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Article

Can Ecological Farming Systems Positively Affect Household Income from Agriculture? A Case Study of the Suburban Area of Hanoi, Vietnam

1
Department of Sustainable Technologies, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
2
Department of Economics and Development, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031466
Submission received: 19 November 2021 / Revised: 23 December 2021 / Accepted: 5 January 2022 / Published: 27 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)

Abstract

:
From 1995, Vietnam started building safety standards for agricultural products divided into three labels, “safe”, “VietGAP”, and “organic” to deal with environmental problems and health issues resulting from the intensification of farming methods and increasing awareness of food safety. This research examines the reasons for government support of agricultural production according to those standards instead of conventional methods. To this end, we characterised the current farming systems, identified factors affecting the generation of cash income from agriculture, and investigated the influence of the farming system on farm income in the suburban area of Hanoi. Data collection involved a survey based on a structured questionnaire, key informants’ interviews, and focus group discussions conducted in 2015 with a sample size of 312 respondents. Three forms of farming systems: conventional, safe, and organic were identified. Literature suggested that ecological farming systems that are safe and organic are supported by stakeholders in Vietnam to maintain agricultural sustainability. A multiple linear regression model was applied to identify factors that affect cash incomes from agricultural activities. This research found a direct correlation between the ecological factor of farming systems and respondents’ cash income from agricultural activities. Additionally, the amount of family labour and respondents’ higher-level education and farm experiences appeared to positively influence the cash incomes from agriculture. On the other hand, farm size and membership in a farmers’ association were identified as the major factors that negatively affect agricultural cash income in the study area.

