraints: The competition between litchi and other components in the agroforestry system is evidence. When litchi tree reached mature and closed canopy, local farmers have to withdraw or reduce density of other associated plants (citrus, bananas, Acacia, eucalyptus, vegetable, etc.).  The plant protection is still issues as too many insect attach on litchi flower and fruit. The harvesting cost is still very high as it took up to 50% of the income from selling.

evelopment of litchi orchards through a wide range of supports

As illustrated in the previous chapter, litchi orchards in Thanh Ha district have been degraded significantly since the last decade. The low price of litchi, especially the main crops, results in the low profit and farmers stop investing in the litchi cultivation. Large areas of litchi orchards are becoming abandoned and non-harvested crops. Farmers start to cut down their litchi gardens while the province and district government are making great efforts to keep litchi cultivation areas stable. In this case, a wide range of supports should be given in order to sustain and develop this special fruit.

First and foremost, the local agricultural cooperative should encourage farmers to improve the productivity and quality of litchi fruits. Most of litchi orchards were grown in the period 1993-1995, and are about 20 years old now. Their reproduction ability has decreased gradually. Thus, farmers should prune or replant their fruit trees to facilitate the pesticide application and harvesting works. They also need to pay much attention to litchi crops by applying fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides appropriately. At the moment, the province and district are launching the project on application of good agricultural practices (VietGAP) in the litchi cultivation in several representative communes (Thanh Son, Thanh Khe, and Thanh Thuy commune). Half of this financial capital will be funded by the provincial budget, and the rest will be called from the contribution of farmers involved in the project. The district government firstly identifies the specific litchi zone, which has a minimum area of 10ha of Thieu litchi. A total litchi cultivation area of 100ha will be selected for this project. Litchi growers, who will participate in this program, will be trained with the good cultivation practices. During the cultivation practices of litchi, they will be strictly inspected and controlled to follow the standard procedure. Their litchi fruits will be sampled to check the quality. If the quality of fruits is equivalent to the standard quality, the litchi orchards will be issued a quality certification (Thanh Ha' Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 2011).  This is a necessary program to improve the productivity and quality of Thieu Thanh Ha litchi.

Secondly, the local government should give supports for the processing plants of litchi. Litchi is often dried by the traditional method using the fossil fuel (mostly coal). This method cannot ensure the quality standard of the fruits. Several electric drying machines were created and introduced to producers. However, the low profit from litchi and the instability of electricity system in rural areas, especially in the summer, hinder the application of these machines. In order to increase the quality of dried fruit products, some farmers designed a new heating system using the fossil fuel. This system will blow the heating air to the cabin of litchi to prevent the fruits from the coals. This is only a palliative solution because the quality of dried fruits still does not meet the standard requirements.  The government had better support for the fruit processing plants which can have enough capacity to dry a big amount of fruits with good quality.

Thirdly, the local government and the Thieu Thanh Ha litchi association should assist the promotion of the marketing and trading activities of the fruits. Over the last year, although great attempts have been made by both the local government and the litchi association, the marketing and trading activities of the fruits are still limited. In the forthcoming years, they should make more efforts to assist producers in these activities by diversified manners. They should organize the consumer meetings more regularly, especially right before the harvesting season. In this meeting, different target customers such as small businessmen, association of customers, supermarkets, processing plants, etc. should be invited. They also need to place importance on the dissemination of information about the brand name of Thieu Thanh Ha litchi through participating in national and international trade fair. Besides that, the Thieu Thanh Ha litchi needs to be well-packaged with specific logo or label to develop its brand name in the market. Developing the trading and marketing activities is a crucial factor in the success of the litchi cultivation.

Enhancement of diversification of fruit production systems

 Diversification of the fruit-based production system is very meaningful for household economy in the lower zone of Hai Duong province. The single litchi production system is really vulnerable to the changes in the environments, especially the fluctuation of the market. The litchi growers’ income is far lower than the living standard and not sufficient for the daily life of many households. Thus, diversification from litchi into other fruit crops is an indispensable process of farm holdings to adapt better to the changes in the socio-economic and agro-ecological environments.

