Mediating factors of agroforestry changes in Vietnam: Implications for agroforestry developmentwca2014-1398 Hoa T. Nguyen 1,*Delia Catacutan 1Phuong M. Nguyen 1 1World Agroforestry Centre in Vietnam, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Agroforestry has since been changing as part of an overall tree cover transition in Vietnam. Through a mixed-method approach, we analyzed the spatial and temporal pattern and drivers of change in agroforestry in Bac Kan and Ha Tinh provinces, in the northeast and north-central regions of Vietnam. The results indicate that successive government reforestation projects since early 1990s have been the major driver of Vietnam’s overall forest cover change, impacting agroforestry in opposite ways. Reduction of agroforestry area due to conversion into plantation forest, shifting cultivation and paddy rice was observed in Bac Kan province while an overall increase in agroforestry area within natural forests was found in Ha Tinh province. Reforestation has led to decreasing agroforestry area as financial support for tree planting was provided to farmers and markets for Melia timber became available in Bac Kan. In contrast, agroforestry expansion within allocated forestlands in Ha Tinh was attributed to farmers’ acquired knowledge on tree planting from reforestation projects and the availability of market for pulp and timber from acacia sp. It is observed that intensive implementation of government reforestation programs may lead to a reduction of agroforestry areas where species used for forest plantation are different from the ones under agroforestry and vice versa. The data also revealed that agroforestry area is significantly associated with household income in Bac Kan, but not in Ha Tinh. In addition, households who have more income from livestock tend to invest more on agroforestry. Finally, our analysis suggests that agroforestry development in Vietnam is largely based on reinforcing factors such as government support, market creation for agroforestry products, local capacity development, and availability of, or access to financial capital.