1. Introduction

The Vietnamese government announced renovation policies in December 1986, which included reform in agriculture that allowed for long-term land use rights and greater freedom to buy inputs and market products. Urban and suburban agriculture began in Vietnam to supply the consumption from the capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, emphasising vegetable and fruit production in the peri-urban areas [1]. High urbanisation led to insufficient land available for urban development and rapidly displaced suburban Hanoi’s agricultural and rural landscape [2]. Hanoi needs a more detailed master plan for sustainable urban agriculture, such as effective management of plots, greater coordination in transportation and marketing of urban agriculture produce, and innovative agricultural technologies [3].
Agricultural intensification is a way to mitigate urbanisation’s effects, including decreasing arable land in Hanoi. Agricultural intensification makes use of more efficient inputs. However, it may involve environmental problems and health issues. It often demands a high volume of agrochemicals that leaves toxic contaminants in the soil, water source, and agricultural products [4,5]. Vietnamese farmers widely choose cheap and old pesticides to increase production because of low income from agriculture [6]. The availability of cheap agrochemicals and farmers’ lack of awareness about their fair use led to the overuse of fertilisers and pesticides, especially in rice and vegetable production [7]. Uninformed farming practices resulted in land and water pollution [6]. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese government’s plant protection and food safety mechanisms were inefficient. In 2010, a single inspector of the Vietnamese Plant Protection Department was in charge of 290 agrochemical producers and traders, 100,000 hectare farming land, and 10,000 farms [8].
In 1995, public interest in safe vegetable production led the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement an ambitious “Rau an toàn–safe vegetables” programme focused on more ecological farming methods. The programme trained farmers about the efficient and reasonable way to use fertilisers, pesticides, and non-polluted water. Similar programmes were organised and promoted by various non-government organisations (NGOs) [9]. “Safe vegetable”, in general, became a local term used to refer to vegetables grown with the correct application of pesticides to avoid excessive residues [10]. Safe vegetable production certificates are awarded by the Plant Protection Department of Hanoi municipality to cooperatives and companies, to meet strict conditions of soil and water contamination in the area and comply with restrictions on the use of chemicals [11]. Safe vegetable production must use less toxic pesticides and follow various conditions and procedures, including strict pest management practices [12]. The safe vegetable programme was designed to cover approximately 20% of Hanoi’s vegetable growing area. However, by 2008, only 27 agricultural cooperatives held safe vegetable production certificates in Hanoi, representing around 2% of Hanoi’s total vegetable surface [9].
At the same time, the number of food poisoning cases related to chemical residues in vegetables increased from 4233 cases (59 deaths) in 2000 to 7829 cases (62 deaths) in 2008 [13]. Coincidentally, food safety scandals appeared in Hanoi, pointing out that vegetable farmers near Hanoi’s suburban areas used excessive pesticides, dirty water, and stimulating chemicals [10]. Vietnamese consumers began to be aware of food safety issues associated with the extensive use of agrochemicals [14].
In response to the concern about unsafe vegetables, in 2008, the Vietnamese government issued the Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practice (VietGAP) policy as another safety standard for vegetable and fruit production based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points principles of AseanGAP. The objectives of VietGAP are to improve food quality and food safety, protect workers’ and consumers’ health, improve social welfare, and protect the environment [15]. To obtain VietGAP certification, producer groups need to record their farmers’ chemical use practices and organise internal inspections of the production and post-harvest operations. An external auditor checks the internal monitoring system according to the Food Safety Law adopted in June 2010 by the National Assembly. This law makes it compulsory for food producers to organise self-inspection, give information on the safety of their products, and cover the expenses of sampling and testing. However, VietGAP regulations are impossible to enforce for small-scale producers with limited incomes [16]. Thus, most safe food certification and labelling in the Hanoi area still relates to “safe vegetables” rather than VietGAP [17]. Even though many cooperatives in Hanoi have received financial support from Hanoi, covering all fees for labelling VietGAP production, farmers do not have many incentives to follow the VietGAP programme. Therefore, the number of certified farms has increased slowly [18].
The third option for safety standards for Vietnamese agricultural products is “Hữu cơ–organic”, which was introduced in 2004 by Agricultural Development Denmark Asia (ADDA). The Vietnamese government recognised the organic label in 2006 [18]. By 2015, the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology promulgated standards for organic agricultural systems, TCVN 11041:2015. However, the contents of this TCVN are not available publicly but are only available for those who buy its license. Hence, many regions, cooperatives, and state institutes are not aware of this standard. According to the Vietnam Participatory Guarantee System (Vietnam PGS) study, currently implemented organic standards in Vietnam come mainly from NGOs or foreign organisations [19]. The most popular organic label in Vietnam is PGS Organic which Vietnam PGS issues. Vietnam PGS is an NGO supported by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) [20]. Vietnam-PGS-certified farmers practice specific IFOAM standards for sustainable agriculture. The IFOAM standard aims to ensure crops’ ecosystem by avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, respecting the balance of natural ecosystems, optimising the health and productivity of soil life, plants, animals, and humans, and supporting the adoption of sustainable agricultural technologies such as composting [21].
Recognising the complexity of agricultural certification in Vietnam, we identified three classifications based on the certificated label of agricultural products. These classifications are “thông thường–conventional” (uncertified), “an toàn–safe” (under “safe vegetable” or VietGAP programme), and “hữu cơ–organic” (under an organic program by NGOs or certified by TCVN). The Vietnamese government and NGOs support a safe and organic farming system to maintain agricultural sustainability and improve rural livelihoods [22]. However, the effects of the push for a safe and/or organic farming system on farms’ household income remain understudied. This research is going to answer the following questions to address these problems and better understand why safe and organic farming systems are chosen to help instead of the conventional method in suburban areas of Hanoi:
  • What farm characteristics are related to the particular type of farming system among the targeted group?
  • Which factors affect cash incomes from agriculture activities under the three identified farming systems?

