Agricultural sustainability in developing countries: an assessment of the relationships between drivers and indicators in Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam

Pham, Luong Van and Smith, Carl (2013) Agricultural sustainability in developing countries: an assessment of the relationships between drivers and indicators in Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 37 10: 1144-1186. doi:10.1080/21683565.2013.833153

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Author Pham, Luong Van
Smith, Carl
Title Agricultural sustainability in developing countries: an assessment of the relationships between drivers and indicators in Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam
Journal name Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2168-3565
2168-3573
Publication date 2013-10-18
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/21683565.2013.833153
Volume 37
Issue 10
Start page 1144
End page 1186
Total pages 43
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Indicator-based methods have been extensively used to assess agricultural sustainability. Their main weakness has been a focus on the outcomes, revealing little about the causes of these outcomes because drivers of sustainability, and interactions among indicators and drivers, are not explicitly addressed. This makes it difficult to identify systemic policy levers and potential unintended consequences of policies. Our research took a systemic approach to sustainability assessment and explored relationships between indicators and drivers within the small scale farming systems of Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Our results highlight rather poor sustainability performance. Crop yield and net farm income were low. Food self-sufficiency was a problem. Households were dependent on high rates of chemical fertilizers and pesticides while pest and disease occurrence was reportedly increasing. Irrigation water shortages were also an issue. We also found many interrelationships among drivers and indicators of agricultural sustainability. Household location, education level, labor availability, and ethnic minority membership were highly connected drivers that influenced several other drivers and indicators directly or indirectly. Policies targeted at these are likely to have broad systemic effects on sustainability performance. However, due to the connected nature of the system, there is potential for unintended consequences from well-intended policies.
Keyword Small-scale farming
Agricultural sustainability indicators
Agricultural sustainability drivers
Agricultural systems
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 18 October 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2014 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 30 Aug 2013, 11:13:16 EST by Dr Carl Smith on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences