Semi-annual report: TMPEGS Vietnam
Executive Summary: Major activities conducted by the Vietnam team during the reporting period include the implementation of the experiments with shade-tolerant indigenous root crop planted under rubber; vegetable planted with Arachis Pintoi as a soil cover crop; assessment of soil quality for different VAF systems/practices; K2A Study; analysis of gendered marketing network; and organizing a SWAT training at NLU. The team has found that Cu nang (Tacca pinnatifida Forst) grows well under shading in rubber plantation. The planting of this root crop helps to increase farmers' income but does not reduce the yield of rubber. The growing of Pintoi as a cover crop helps to reduce labor in weeding, and because of lower evaporation and better maintenance of soil moisture, helps to reduce irrigation time and therefore the amount of irrigation water. Results of the soil quality assessment show that the cashew yield in plantations with clear weeding is lower than in those without clear weeding. The integration of cacao into cashew plantings will help farmers increase their income and at the same time help improve soil quality. In the K2A study, the team has identified that there are weak linkages and coordination among research institutions and universities in R&D system in Vietnam. R&D activities, technology transfer and training have not been closely linked. Sharing of scientific information is weak. Research outputs have not been transferred to decision makers/end users adequately or in a timely manner. Better K2A approaches will help improve the efficiency of the R&D system. The gender study identified that women's roles and division of labor within their households, and the design of, and time required for, several assistance programs being offered to help them, leave them little time for agricultural extension, training courses, and social activities as well as access to market. In response to this situation, informal networks (such as neighborhoods, relatives, local craft groups, ho/hui etc.) have taken into account what the formal ones do not. Considering and taking advantage of informal gender networks in the development programs of government and other agencies in the future are recommended.