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Study Area

Our study area was the suburbs of the Vietnamese capital city Hanoi (Figure 1), located in the Red River delta region. Roughly 56.4% of its land is used for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. About half of all vegetable production in Hanoi occurs within a 30 km radius around the city’s centre. This area is called Hanoi’s green belt. Agricultural production in the green belt is highly profitable and is an essential source of income for the local suburban farming households [18]. As such, the study area of this research is wholly situated in Hanoi’s green belt.
The first part of the survey was conducted in the Cu Khoi sub-district of Gia Lam district, where the authors were supported by the local private organic farm Tue Vien to gather data. Hanoi became one of the leading cities in the VietGAP programme. Since 2008, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam has selected Gia Lam and Thanh Tri in Hanoi as pilot localities for the VietGAP program [18,23]. Gia Lam has 5070.4 ha for growing annual crops (77.0% of total agricultural land) and 864.04 ha for growing perennial crops (13.2% of total agricultural land). The district focuses on agricultural development in the direction of urban eco-agriculture, an agricultural ecology in cities, towns, or urban areas. Urban eco-agriculture develops toward applying technologies to boost productivity and quality while ensuring food safety, promoting environmental protection, and enhancing biodiversity balance in the region. Gia Lam also aims to specialise in the growth of safe fruit and vegetables [24].
The second part of the data was collected in the Thanh Xuan village of Soc Son district (Hanoi). Soc Son district has 13,559 ha of agricultural land and 4557 ha of forest [25]. From 2010 to 2012, Soc Son district (Hanoi) and Luong Son district (Hoa Binh) were selected for “a project of organic agriculture development” supported by ADDA, a Danish NGO, which set a strong foundation for organic agriculture in Soc Son. The district aims to implement a developmental strategy that focuses on developing urban eco-agriculture, increasing demands for the district’s agricultural products, and improving the quality of local agricultural production [26].

2.2. Sampling Procedure

According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO), there were 1637 farms in Hanoi in 2014 [27]. However, only limited data about the types of farming systems used in the region were available throughout the duration of the research. While the VietGAP system publishes lists of groups, cooperatives, or companies certified by VietGAP on their official website [28], details about the number of farmers involved in each group or company were not published. Heads of the local farmers’ union revealed that about 120 and 70 farmers were practising safe farming systems in Cu Khoi and Thanh Xuan, respectively. Only Vietnam PGS provides detailed public information about organic farmer inter-groups, including the names of farmers in each group, particularly farmers who were excluded from the PGS system [21]. Counting to June of 2013, organic farmer inter-groups in Thanh Xuan remained ahead in PGS organic production, with nine PGS-certified producer groups [29]. The smallest group had 5 farmers, and the largest one had 13 farmers [30]. According to the heads of the local farmers’ union, after economic renovation in 1986, agricultural land is shared equally to each household in the region by the number of family members. Hence, small-scale farmers made up most of the study area, with around two hectares. Small-scale farms are locally defined as nonindustrial farms characterised by limited land, labour force, and technologies. Most farms in the study area are around two hectares, while the average farm size in Vietnam is five hectares [31]. These farms focus on producing products for local consumption.
Three farming systems (conventional, safe, and organic) were identified in the study area. However, the lack of official statistical data made it impossible to employ random sampling. As such, a purposive sampling method—a non-random technique of sampling without a set number of participants—was chosen as the most appropriate method. Employing such a method, the researcher decides what needs to be known and sets out to find people who can and are willing to provide the information by virtue of knowledge or experience [32]. The sampling criteria included only farmers growing vegetables and fruit and left out those involved in livestock production. In total, 312 respondents, who practiced one of three different farming systems, were interviewed.

