No.899 Cumulative Effects of Intensified Cropping Cycles: Triple Rice Cropping in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta
Over-intensive agriculture can degrade soil quality and agricultural performance. To explore this possibility, we analyze how triple rice cropping correlates with input use, productivity, and profitability in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. We construct a new pooled cross-sectional dataset of representative rice farmers from 2006 to 2012, using a satellite imagery panel of commune-level rice cropping patterns from 2001 to 2012. Our empirical analysis controls for district and province-year fixed effects and finds that triple cropping continued for 4 years or more is correlated with increased chemical fertilizer costs. However, we do not find any negative effects on rice yield, rice income per hectare, farm income, or household income. Based on our results, we discuss policies to improve the environmental sustainability of rice production.
Keywords: Triple rice cropping, sustainability, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
JEL classification: O13, Q12, Q56
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