Báo cáo Nghiên cứu khoa học Replacing fertiliser n with rhizobial inoculants for legumes in Vietnam

Tài liệu Báo cáo Nghiên cứu khoa học Replacing fertiliser n with rhizobial inoculants for legumes in Vietnam: Collaboration for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Program 218 REPLACING FERTILISER N WITH RHIZOBIAL INOCULANTS FOR LEGUMES IN VIETNAM Project title: Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants for legumes in Vietnam for greater farm profitability and environmental benefits Project code: CARD 013/06VIE Authors: Tran Yen Thao1, Prof. Dr. Pham Van Toan2, Prof.Dr. Pham Van Bien3, Dr. David Herridge4, Rosalind Deaker5 Project implementing organizations: 1 Research Institute for Oil and Oil Plants (IOOP) 2 Institute of Soils and Fertilizers (ISF) 3 Institute of Agricultural Science of South Vietnam (IAS) 4 NSW Department of Primary Industries 5 University of Sydney SUMMARY The overall objective of the project was to decrease the use of N fertiliser used on legume crops soybean and groundnut in Vietnam by increasing adoption of legume inoculants. Replacing N fertiliser with legume inoculants will provide both economic and environmental benefits to farmers and ...

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Collaboration for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Program 218 REPLACING FERTILISER N WITH RHIZOBIAL INOCULANTS FOR LEGUMES IN VIETNAM Project title: Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants for legumes in Vietnam for greater farm profitability and environmental benefits Project code: CARD 013/06VIE Authors: Tran Yen Thao1, Prof. Dr. Pham Van Toan2, Prof.Dr. Pham Van Bien3, Dr. David Herridge4, Rosalind Deaker5 Project implementing organizations: 1 Research Institute for Oil and Oil Plants (IOOP) 2 Institute of Soils and Fertilizers (ISF) 3 Institute of Agricultural Science of South Vietnam (IAS) 4 NSW Department of Primary Industries 5 University of Sydney SUMMARY The overall objective of the project was to decrease the use of N fertiliser used on legume crops soybean and groundnut in Vietnam by increasing adoption of legume inoculants. Replacing N fertiliser with legume inoculants will provide both economic and environmental benefits to farmers and alleviate financial stress for poorer farmers by reducing input costs. The approach was to increase awareness and demand for inoculants through an extension program including direct demonstration of the benefits of inoculants and training in their function and use. Simultaneously, a technical program targeted at increasing the production capacity of high quality inoculants in Vietnam was initiated. This included development of inoculant formulation suited to Vietnamese conditions, a system for quality control to ensure farmers would have access to high quality products and technology transfer to the commercial sector to scale up production to meet demand. The project has been successful in achieving its goals. A survey of farmers and extension officers at the beginning and end of the project indicated a clear increase in the awareness of the benefits of inoculation and demand for their availability in the market. Over the two years of the project, inoculant product formulation development reached a point where peat-based inoculants could be produced with consistently high quality by the research institutes. On-going research and development will continue to improve formulation technology to meet requirements of large scale production. Following a series of training workshops and capital investment a quality control laboratory was established at IOOP and national standards were modified to more specifically address issues relating to legume inoculant quality. The proposed standards define quality standards as well as quality control protocols. The private sector was engaged in inoculant production, distribution and extension during the project and foundations prepared for increasing involvement. Institutes have forged strong linkages with private sector companies and it is anticipated that effective relationships will continue to develop. A CARD 013/06 – Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants 219 number of strategies have been proposed to allow future growth of the inoculant industry in Vietnam including increasing profitability to the private sector by expanding the market either by expanding the area for application or extending to the export market. 1. Introduction The Vietnamese government (MOIT, MARD) is committed to increase the area sown to legumes from the current 780,000 ha to >1,000,000 ha by 2010, with particular focus on soybean and groundnut in the Mekong Delta, the Central Coastal region and upland (highland) areas of the North, Central and North. The legumes are used for production of food, oil and protein meal, and are grown as rotation crops with rice (Mekong Delta), as intercrops in the upland areas with cassava, sugar cane, rubber, fruit and maize and as cover crops in the sandy coastal soils. ACIAR Small Project LWR2/98/27 (Increasing yield and nitrogen fixation of soybeans, groundnuts and mungbean in Vietnam through Rhizobium inoculation) identified that legume production in Vietnam currently relies on expensive imported fertiliser N, rather than cost-effective inoculants containing rhizobia. Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants would save Vietnamese farmers A$50–60 million annually in input costs and, at the same time, help facilitate the desired expansion in legume production. There would also be positive environmental outcomes. Details of the economic benefits of replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculation were outlined in the proceedings of the technical workshop to terminate LWR2/98/27. However, for this to happen, high-quality inoculants need to be readily available in the market. The current capacity of inoculant production in Vietnam is about 40,000 packets annually, and would need to be increased to about 500,000 packets annually to meet potential demand. Inoculant quality is also poor (LWR2/98/27 project) and would need to be improved. Shelf life and distribution and marketing are issues that would also need to be addressed. Moreover, there is limited awareness of the benefits of inoculants and methods of application among Vietnamese farmers and extension workers. Capacity gaps are evident at the national and institutional level. The major gap at the national level is the lack of a coordinated, focussed national legume inoculant program. At the institutional level, the gaps are capacity for medium-scale inoculant production and associated quality assurance (QA) as well as R&D and training capacity. The proposed project would address these issues of production, quality, distribution and marketing and farmer education. Involvement of the private sector in both production and marketing will ensure the long-term viability of the concept. The project objectives are to: i. Increase production of high-quality inoculants for soybean, groundnut and other legumes in Vietnam through enhancement of production capacity (personnel and equipment) at participating institutions, implementation of QA, and increased inoculant R&D; ii. Increase farmer interest and use of inoculants in Vietnam through development and implementation of an effective extension and training program on inoculants and legume nitrogen fixation for researchers, MARD extension officers and farmers through demonstration trials, workshops and meetings, and publications; iii. Ensure the long-term viability of the project through involvement of the private sector in this ‘pilot production’ of legume inoculants, with the aim that the private sector would progressively take over production as the technology and markets are developed. Tran Yen Thao, Pham Van Toan, Pham Van Bien, David Herridge & Rosalind Deaker 220 2. Project approach and methodology The project strategy is to enhance inoculant production, quality, distribution and marketing and farmer education through the collaborating institutions. It will involve both Government institutions – Research Institute for Oil and Oil Plants (IOOP), the Institute of Agricultural Science (IAS) and the Institute for Soils and Fertilisers (ISF) – as well as private sector companies (Fitohoocmon Fertiliser JSC, Cu Chi Bio-Chemical Fertiliser JSC and Humix). The latter would be involved initially in marketing and distribution of inoculants and would be provided with advice and technical expertise to improve and expand their inoculant production capabilities. In time, it is envisaged that the private sector would take over inoculant production, leaving QA to the public institutions. Involvement of the private sector in both production and marketing will ensure the long-term viability of the concept. Increased production of high-quality inoculants and QA Rhizobial strains for inoculant production – selection of strains from the collections in Vietnam and/or other institutions, eg. ALIRU (Australia), NifTAL (University of Hawaii), Suranaree University (Thailand). Strain maintenance - Protocols and operation manuals for maintaining strain effectiveness and recognition to ensure stability of inoculant quality during long-term storage were developed and implemented. Production technology – Draw on experiences from Thailand and Australia to develop production technology of inoculants at medium-scale in Vietnamese institutes through:  Modifications to broth formulations and experiments in procedures for maintaining sterility and dispensing broths into the inoculant carrier.  Testing appropriate forms of inoculant (peat, granular, liquid) that allow compliance with quality control standards and are easy to use, supply and transport. Economic benefits will be determined by assessing their effectiveness in laboratory and field trials.  Strain selection: Different strains will be tested for survival in inoculant products and during delivery of products to the field. Quality assurance (QA) - Australian QA protocols was used initially as a model. From that, QA protocols, training and working manuals specific to inoculant production in Vietnam was developed jointly between Australian and Vietnamese project scientists. Training on inoculant production and QA - Vietnamese researchers from institutes were trained in Vietnam by Australian collaborators and at Suranaree University of Technology (Thailand) in inoculant production, QA and laboratory management, as well as R&D in rhizobiology. Training on inoculant production and QA - Vietnamese researchers from institutes were trained in Vietnam by Australian collaborators and at Suranaree University of Technology (Thailand) in inoculant production, QA and laboratory management, as well as R&D in rhizobiology. Extension and training of farmers and advisers The extension-training program for farmers and extension officers was built around simple, multi-location inoculation experiments in the legume production areas (Mekong Delta, the Central Coastal region and upland (highland) areas of the North and Central and the South East). They will involve participation of farmers and extension officers in all aspects, from the design of experiments to sowing, sampling, harvesting and interpretation of results. The MARD extension service played a large role in extension activities. Data from field demonstrations was used to produce an economic model for production and use of legume inoculants in Vietnam. In addition, training courses were organised for farmers, CARD 013/06 – Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants 221 extension workers and researchers in methods of inoculant use, and economic as well as environmental benefits of inoculation. This extension-training program was conducted by Vietnamese researchers in collaboration with Australian counterparts. Involvement of the private sector in production, distribution and marketing Three Vietnamese companies who produce and distribute biofertilizers were involved in the project. Private sector was progressively become involved as the production technology was developed and the market for the inoculants expanded. The companies were initially involved in marketing and inoculant distribution. Training workshops were open to researchers from the collaborating private companies. 