The diversification of the fruit production system needs to be oriented by the local government to prevent the excessive development of one specific variety of fruit. The lesson from excessive expansion of litchi gardens in the last decade shows that local government has to make great attempts to plan the appropriate regional agricultural development scheme. These efforts should limit the trading activities of fruit cuttings in the market, while promoting the supply of the fruit cuttings from the fruit institutes and companies. The local agricultural cooperative and extension station should introduce new fruit varieties, which are highly suitable for each region, to the farmers. In each region, fruit growers should select and develop one or several fruit varieties to take the most advantages of competitiveness like the case of guava cultivation in Lien Mac commune.

The provision of improved fruit varieties is also of great importance to the diversification of fruit crops. At the moment, most of farm holdings multiply their fruit crops by themselves and provide to others in the local market. This process will result in the degeneration of fruit crops that badly impact on their productivity and quality like guava in Lien Mac commune. Hence, the agricultural cooperative and extension station should work more effectively as the intermediate party to link farmers with the fruit institutes and companies in the development of new fruit varieties.

One of the most important conditions for the fruit diversification is the water supply through irrigation system. The survey results indicate that farmers in the favourable locations, where the water supply is sufficient, diversify their crops more early and rapidly than those in inconvenient areas of water intake. For example, in Thanh Son commune, where the irrigation system was definitely broken down in 1993 due to the complete conversion of all rice field areas into litchi orchards, farmers are now facing with difficulties in diversifying their litchi gardens into other fruit crops. In the region like Thanh Son commune, the reconstruction of irrigation system is in great demand for the fruit diversification. The improvement of the irrigation system can be achieved if the local government and social organizations call for the contribution of both the state and communities in term of financial supports and human power resources. The local government should give priority to these kinds of intervention when setting up the development policy of this region.

5.3         Markets

Market constraint: The production of litchi has not yet guarantees system for production (certificate, brand name). Litchi has seasonal characters and all products are concentrated in only 2-3 weeks end of June to July.  The common situation is that local farmers are unhappy with high harvest due to limitation of market outputs. Recently, the Chinese traders came to Thanh Ha districts to buy litchi fruit for export. However, export to China is always vulnerable as said by local officials. Local farmers said that the current price of litchi (10,000-12,000 VND) is not interested to producers.

Reinforcement of social farmers’ associations for the improvement of cooperation between farmers and other development agents

In Vietnam, the cooperation among four main agents, including farming workers, agricultural scientists, agricultural businessmen, and the government, plays an important role in the development of agriculture and rural areas. The agricultural extension organization and other farmers’ associations are known as the intermediate actor for the connections between producers and other supporters. It is an interactive relation in terms of the agricultural technology transfer, supplying agricultural inputs, marketing agricultural products, and agricultural policy orientation. In this development model, farmers are the central agent who needs great supports and protection from other organizations. If these relationships are strengthened, the agricultural production of households will be improved significantly.

In Hai Duong province and other regions of Vietnam, the existence of many organizations of civil society is advantageous for the development of agriculture and rural society in term of political manipulation and other social assistances. In rural areas, there is a high diversity of the socio-economic organizations and associations to which farmers are admitted as the official members. These organizations and associations such as agricultural extension services, agricultural cooperatives, communist party units, farmer union, woman union, youth union, ex-soldier association, etc., have a strong influence on the behaviour of rural communities. Therefore, strengthening the role and activities of these organizations is essential for the assistance of farm holdings.

The discussions with local farmers and authority staff in Hai Duong demonstrate that it is necessary to improve the efficiency and the role of the agricultural public services in the agricultural production and marketing activities of farm households. Most farmers are often the members of several public service organizations such as farmer union, or agricultural cooperative. Therefore, they are often involved in all activities, from planning to managing and inspecting stage. Some agricultural cooperatives work effectively in providing farmers with some services such as irrigation and drainage services, seed and breed supply, pest management, etc. However, many agricultural cooperatives face huge difficulties of financial capital and work ineffectively because of shortage of motivation, management skills and assistance. In Hai Duong, several new kinds of farmer associations, for example the association of Thieu Thanh Ha litchi growers, have been established recently. Although great attempts have been made to help producers to develop their production systems and marketing activities, their working efficiency is still limited. They fail to encourage smallholders to joint in the association and do not succeed in helping smallholders in marketing agricultural products. Improving these agricultural organizations is of great demand.

