Analyzing drought adaptation practices of sugarcane growers in Thanh Cong, Thach Thanh District, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam
This article (PDF) in the Tropicultura Journal analyses drought adaptation practices of two groups of sugarcane growers – markt and contractual farmers – in Vietnam. Results of this study point out that farmers, depending on their preferred type of market channels, reacted differently to the impacts of drought. Contractual farmers paid more attention to the impact on sugarcane tillering and sugar content, while market-oriented farmers paid more attention to sugarcane colour, as this trait directly determined the market price on the cane that is either consumed as cane or as juice. In responding to water stress in the growing season, the open market-oriented farmers showed more flexibility in changing their cropping calendar. They were also more willing to invest in enhancing the water management system and in providing organic fertilizer than the contractual farmers. All these efforts reduce the vulnerability of the market farmers to drought, and at the same time, assure them of increased profits. On the other hand, the low cane price and the harvesting date set in contract by the processing company lessened the contractual farmers’ flexibility in investing in water management technologies; thus, hampering their adaptation to drought. An important recommendation is that individual farmers’ capacity in coping with the negative impacts of climate change needs to be strenghtened by increasing their knowledge and skills on adaptation technologies that make up for a stronger climate change resilience in the future.