Assessment of coffee-based agroforestry system performance by provinces in the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Document Type : Original Article


1 cares, vitenam national university of agriculture , hanoi, vietnam

2 Center for Agricultural research and Ecological studies Vietnam National University of Agriculture Hanoi - Vietnam

3 Vietnam National University of Agriculture Hanoi - Vietnam


Dominated by intensive coffee monocultures for the last 30 years, farmers in the Central Highlands of Vietnam has been increasingly experienced with farming difficulties given resource degradation, market and climate uncertainties. In recent years, a number of farmers have diversified their coffee farms toward the forms of agroforestry: through integrating fruit and other crops into coffee farms. This study, by referring to the existing 10 agroforestry systems and 10 forestry ecological zones identified in the region for its approach, conducted in 20 communes throughout five provinces in the region at the coffee harvesting period in the end of 2018. In total, 249 farmers were identified through snowball sampling technique and successfully interviewed. Five major agroforestry systems are identified with sufficient sample size for statistical analyses. By detailed assessment of inputs used and revenue, this study proves that agroforestry systems strongly enhance farmer’s income. However, the success varies among the five studied provinces. Farmer’s technical know-how and their choice on 2nd crop made their agroforestry farming profit largely different. Given the fact that large percentage of land in the tropics is too dry, too steep, or too rocky to be classified as arable land which has been further problematic through increasing exposure to erosion resulting from unsustainable farming practices, often driven by intensive monocultures, efforts to promote agroforestry in Vietnam in particular and the tropics in general is thus needed, not only for surviving increasing population but also recovering and protecting the environment. In the situation of the Central Highlands of Vietnam, together with efforts in promoting agroforestry, a restructure of farming system needs to be considered in accordance with foreseeable difficulties in farming conditions, i.e., more water stress will be happened in certain provinces. These provinces should take a shift more toward less-irrigation dependent crops and reduce their dependence on coffee. These changes will create a better common guarantee for all farmers in coping with future uncertainties.