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Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic

"Bridging the gap between increasing knowledge and decreasing resources"

Uncovering the Potential of Maize Value Chain in Northwest Vietnam: Implications for Research and Development

Aziz Karimov1, Jo Cadilhon2

1International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Vietnam
2International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya


Numerous studies on agrifood value chains in Vietnam have proposed several interventions and policies. However, recent input and output price alterations, increasing impact of climate change, continuing environmental degradation, and increasing poverty in rural areas warrant renewed and deeper investigations of the Vietnamese agrifood value chains.

This study carries out an assessment of the maize value chain and of the linkages in the agrifood sector of Sơn La Province of Vietnam. Sơn La province has the largest concentration of maize production in the country. Maize is a vital source of feed for the rapidly booming livestock industry in Vietnam. It plays an important role in the livelihood of farmers, especially the poor and ethnic minorities. Key to relevant value chain diagnostics in fragile upland areas is a good overview of the economic benefits that drive actors' behaviour along the chain and better understanding of relationships between farmers, market and consumers.

The maize value chain assessment study used the two first steps of the LINK methodology. The preliminary analysis shows that maize is often utilised within the boundaries of farm households and part of the harvest is traded within the commune or district through collectors to animal producers and feed mills. Value chain mapping indicates that the higher maize productivity and trade in Sơn La is strongly related to the province's animal production development. The study of business models used by chain actors shows the economic benefit to farmers of using collectors as market intermediaries: collectors pay for transport from remote farmgates to market and buy all the maize available. In the context of rapidly increasing demand for feed, interventions should target increasing actors' efficiency in the maize value chain and improving trade linkages in each part of the chain taking into account other elements of the agrifood system. Findings also recommend developing an improved seed sector and effective extension delivery system, which would further enhance income, lessen poverty and improve livelihoods of farming households.

Keywords: Maize, value chain, Vietnam

Contact Address: Aziz Karimov, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Hanoi, Vietnam, e-mail: az.karimov@cgiar.org

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