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Ex-ante assessment of soil conservation methods in the uplands of Vietnam: An agent-based modeling approach

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  • Quang, Dang Viet
  • Schreinemachers, Pepijn
  • Berger, Thomas

Abstract

Agriculture in mountainous areas in Vietnam has much intensified since the introduction of market-based reforms in the mid 1980s. The adoption of hybrid maize varieties, mineral fertilizers and reduction in fallow periods has improved farm incomes, but has also led to a dramatic increase in soil erosion from sloping lands which has created a downward pressure on crop yields and has had adverse effects on downstream areas. This study explores the relationship between soil fertility, crop yields and the use of soil conservation methods by applying an agent-based modeling approach that combines whole-farm mathematical programming to simulate the decision-making of each individual farm household with a biophysical simulator of crop yields and soil fertility dynamics for each individual landscape unit. Simulation results suggest an average soil loss is 30tons for maize fields and 27tons for cassava fields per hectare per annum under present economic conditions, which is in the range of what other studies have measured, and a consequent decline in the average household incomes by 28.5% over a 25years period. The introduction of three soil conservation methods in maize (vetiver grass strips, ruzi grass barriers and leucaena hedges) shows that these are not economical for farm households to adopt under present conditions, chiefly because of lower short-term maize yields. We explore the effect of giving farm households monetary incentives to adopt soil conservation and find that the payment needed for reducing 40±2% of the estimated soil loss would be about 12–16 USD per ton of soil saved.

Suggested Citation

  • Quang, Dang Viet & Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Berger, Thomas, 2014. "Ex-ante assessment of soil conservation methods in the uplands of Vietnam: An agent-based modeling approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 108-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:123:y:2014:i:c:p:108-119
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2013.10.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernet, T. & Ortiz, O. & Estrada, R. D. & Quiroz, R. & Swinton, S. M., 2001. "Tailoring agricultural extension to different production contexts: a user-friendly farm-household model to improve decision-making for participatory research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 183-198, September.
    2. Pepijn Schreinemachers & Thomas Berger & Aer Sirijinda & Suwanna Praneetvatakul, 2009. "The Diffusion of Greenhouse Agriculture in Northern Thailand: Combining Econometrics and Agent‐Based Modeling," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(4), pages 513-536, December.
    3. Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Berger, Thomas & Aune, Jens B., 2007. "Simulating soil fertility and poverty dynamics in Uganda: A bio-economic multi-agent systems approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 387-401, December.
    4. Jones, Samantha, 2002. "A Framework for Understanding On-farm Environmental Degradation and Constraints to the Adoption of Soil Conservation Measures: Case Studies from Highland Tanzania and Thailand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1607-1620, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Grovermann, Christian & Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Riwthong, Suthathip & Berger, Thomas, 2017. "‘Smart’ policies to reduce pesticide use and avoid income trade-offs: An agent-based model applied to Thai agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 91-103.
    2. Tian, Qing & Holland, John H. & Brown, Daniel G., 2016. "Social and economic impacts of subsidy policies on rural development in the Poyang Lake Region, China: Insights from an agent-based model," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 12-27.
    3. Grovermann, Christian & Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Berger, Thomas, 2015. "Evaluation of IPM adoption and financial instruments to reduce pesticide use in Thai agriculture using econometrics and agent-based modeling," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211690, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Thomas Berger & Christian Troost & Tesfamicheal Wossen & Evgeny Latynskiy & Kindie Tesfaye & Sika Gbegbelegbe, 2017. "Can smallholder farmers adapt to climate variability, and how effective are policy interventions? Agent-based simulation results for Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 48(6), pages 693-706, November.
    5. Berger, Thomas, 2015. "Adaptation of farm-households to increasing climate variability in Ethiopia: Bioeconomic modeling of innovation diffusion and policy interventions," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 229062, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Alice Issanchou & Karine Daniel & Pierre Dupraz & Carole Ropars-Collet, 2018. "Soil resource and the profitability and sustainability of farms: A soil quality investment model," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 18-01, INRAE UMR SMART-LERECO.
    7. Evgeny Latynskiy & Thomas Berger, 2017. "Assessing the Income Effects of Group Certification for Smallholder Coffee Farmers: Agent-based Simulation in Uganda," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 727-748, September.
    8. Utomo, Dhanan Sarwo & Onggo, Bhakti Stephan & Eldridge, Stephen, 2018. "Applications of agent-based modelling and simulation in the agri-food supply chains," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 269(3), pages 794-805.

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