2.3. Data Collection

The data were collected via a field survey involving personal interviews and focus group discussions in July and August 2015. The first author and trained volunteers conducted the survey. Interviews were carried out face to face at farmers’ houses or individually at a local cultural centre where group discussions were also organised. Interviews were based on a semi-structured questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions divided into four sections (Table 1). Key informants (n = 8) were interviewed before and after conducting interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with target farmers. These informants provided better understanding of the local situation. Key informants were heads of the local farmers’ union (n = 2), leaders of farmers’ groups (n = 2), and leaders of farmers’ cooperatives (n = 4).
Despite our efforts to gather as much information as possible with the assistance of the heads of the local farmers’ union or leaders of farmers’ cooperatives in the target areas, some limitations affect the data collection process. Farmers did not take our interviews seriously because we were not affiliated with any state institution. Furthermore, farmers could not calculate the exact operational costs of their farming activities. Thus, they could only vaguely estimate the cash incomes generated from farm activities. Additionally, respondents withheld information about the quantity and variety of chemical pesticides used on their farms.
Recognising the complexity of analysing the farming systems and their effect on livelihoods, we decided to conduct FGDs to better understand farmers’ opinions about their current and future farming situation. FGDs comprise groups of ten to twelve small-scale farmers. Five FGD sessions (three in Cu Khoi and two in Thanh Xuan) were conducted with a mixture of conventional, safe, and organic farmers. These farmers were invited for interviews and group discussions by heads of civil groups or leaders of farmers’ cooperatives. The FGDs focused on farmers’ opinions about the current quality of farmland, farmers’ perception about their farming system and other factors related to economy, environment, satisfaction, and factors associated with the adoption of farming technologies. One FGD was made up of only organic farmers to gather more information about why farmers wanted to switch to growing organic vegetables and how they evaluated the organic farming system after five years of practising organic farming. This FGD was specifically created to compare its outcomes with those from the FGD conducted with the same respondents in a previous study in 2013.

2.4. Data Analysis

The collected qualitative and quantitative data were edited, coded, and analysed using the statistical program SPSS 25. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and cross tables were used to explore the characteristics of respondents and farming systems.
We applied multiple linear regression to investigate the factors which affect the annual cash income from farms in millions of VND (USD 1 = VND 22,200 on 15 August 2015) from agricultural activities per each local area measurement unit “sào” (360 m2) of farmers in target groups. Linear regression analysis is one of the most used statistical methods to find the relationship between dependent variables and independent variables and predict the value of dependent variables based on independent variables determined [33]. For example, linear regression was used to identify the determinants of farming income and productivity in Brazil [34] or examine the relative profitability of organic and conventional vegetable production and factors that affect vegetable production in Vietnam [10].
The dependent variable “farm income”—the annual cash income from agricultural activities measured by VND million per sào—was calculated based on gathered data from respondents (cash income per each harvesting season). As the dependent variable in this research is continuous, factors influencing it were analysed using linear regression. If there is one dependent variable (Y) of p independent variables (X1, X2, …, Xp), then multiple linear regression models can be written as follows [33] (p. 626):
Y = Xβ + ε,
Y = β0 + β1X1 + β2X2 + … + βpXp + ε
When analysing a farming system, at least three sets of interacting elements need to be considered: farm characteristics (production method, farm’s asset, labour resource), famer characteristics (personal and vocational background), and environment (social network) [35]. As such, nine independent variables were assumed to have influenced the agricultural cash income. Those variables were “farm system”, “farm size”, “family labour”, “sex”, “age”, “education”, “experience”, “association”, and “cooperation”. The description of independent variables in the model is presented in Table 2.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Subsection Factors Influencing Cash Income from Agricultural Activities

According to the result of multiple linear regression (Table 2), a significant regression equation was found (F (9, 312) = 9.194, p = 0.000 < 0.05). With an R2 of 0.215, the model indicated that independent variables explained about 21.5% of the dependent variable. “Farming system”, “family labour”, “education”, and “experience” were responsible for the significant positive influence of the annual agricultural cash income. Two independent variables, “farm size” and “association” revealed a negative influence on agricultural activities’ cash income.