It may be in need of establishment of new types of agricultural cooperatives and farmer associations. However, it had better improve the organization, management and working methods of the current agricultural cooperatives, extension stations and farmer associations in rural areas. The state may consider transforming from profit services into non-profit-making organizations working under the supports and instructions of the state. These organizations have to play an important role in assisting farmers’ production activities and in protecting them from the monopoly of private enterprises in the market. They also work as an intermediate party between farmers and the agricultural scientists and government staff in terms of technology transfer and national policy extension. In order to improve the working efficiency and the political ascendancy, they should collaborate with other social civil organizations in rural areas such as the communist party unit, the ex-soldier association, the youth and the women union, etc. Furthermore, the activities of these organizations should be explicit and fulfil the demand of producers. They should give priority to the smallholders who often face difficulties in developing their production systems and have less power in the market.

Apart from the supports from the government and social organizations, farmers also have to dynamically collaborate with each other and with other development agents in order to promote their production systems towards sustainable development. They can joint actively in the farmers’ association that helps them to bulk buy inputs with a cheaper price, to share information about the market price, improved techniques, new animal breeds or plant varieties, and so on. As an official member of these associations, each farmer has to strictly comply with the specific regulations and the common goals of the group such as the standard quality of the products, the adequate disease prevention program, etc. The compliance and contribution of each producer are necessary for the sustainable development of farmer’s associations as well as agricultural production system.

Support for the development of agricultural business and food processing as the driving force for the commercialization of production of farm households, especially for litchi production

Local people would like emphasis on the development of contract farming. In recent years, some agricultural businessmen have attempted to develop the contract farming with vegetable and fruit growers. All vegetables and litchi products should be purchased at the market price. The total vegetable cultivation areas signed in the contract increase from about 5ha to 10.5ha in the same period. This kind of farming contract is of great importance for the economic activity of both producers and buyers. All agricultural products of the farmers will be bought at a relatively stable price. It also enables the private enterprise to make a good business planning in term of commodity supply.

However, the lack of appropriate market institutions makes the contract farming difficult to be developed. According to the term of the contract, all agricultural products of farm holdings will be sold to the company at the average price in the market. In fact, many producers break it when the small and medium middlemen come to buy the products at a little higher price than that of the company. The legal constitution is issued to protect the enterprise against the producers who often break the contract. Therefore, it is impossible for the company to continue the farming contract with the farmers anymore. Then, the company has to depend mostly on the intermediate collectors at the villages in buying vegetables and other agricultural commodities.

6           Implications for the future

Litchi based AF system in Hai Duong province has been showed a potential for development. Local farmers always have to adjust the system by diversifying crop pattern and litchi varieties with the composition of early, medium and late ripening and harvest. Government and local authority should provide finance and marketing supports, and post-harvest techniques for farmers.

Acknowledgement: This research was funded by ICRAF, Vietnam. All maps were completed by Dr.Tran Nguyen Bang, department of DAES, Faculty of Environment.

  References

Dinh, N. T., T. T. Minh and D. T. Anh (2005). Analyzing Thieu Litchi Value Chain in Thanh Ha district - Hai Duong province. Hanoi, Agrarian System Department, Vietnam Agriculture Science Institute

Hai Duong statistics office (2013).Haiduong Statistical Yearbook 2012.GSO publication house, Hanoi.

Han Q.H (2013). Dynamics of Agrarian Systems in Hai Duong Province, North Vietnam. PhD thesis, University of Liege – Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Belgium.238 pages, 61 tables, 80 figures, 8 boxes.

Thanh Ha' Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (2011). Project on the development of Thieu Thanh Ha litchi followed by the good agricultural practices (VietGAP), Thanh Ha' Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Ton, V. D., N. T. Huyen, V. Q. Khanh and N. G. Dai (2006). The Real Situation of Litchi Commodity Chain in Thanh Ha. Conference on Promoting to Litchi Commodity Chain, Hai Duong.