The ADAM project “Support to extension of agro-ecology approach for improving cropping systems efficiency and durability in Northwestern mountainous areas of Vietnam”, supported by AFD and CIRAD and implemented by NOMAFSI during 2009 – 2014 aims at: (i) identifying and developing sustainable cultivation techniques suitable for the local conditions in the Northern mountainous region of Vietnam for protecting lands from being eroded and ensuring sustainable income for farmers, and (ii) promoting application of these techniques by local small scale households
To this end the project inputs has been focused on the following:
a) Researches and experiments
The project has assessed the diversity of natural and socio-economic conditions in the target areas (Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Son La) at different levels and on different aspects. This helped the project to plan and design other activities to be most appropriate to the local conditions in each site. The project is also conducting a survey to identify the capacity and possibility for scaling-up and scaling-out of the CA innovations after the project’s end.
The project imported, collected, maintained and propagated about 100 species/varieties of cover plants which mainly belong to bean and grass. Among them are some of high potential values such as cowpea, rice bean, mucuna, stylosanthes, crotalaria, brachiaria, sorghum, millet…The project also evaluated growth, adaptation, breeding ability of species these species. The collection is now being maintained and some selected species are being propagated for use as cover or relay crops in designing of sustainable production systems.
The experiments were implemented in 2009 – 2014 in the area 1.7 ha in Yen Bai and around 4 ha in Son La, and aimed to: (i) identify sustainable cultivation system on sloping lands for the target areas, and (ii) refine some CA practices to make them appropriate for small scale household in the target areas to adopt.
In each province about 40 farmers were selected for participating in testing CA options developed/refined by the project in food crops production systems on sloping lands.
Experiments were implemented in Phu Tho with different cultivation techniques such as use of soil improvement crops, intercropping plants, soil fumigation, soil munching and balanced fertilization. Some systems, such as covering with plant material, intercropping with pinto peanuts and cowpea have been tested in farm conditions. In Son La inputs have been spent to design intercropping systems of rubber-tea-coffee in an area of about 1 ha.
b) Capacity building and awareness raising
The project has organized various training sessions on for farmers and extension workers in CA and related agronomic aspects. It has also undertaken various awareness raising activities such as organization of discussions, meeting, workshops, field days and cross visits. In particular, efforts have been spent to develop linkage with the provincial extension programs and activities towards sustainable application of the project’s research results.
Inctreasing efforts for promoting the adoption of CA practices after the prpject’s end.
In 2014, its final year, the project is spending increasing inputs to look for possibilities for sustaining and scaling-up and scaling-out of adoption of suitable CA practices by small scale households in the Northwest region of Vietnam. Its is focusing specially on the development of linkage with the local authorities and extension network. In some locations, such as in Yen Bai, Phu Tho and Son La the project has therefore successfully cooperated with the local extension projects in training and supporting farmers to apply soil erosion control practices for maize-based and tea-based systems. Increasing attempts are still being paid to strengthen the linkages established and improve further the involvement of the local organization and government.