3.2. Characteristics of Three Typical Farming Systems

The field survey included 312 small-scale farmers involved in three farming systems. In total, 52% of participants practiced conventional farming, while 40% practiced safe farming and 8% practiced organic farming. Both farmers in conventional and safe farming systems used chemical additives to boost crop productivity. Safe farmers had to limit the number of chemical additives used. They followed specific requirements to receive the safe label. They could only use chemical additive brands from the list of brands allowed by the Vietnamese Department of Plant Protection. There was also a required duration between the time the farmer sprayed chemical additives and cultivation [9]. Depending on the type of crops they were growing, farmers can combine chemical and organic (raw rice straw ash) fertilisers in a ratio based on their own experience. For instance: when growing guava fruit, respondents need to combine chemical fertiliser with raw rice straw ash, while for vegetable production, it is enough to use only chemical fertiliser. Conventional and safe farmers were unclear about the number of chemical pesticides used; around 90% of respondents who practiced conventional and safe farming applied only chemical pesticides on their farms. Chemical pesticides seemed to be a sensitive topic among these respondents. As such, they were very vague about their use of chemical pesticides in the farm. We suppose this was caused by increasing consumers’ concern over food risk associated with chemical residues on vegetables. In contrast, the respondents who practiced organic farming avoided using chemical additives. These respondents were more open about their use of chemical additives on their farms as they must use only organic or biological matter as additives. They also tried to apply sustainable technologies on the farm, such as composting.
The more ecological the farming systems, the more the respondents tended to cooperate with other farmers. Respondents using the conventional farming system do not have to be a member of a farmer association. They seldom shared water resources with neighbouring farmers, and only 12% shared farming tasks with other farmers in the area. Safe farmers were obligated to participate in local authorised farmer cooperation and sometimes attend educational courses given by the safe agricultural cooperative or group they belong to. Their farming activities were also under the control of a safe agricultural cooperative or group. For this reason, they have more opportunities to share knowledge and experience. In total, 74% of safe farmers cooperated with other farmers in the area. They were used to sharing pesticide sources with other farmers, for example, paying for the production of chemical pesticides for a group of farms at one time. Due to the small-scale principle in the organic farming system under the Vietnam PGS system, organic farmers are often neighbours on agricultural land. They work as an inter-group of a minimum of five farms to assure supply and control quality of water sources and other inputs to the farm [29]. While other farmers prefer to work privately on their farms, 100% of organic farmers in our survey cooperated with other farmers in their inter-group. They shared organic fertilisers, biological pesticides, water sources, farm equipment, product marketing, and selling with other farmers in the group. Experience and knowledge were shared among members of the inter-group as well as among inter-groups managed by Vietnam PGS.
A study from Thailand revealed that organic vegetable farming in Mahasarakham province was much less financially attractive than conventional vegetable farming due to its low yield. Usually, farmers could not sell it at a high price [36]. Despite this finding, a newer study in 2018 from the Kajiado and Murang’a counties of Kenya showed that the practice of organic agriculture was associated with higher agricultural income, more robust social networks, and increased access to information [37]. Our model also revealed that the more ecological the farming system, the more success agricultural income respondents achieved. The cash income of the farm increases by VND 5.086 million per year per “sào” when the farming system moves up one unit.
The additional value of the products can explain higher income from ecological farming systems. Respondents who adopted the safe farming system admitted that the safety product label increased the price of their products. It is necessary to note that 70–80% of safe vegetables in Hanoi were distributed directly to traditional markets before handing it to the consumer, with the price not different from conventional ones. Only 10–15% of safe vegetables were delivered through supermarkets and safe food shops with higher prices than conventional vegetables [38]. Organic farmers reported that their farms had weaker productivity than farms using the conventional farming system and mainly depended on the weather. Nevertheless, organic farmers are aware of the high demand for organic products as the organic market is not saturated, and hence, they can sell their products at a premium price. Research in 2013 found that organic vegetables’ average price was about 70% higher than conventional vegetables [38].
The cost associated with farming production includes the cost of hired labour, seed, fertiliser, pesticide, and other costs [10]. None of the farms in our survey needed to hire an external labour force. Each farm had an average labour force of 1.74 from the family actively working on a farm. The result showed that the farm income was raised by VND 1.837 million when the respondent had one more family member working on the farm. The finding can be explained by saving from labour costs.
A study by Otsuka et al. shows that large farms in developing countries could be more efficient than smaller farms [39]. However, a study found that farm size is directly correlated with quantity of input used; thus, a large farm requires more input combined in the right way with an educated and skilled labour force to increase farm productivity [40]. The average farm size among our respondents is 5.83 (±4.22) sào which is defined as a small-scale farm in Vietnam. More than 75% of respondents were in the productive age group, which is defined as between 15 and 60 years of age. The average farming experience of respondents was 30.3 years. Still, only nine percent finished high school, and three percent had university degrees. Traditionally, Vietnamese rural farmers tended to rely on life experience and basic labour skills, which contributed to the declining labour productivity in the agricultural sector in Vietnam [41]. Our research showed that a larger farm size combined with a low-skilled labour force has led “farm income” to decrease by VND 0.818 million when the farm expands about one sào.

