THE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON SMALLHOLDER POTATO FARMERS IN THE RED RIVER DELTA, VIETNAM, FROM THE USE OF SUPERIOR QUALITY SEED
Poor quality seed has been acknowledged as the major constraint limiting both the productivity of potato crops and the expansion of the potato industry in Vietnam. Despite numerous attempts to establish a certified seed system, the most practical solution is to import clean foundation seed of the desired variety and physiological age. With imports from Europe and North America proving to be too expensive, Western Australia (WA) is emerging as a potential source of high quality seed. While seed imports from WA are unique in that the varieties imported have been selected by researchers in Vietnam as being suited to the agro-ecological environment in the Red River Delta (RRD), no assessment of the economic benefits to smallholder potato farmers from the use of WA potato seed has been undertaken. In 2006/07, the yield and profitability of two potato varieties, KT3 and Eben, in two locations were compared where the crops had been derived from new seed imported from WA, seed derived from crops cultivated in the RRD after one generation (VN1) and seed derived from crops cultivated after two generations in the RRD (VN2). Although there was no significant difference in total yield and marketable yield by location, significant differences by variety and seed source were observed. For KT3, the yields declined sharply from 33.0 t/ha (WA) to 26.5 t/ha (VN1) and 23.3 t/ha (VN2). For Eben, the yields declined from 26.9 t/ha (WA) to 20.3 t/ha (VN1). For KT3, the marketable yields declined from 68.7% (WA) to 53.0% (VN1) and 44.6% (VN2) and for Eben from 57.7% (WA) to 44.5% (VN1). Although farmers paid significantly more to secure better quality seed, the additional income generated more than offset the increase in costs. For KT3, WA seed produced the highest net income (VND 42.0 m/ha) which declined to VND 29.4 m/ha for VN1 and VND 19.5 m/ha for VN2. For Eben, WA seed produced a net income of VND 27.8 m/ha compared to VND 16.5 m/ha for VN1.
Hue, D.T., Batt, P.J., McPharlin, I. and Dawson, P. (2009). THE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON SMALLHOLDER POTATO FARMERS IN THE RED RIVER DELTA, VIETNAM, FROM THE USE OF SUPERIOR QUALITY SEED. Acta Hortic. 809, 171-180
potato seed, production costs, economic returns, profitability