In the Red River Delta of Vietnam, vegetables are mainly rotated with rice in the traditional system: rice - rice - vegetables. This production system has disadvantages: wet puddling alternated with drying affects soil structure, creating physical soil conditions unfavourable for vegetable production. In addition, it is hard to improve farmers’ income via improving rice productivity, as the level of rice intensification is already high and the acreage can hardly be increased.
The study created the so-called PermVeg model, a useful tool to design permanent vegetable production systems for the Red River Delta with the objectives of improving farmer’s income and improving soil conditions. We found that permanent vegetable production systems can improve farmers’ income, but that marketing of vegetable products still needs attention. After two years of field experimentation, both the permanent vegetable production systems and the traditional system already showed improved soil physical and chemical properties.