3.3. Human Capital

Fielke and Bardsley conducted their research in South Australia and found that a higher level of education relates to increasing sustainability, particularly university education [42]. They believe that further education provides farmers with the capacity to compete effectively in a liberalised economy. Indeed, this study revealed that the level of education of farmers significantly increased “farm income” by about VND 2.838 million when it went up about one unit (the range of education level is defined in Table 2).
Besides education, farming experience remained a significant factor positively affecting income from agricultural activities. The study showed that “farm income” increased by VND 0.028 million for every additional year of working experience that respondents had. Furthermore, the skills and experience of growers were found to have an essential role in enhancing the agroecosystem in a study in South-East France and Reunion Island of France [43]. Long-term experience in farming activities also positively affected farmers’ behaviour in the Jamalpur district in Bangladesh, where they grow vegetables for environmental protection [44].

3.4. Social Capital

The Vietnamese public agricultural extension system was founded in 1993 and organised into five levels: national, provincial, district, commune, and village. The commune and village level work in the form of local farmers’ unions. Although farmers’ unions are available in each village, they still have a top-down approach which is plagued with poor linkage, weak coordination, and lack of skilful human resources and financial investment. Besides the public extension system which provides the main extension services in Vietnam, research institutions, universities, enterprises, and NGOs are also involved in providing extension facilities. Extension functions include establishing demonstration models and training of farmers [45].
Nearly 72% of respondents are members of a local farmers’ union. Only 21% of conventional farmers valued the knowledge that local farmers’ unions provided for their members. Nearly 30% of respondents who practiced safe farming evaluated the offered services from the agricultural extension as good or very good. In total, 100% of organic farmers evaluated the knowledge from the local farmers’ union as good and organic agricultural extension as very good. A study in Rwanda found that agricultural association membership among larger farms in Rwanda increases income and reduces poverty [46]. Unfortunately, our model showed that membership in a farmers’ union decreases “farm income” by about VND 1.736 million. The limited functions of extension services can explain why participation in a farmers’ union negatively affected cash income from agricultural activities.

4. Conclusions

The main goals of this study were to explore the characteristics of farming systems and identify factors affecting cash incomes from agricultural activities under identified farming systems in the study area. We elucidated three main farming systems: conventional, safe, and organic, based on the differences in product labelling and principle of production. We found that the organic farming system is the most ecological of the three. Farm cash income increased depending on the type of farming system. However, the organic farming system’s level of productivity did not satisfy the respondents’ wishes, while the ecological farming systems (safe and organic) appear economically competitive with conventional farming thanks to the higher price for products and the assurance of output. Based on regression results, a higher level of education, more extensive farming experience, and a higher number of family members in the labour force among respondents are also important keys to improving farm incomes. Larger farm size remained the negative factor that caused cash incomes from the farms to decrease. Interestingly, the results of multiple linear regressions found that the contribution of agricultural extension negatively affected cash incomes from farming activities. However, safe and organic farmers were obliged to participate in the training given by agricultural extension services.
We suggest that farmers continue with ecological farming systems to ensure cash income and environmental protection. Local and national policymakers should give the effectiveness of extension services and farmers’ cooperation more attention to support farmers in the target areas more effectively.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, M.P. and J.M.; methodology, M.P. and J.M.; validation, M.P.; formal analysis, M.P.; investigation, M.P.; resources, M.P.; data curation, M.P.; writing—original draft preparation, M.P.; writing—review and editing, M.P., J.M., J.B., V.V. and T.I.; visualization, M.P., J.M. and J.B.; supervision, J.B. and J.M.; funding acquisition, J.B., J.M. and T.I. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Funding

