HORTICULTURAL ORGANIC PRODUCTION IN NORTHERN VIETNAM: TECHNICAL OR ECONOMIC QUESTIONS?
In Vietnam the development of vegetable production has followed the growth of population and income. The increase had been associated with increase in conventional systems whereas organic production techniques have not progressed very much. Efforts have been made by research institutions, farmers and marketers, but the fruit and vegetable organic industry remains weak. Two main questions are raised by the stakeholders: (1) Can we achieve the same yield and quality levels with no chemical input? (2) How to valorise the organic production? In the peri-urban area of Hanoi (Vietnam), the following experiments and surveys were done to assess the agronomic and economic potential for organic vegetable production: 1) experiments at the Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute (FAVRI) to compare organic and conventional production techniques on vegetable soybean (Glycine max L.), cabbage (Brassica oleracea convar. capitata), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), 2) surveys with farmers on leafy vegetables to compare organic and conventional techniques, 3) inventory of organic production initiatives and vegetable points of sale with collection of price data. The experiments showed that crop yields and farmer incomes could be lower in organic production than in conventional system. Similar results were obtained from the surveys with organic and conventional leafy vegetables producers. In 2004, an organic vegetable organization in Hanoi set up shop which stopped operating in 2005. From 2008 onwards, a direct sale system from farmers to consumers has been organized. This is a promising system because the direct contacts between consumers and farmers increase buyer confidence. Another way to increase economic returns is to improve the organic techniques for fertilization (green manure, compost) and pest management (agroecological approach). Then, certification is one method to valorise the production, and the farmers income, for export or local market. But, at the moment, only the export market can support the cost of individual certification; other methods like participatory certification have to be tested.
de Bon , H., Langlais, C., To, H.T.T., Buy, T.K., Nguyen , M.T., Nguyen , T.T.H. and Moustier, P. (2012). HORTICULTURAL ORGANIC PRODUCTION IN NORTHERN VIETNAM: TECHNICAL OR ECONOMIC QUESTIONS? . Acta Hortic. 933, 641-644
organic production, vegetables, Vietnam, marketing