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Title: Floods, soil and food – Interactions between water management and rice production within An Giang province, Vietnam
Authors: Livsey, John
Da, Chau Thi
Scaini, Anna
Keywords: An Giang
Soil properties
Soil nutrients
Water management
Issue Date: 2021
Series/Report no.: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment;pp. 1 - 12
Abstract: Rapid intensification of Vietnamese rice production has had a positive effect on the nation’s food production and economy. However, the sustainability of intensive rice production is increasingly being questioned within Vietnam, particularly in major agricultural provinces such as An Giang. The construction of high dykes within this province, which allow for complete regulation of water onto rice fields, has enabled farmers to grow up to three rice crops per year. However, the profitability of producing three crops is rapidly decreasing as farmers increase their use of chemical fertilizer inputs and pesticides. Increased fertilizer inputs are partly used to replace natural flood-borne, nutrient-rich sediment inputs that have been inhibited by the dykes, but farmers believe that despite this, soil health within the dyke system is degrading. However, the effects of the dykes on soil properties have not been tested. Therefore, a sampling campaign was conducted to assess differences in soil properties caused by the construction of dykes. The results show that, under present fertilization practices, although dykes may inhibit flood-borne sediments, this does not lead to a systematic reduction in nutrients that typically limit rice growth within areas producing three crops per year. Concentrations of total nitrogen, available phosphorous, and both total and available potassium, and pH were higher in the surface layer of soils of three crop areas when compared to two crop areas. This suggests that yield declines may be caused by other factors related to the construction of dykes and the use of chemical inputs, and that care should be taken when attempting to maintain crop yields. Attempting to compensate for yield declines by increasing fertilizer inputs may ultimately have negative effects on yields.
Appears in Collections:Agriculture and rural development

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