This study is supported by the Internal Grant Agency (IGA) of the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, grants No. IGA20213111, No. IGA20213101, and No. IGA20213108.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, and approved by the Doctoral Board of the Ph.D. study program “Sustainable Rural Development”, Faculty Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (protocol code PD0888D37001 and 26.03.2015) for studies involving humans.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

Data available on request due to privacy restrictions.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

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Figure 1. Area of research (source: own adjustment based on national map).
Figure 1. Area of research (source: own adjustment based on national map).
Sustainability 14 01466 g001
Table 1. Main categories of the questionnaire.
Table 1. Main categories of the questionnaire.
CategoryFocus of the Questions
(I)Farm characteristicslocation, farming system, farm area, crops, use of fertiliser pesticide (quantity, cost, impact on health), land quality, water source, income,
(II)Households’ characteristicsfamily member, education, on-farm, off-farm, experience, economic security (loan, saving), social capital (cooperation, association)
(III)Perception to adopt compostprocess of crop residues, compost adoption, knowledge about compost, attention to environmental protection
(IV)Function of agricultural extension servicesaccess, private or government extension, form of support, evaluation offered knowledge and effectiveness
Table 2. Model of factors affecting farm income of respondents (n = 312).
Table 2. Model of factors affecting farm income of respondents (n = 312).
Independent VariablesTypeDescriptionUnstandardized BCoefficient Standard ErrorMeanStandard Deviation
Farm SystemOrdinalType of farming system regarding ecological level (1 = conventional—environment unfriendly, 2 = safe—middle environment friendly, 3 = organic—the most environment friendly)5.086 **1.4421.540.63
Farm SizeContinuousTotal area of the farm (sào)−0.818 **0.1385.834.23
Family LabourContinuousNumber of family members working on farm (person)1.837 *0.9961.740.60
SexDummySex of respondent (0 = female, 1 = male)3.4051.1380.360.48
AgeOrdinalAge of respondent (1 = up to 15 years old, 2 = from 15 to 60 years old, 3 = above 60 years old)0.9451.3662.220.43
EducationOrdinalEducation level of respondent (1 = can read, 2 = primary school, 3 = secondary school, 4 = high school, 5 = university)2.838 **0.6842.540.83
ExperienceContinuousTotal number of years respondent has been working on farm0.028 *0.49230.3014.38
AssociationDummyRespondent’s membership in any farmer association (0 = no, 1 = yes)−1.736 **1.1060.490.50
CooperationDummyRespondent’s share of farming tasks with other farmers (0 = no, 1= yes)−5.7091.7700.680.47
Constant14.4834.850
R-squared 0.215
* significant at level 90%, ** significant at level 99%.
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Phamova, M.; Banout, J.; Verner, V.; Ivanova, T.; Mazancova, J. Can Ecological Farming Systems Positively Affect Household Income from Agriculture? A Case Study of the Suburban Area of Hanoi, Vietnam. Sustainability 2022, 14, 1466. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031466

AMA Style

Phamova M, Banout J, Verner V, Ivanova T, Mazancova J. Can Ecological Farming Systems Positively Affect Household Income from Agriculture? A Case Study of the Suburban Area of Hanoi, Vietnam. Sustainability. 2022; 14(3):1466. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031466

Chicago/Turabian Style

Phamova, Marie, Jan Banout, Vladimir Verner, Tatiana Ivanova, and Jana Mazancova. 2022. "Can Ecological Farming Systems Positively Affect Household Income from Agriculture? A Case Study of the Suburban Area of Hanoi, Vietnam" Sustainability 14, no. 3: 1466. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031466

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