Soil-improving cropping systems for sustainable rice production

Increasing yield and sustainabilityContinuous paddy rice cultivation with three rice crops per year is the major cropping system in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta.

Albeit the increased use of mineral fertilizer and improved cultivars, rice productivity is declining due to soil degradation.

How to increase yield and sustainability

We showed that alternative cropping systems with rice rotated with upland crops (maize or mung bean) within one year substantially improve soil health.

As a consequence, rice yield (>35% higher) and farmers’ income (>250% higher) increased significantly.


Results help farmers, advisors and authorities in exploiting and managing effectively the land and develop sustainable cropping systems. The project has a great multiplier effect and contributes to food security and global sustainable development.

More to expect

In an on-going project, with other upland crops (soy bean and sesame) and with soils amended with rice straw/cow dung compost and sugar cane compost, we additionally assess the impact of those new cropping systems on greenhouse gas emissions.