Bio-Economic Assessment of Climate-Smart Tea Production in The Northern Mountainous Region of Vietnam

Agricultural production in the face of climate change requires a climate-smart transformation and reorientation at multiple scales. Vietnam is one of the developing countries that is agriculture-based and severely affected by climate change; therefore it is crucial that the agricultural system advances toward this transformation. While climate-smart agriculture has gained a significant attention in global fora, context-specific evidence is still scarce in Vietnam. This study examines climate-smart agriculture potentials in tea production systems in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam. Since the climate-smart agriculture concept is multidimensional, which includes food security and adaptation and mitigation, an interdisciplinary analytical framework is employed in this research to assess the economic and biophysical dimensions. Enterprise budgets and representative farms (i.e., farms or households having one or more activities or enterprises) are developed for tea and alternative crops, as well as livestock production, to analyze the productivity dimension of food security. In evaluating the adaptation potential of tea production, local farmers’ perceptions and experiences of extreme weather events are combined with ERA-Interim data (1989-2013) and household survey data on income levels (reanalysis dataset taken from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts; ERA stands for ECMWF Reanalysis). Greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration potentials are estimated through partial Carbon Footprint Life Cycle Assessment. Results show that tea production systems generate net margins, returns to capital, and family labor higher than the alternatives. Farmers, therefore, have high incentives to switch from other crops to tea production. In the face of climate change, tea has shown a strong biophysical adaptive capacity compared to other crops in the northern mountainous region. Tea production systems have a high capability for carbon storage. Evidence of strong synergies between food security and mitigation and adaptation is demonstrated for tea production systems in the northern mountainous region, and potential tradeoffs were highlighted, where relevant.

Vol. 15 No. 2, December 2018

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