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Số tạp chí 07(2016) Trang: 3-34
Tạp chí: ACIAR

Improving capacity of rice production means improving capacity of rice farming households to adapt to climate change. Hence, barriers and enablers of rice production and farmer’s livelihoods need to be determined. The study theme addresses three specific objectives: (1) identify bio-physical and socio-economic factors determining the capacity of farmers to adapt to climate change; (2) understand needs for improving the effectiveness of policies and for enhancing the role of key institutions in enabling farmers’ decisions and adaptive capacity; and (3) evaluate feasibility of tested farming technologies in terms of the extent of adaptive capacity under projected future climate and socio-economic conditions. Sustainable livelihood framework and participatory approaches were applied to identify enablers and constrainers of livelihoods capacity of rice farmers to climate change at different scales, from household, community to provincial scale. We implemented study activities at eight communes (hereafter referred to study sites), where Themes 2 and 3 conducted experiments, in four study provinces (hereafter referred to study zones; flood, alluvial, acidic and saline zones). Two study sites per zone were selected, one with favourable and another with unfavourable conditions, considering soil quality, accessibility of irrigation water, availability of flood or saline management structure, and connectivity as key proxies. We implemented five activities: (1) baseline livelihood analysis, (2) sustainable livelihood strategy assessments, (3) policy and institutional analysis, (4) feasibility assessments of tested farming technologies, and (5) extension pathways. Baseline household’s livelihood surveys and household’s livelihood strategy assessments were conducted, with local workshops and household surveys, to identify needs and possible solutions in improving capacity of rice farming and farmer’s livelihoods to adapt to climate change. In this aspect, we also understood gender issues in rice production and livelihoods by in-depth interviewing 205 male and female couples. To identify policy and institutional gaps in supporting adaptive capacity of rice farmer, we collected information from eight local workshops, two workshops per zone, with participants from relevant governmental and community-based actors at district and provincial level, and service suppliers. Given on-farm trials of promising rice varieties and rice farming technologies created from Themes 2 and 3, we assessed feasibility of tested rice varieties and five rice farming technologies though fielddays and local workshops with local stakeholders and project researchers. Finally, extension pathways of feasible farming technologies identified from the previous step were determined through the participatory impact pathways analysis and technological adoption simulation with participation of local stakeholders. Results show that rice farmers in the study zones have faced multiple threats and problems, not only climatic but also harmful pests and other socio-economic factors. The climatic threats and socio-economic problems differ with zones and sites within the same zone. The saline zone is most vulnerable to climatic threats and the unfavorable sites are more vulnerable than the favorable sites. Poorer farmers are considered more vulnerable because of relatively lower livelihood capacity than better-off farmers. Farming diversification by rotating upland crops (in freshwater areas) or shrimp (in saline water areas) with rice helped farmers earn higher income but this option was constrained by unavailability of offfarm labor, poor accessibility to and instability of output market systems, and poor irrigation or drainage systems. Informal farmer’s groups, informal in-kind credit and availability of telephone and television of households are enablers of livelihood capacity of farmers. Women play an important role to rice farming and household’s livelihoods. However, their knowledge on climate change and their participation in extension activities were relatively poorer than their husbands. Enhancing adaptive capacity of rice farmers to changes in the study zones, not a single solution but a package of solutions is needed, including rice Final report: Theme 4: Analysis of farming systems and socio-economic settings in rice farming households Page 5 farming technologies, structural measures, and socio-economic measures with respect to specific contexts. The Vietnamese government has promulgated several policies relevant to rice production, rice trade and rice farmer’s livelihoods. However, the implementation of the policies at local level was not effective as expected. The problems are weak integration, inflexibility and suitability of the policies in local contexts, which in turn caused difficulties in institutional coordination in policy implementation. Effective out-scale and up-scale of promising technologies created by CLUES needs effective coordination and participation among key governmental actors together with community-based organizations, and incorporation into local existing development programmes. New technologies from CLUES will need constantly adjustments and improvement in order to adapt to changing needs of farmers. Farmers and local stakeholders expected that feasible rice varieties or rice farming technologies have multiple adaptive characteristics with simultaneously. Future rice varieties should be not only tolerant to water-related threats and to major pests, but also having highyielding potential and good grain quality for eating and marketing. Feasible rice farming technologies need satisfy important criteria like the ease of practice, economic viability, and the availability and the stability of markets for outputs. Single component technologies like appropriate P application or AWD practice were ranked at high priority. Rice-upland crop rotation and rice transplanting technique, which are considered promising under waterrelated threats, were ranked lower priority for the current stage from intensive-labour input and/or limited markets for outputs. Target areas of feasible farming technologies created by the project require relatively favourable conditions of soil and water (i.e. alluvial or slightly acidic soils with available irrigation and drainage systems), except for appropriate P application technique in acid sulphate zone. Farmer cooperation is an important enablers of the out-scale of the feasible technologies, for instance the AWD practice, while rice transplanting and rotation of upland crops with rice require farmers with availability of on-farm labour or accessibility to local offfarm labour, or with availability of output markets. DARD and its agencies are important actors in out-scale and up-scale of the technologies. In addition, other actors related to services for inputs and outputs, farming cooperation plays an important role. The ease of practice and economic viability are important determinants of the adoption of technologies by farmers. In conclusion, enhancing capacity of rice production and livelihoods of rice farmers needs a package of optional solutions in respect with site-specific contexts. Local stakeholders need not only technical solutions but enablers to foster innovative capacity, which need multi-dimensioned flows of knowledge and innovation processes. Up-follow pilot models, where proposed packages of solutions will be tested, should be established, monitored and evaluated, incorporating in local existing development programmes at the study sites.

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