Activities implemented by the ADAM projet
The ADAM project is implemented following three main components : agronomic research for development, training activities and coimmunication
Launched at the end of 2009, an agrarian diagnosis of the project’s operating area is under way. The diagnosis is intended to provide an in-depth analysis of constraints for extending agroecology in northwestern Vietnam through economic surveys and an analysis of farmers’ practices in various tea-based farming systems.
A French student (Florent Boulanger) hosted by the ADAM project in 2009 completed his MSc with an analysis of tea-based farming systems in Van Chan district. Three MSc internship students of various nationalities (Cambodian, French and British) are currently working on their MSc thesis with the ADAM project, thus contributing to the project’s agrarian diagnosis.
The ADAM project’s experimental design results from a short-term mission led by CIRAD’s expert Stephane Boulakia. First field activities were set up in August 2009, including :
– A collection of 150 plant species and varieties with legume crops, cover plants, mulching crops and cereals. This improved germplasm imported from abroad was sown in Phu Ho and Suoi Giang in order to assess and compare plant behaviour under various biophysical conditions.
– A reference site (1.7 ha) located in Suoi Giang commune, designed in order to test DMC-based alternatives to 2-crops-per-year cropping systems.
– Two hectares of tea-based experiments in an experimental area managed by the Tea Research Center (Phu Ho commune) which were designed to deal with various themes such as :
· soil fertility restoration before a new tea plantation,
· screening of shade tolerant/fast-growing species to be intercropped with tea,
· fertilisation systems, .
· kinds of intensification schemes (combinations of smouldering and mulching) to be promoted for new tea planting cycles within old tea plantations, etc.
In early 2010, 5 specific hand-seeders for DMC, to be replicated by local craftsmen, were imported from Brazil, together with large quantities of seeds necessary to conduct experiments. The experimental design was extended and is now structured as a mix of trials, including fully controlled academic experiments, demonstration models, reference sites and farmers’ field schools. Trials are being implemented in 4 districts belonging to Phu Tho, Son La and Yen Bai provinces selected in order to concentrate field activities. In addition, experimental activities at district level have been designed to match local development stakes.
A few activities designed to improve NOMAFSI capacities to manage DMC and agroecology were organised over the latest period:
– a one-week collective field trip to Cambodia was organised in late October 2009. The ADAM team went to visit DMC experiments being implemented by the PADAC project for small-scale farmers,
– two short training courses (soil biology and soil erosion) for NOMAFSI engineers were organised under the supervision of Dr. Pascal Jouquet and Dr. Didier Orange (IRD-bioemco) respectively,
– one engineer involved in Moc Chau experiments is presently attending a 2-month “training by doing” internship in Cambodia to learn how to manage DMC innovations in practice.
During phase 1 of the project, the ADAM staff mainly focused the project’s activities on the experiments set up. Training activities for final beneficiaries are due to be organised from end 2010.
A mailing list of scientists and development workers possibly interested in receiving technical information from the ADAM project was drawn up in early 2010.Starting with this newsletter, information about the ADAM project will be sent on a regular 6-monthly basis.
Several training tools (powerpoints, manual of DMC in Madagascar, technical sheets) have been translated into Vietnamese and are being revised before final edition. In addition, communication tools have been designed then edited (News bulletin, ADAM project leaflet, poster).
Finally, several visits to experiments were organised in 2009 and 2010 for various publics including farmers, extension workers, researchers, local authorities and donors.