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Abstract, Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, 2015

This paper compares financial costs and benefits of floating rice-based and intensive rice farming systems using data from focus group discussions and household survey in four locations in the Mekong Delta. We argue that the net financial benefit per 1000m2 of integrated floating rice-based farming systems is greater than the net financial benefit of intensive rice farming system. The total net benefit of floating rice-leeks shows the highest net benefit (VND 24.8 mil./1000 m2 ), followed by floating rice-sweet corn- two baby corn crops and cattle systems (VND 18.5 mil./1000m2 ), and floating rice-chili (VND 16.7-17.7 mil./1000m2 ). If farmers cultivate monoculture of rice either two or three crops, the net benefits are ranging from VND 2.2-4.8 mil./1000m2 respectively. Alternatively, farmers integrate vegetables; the net benefit was ranging from VND 5.6 to 11.7 mil./1000m2 . The net benefit of the two rice crops is lowest (VND 1.3-2.3 mil./1000m2 ). Surprisingly, if farmers convert from two intensive rice crops to two maize crops, the net benefit can reach to VND 21 million/1000m2 . The results support the argument that the floating rice based systems allows farmers diversified into profitable upland crops, which can help farmers to improve their total income.

Keywords: Financial cost, floating rice-based, Mekong Delta