The expansion of the mono-cropping systems through shifting cultivation and forest conversion has degraded forests and caused losses in yield and stable food supply for thousands of farmers in Northwest Vietnam. Moreover, lucrative markets for livestock feed is driving a transition to maize mono-cropping in this steep, sensitive terrains. As a result, the region is experiencing severe soil erosion.
One solution to the region’s growing, interconnected challenges is the right mixture of forest rehabilitation and market-based agroforestry systems, which revitalizes the soil, forests, and performance of smallholder farming systems.
Recognizing the potential of agroforestry, ICRAF Viet Nam, with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Research program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry of Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), is implementing a comprehensive agroforestry and forest rehabilitation research with local partners in Northwest Viet Nam.
The aim is to develop and promote market-based agroforestry options to improve livelihoods and enhance forest and landscape management:
Specific objectives are to:
- Quantify and evaluate generic agroforestry options and tree species to promote investment agroforestry.
- Understand the suitability of different agroforestry options to different contexts and develop markets and policy to scale up adoption.
- Understand the ecological and economic values of degraded forests and co-develop forest rehabilitation methods with local communities to enhance them.
- Understand drivers of land use change and develop cross-sector planning approaches for landscapes that integrate forest and agroforestry land uses. ; and
- Develop local capacity for agroforestry, forest rehabilitation and integrated landscape management.
- Manage and evaluate agroforestry trials in collaboration with farmers, researchers and extension workers.
- Establish on-station and on-farm trials on propagation of priority agroforestry species and develop small-scale nurseries.
- Identify ways to improve market access, value and linkages for priority agroforestry products.
- Work with local communities and partners to design and test forest rehabilitation options, and develop sustainable forest and integrated landscape management plans.
- Spread findings through farmer field schools, cross-site visits, field days, training sessions and consultations.
- Create media products, extension materials and conduct trainings and workshops.
- Monitor and evaluate project impacts and overall outcomes.
Broadened knowledge on land use planning and operationalized new approaches to integrated landscape management.
New insights on matching agroforestry and forest rehabilitation options for climate scenarios.
Soil erosion prevention, watershed regulation, agro-biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and overall landscape resilience from improvements in tree cover management and increases in its diversity and area.
Economic and social impacts
Recommendations and enhanced capacity for livelihood improvements, i.e. incomes owing to improved market access, product diversification, more effective use of inputs, and risk reduction.
Dr. La Nguyen