3. Research results and discussions 3.1 Increased production of high-quality inoculants and QA 3.1.1 Strain selection While there is specificity in the legume- Rhizobium symbiosis, there are a range of rhizobial strains capable of forming root- nodule symbioses within plant-host groups. Inherent in this diversity is a range of effectiveness in relation to plant-growth promotion through N2 fixation. In this regard, strains should be selected for commercial production according to a set of criteria including their effectiveness and manufacturability.  Tests for effectiveness In this project, elite international strains were evaluated for their effectiveness in both potted field soil and field trials across the country and compared with national strains. Strains were also compared in the laboratory for their growth characteristics including any inherent tolerance to temperature and pH. Included in the studies were local and imported strains from Vietnamese institutes, from NifTAL (USA), ALIRU (Australia), DOA (Thailand), Korea and Argentina. Several of these strains are currently used in commercial inoculants in Australia such as CB1809 (soybean) and NC92 (groundnut). In the potted field soil trials, 11 groundnut strains for groundnut and 17 soybean strains were tested against +N control without inoculation and –N uninoculated control. All strains increased groundnut and soybean nodulation and yield compared to the control treatments. As expected, there were close correlations between nodule number, nodule weight and plant biomass while correlations between nodulation and plant height were poor. Strains producing the highest plant biomass were NC92 (Australian commercial strain), GL1 and GL2 (local strains) for groundnut and CB1809 (Australian commercial strain), SL2, SL1, CJ2 and U110 (old US commercial strain) for soybean. The total number of field experiments during 2007–09 was 36 in the 10 provinces. The experiments were conducted in the main legume-growing areas in Vietnam, from the highlands in the North, to the Central Coast area to the highlands in the South and Mekong Delta. The provinces involved were Son La, Nghe An, Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Tay Ninh, Dong Thap, An Giang and Tra Vinh. There were at least 5 treatments in each experiment comparing CB1809, SL1, SL2 (soybean); NC92, GL1 and GL2 (groundnut). Control treatments were farmer’s practice without N fertilizer and farmer’s practice with N fertilizer. The Australian strains were the most effective in terms of nodulation, biomass yield and grain yield. Compared with the uninoculated control, CB1809 and NC92 increased nodulation of soybean and groundnut, respectively, by an average of 51%, biomass yield by 31% and grain yield by 28%. Compared to the local Vietnamese strains, CB1809 and NC92, increased soybean and groundnut nodulation by an overall average of 22%. Biomass yields Tran Yen Thao, Pham Van Toan, Pham Van Bien, David Herridge & Rosalind Deaker 222 were increased by an average of 12% and grains yields increased by an average of 11%.  Tests for manufacturability Strains were also compared for their growth characteristics including rate of growth, growth in different media and their ability to grow and survive at different temperature and pH. Apart from a small increased tolerance to low pH by local strains, growth of all strains was comparable in all conditions indicating that local strains were not any more tolerant to stressful conditions than Australian strains and no survival advantage may be conferred through their application. Media with more affordable ingredients for large scale production supported growth as much as the benchmark medium yeast mannitol broth (YMB) and may be adapted for large scale commercial production. It was concluded that Australian strains NC92 and CB1809 were best able to meet the selection criteria and that these should be adopted as the commercial inoculant strains, respectively for groundnut and soybean in Vietnam. In the future, more strain evaluation will be done to develop even more effective inoculant strains. It is also proposed that cultures of these strains will be maintained, authenticated and supplied annually from the independent QA laboratory to private and public sector laboratories producing inoculants together with protocols for strain maintenance and production of broth cultures. 3.1.2 Institute capacity to produce high quality of inoculants During the almost three years of the project, technology for inoculant production at the three institutes (SFI, OPI and IAS) was developed. The principal aim was production of high quality of inoculants containing ≥5 x 108 rhizobia/g and a maximum 1 x 108 contaminants/g. Different approaches were taken to inoculant formulation development at the collaborating institutes depending on facilities and expertise. To some extent, the inoculant technologies have been adapted from those used in countries with existing successful inoculant industries, e.g. Australia, US. All institutes investigated the use of peat as a carrier and a range of peat from different sources were tested for suitability. Comparison of sterilisation techniques to reduce contaminant load was done. Some research on liquid inoculants was also carried out.  Inoculant quality in Vietnam Quality control of inoculants produced throughout the project by the collaborating institutes was carried out by IOOP. During two years 2007-2008, a total of 261 samples were tested over two years, 2007-2008 (from a total of 465 samples received, 60 from IAS, 180 from SFI and 225 from IOOP). A total of 117 samples were tested in 2007 and 144 samples in 2008. The number of rhizobia ranged between 109 cfu/g inoculant and number of contaminants between <105 and >106 cfu/g However, the number of rhizobia was high, between 5 x 108 and 3 x 109 cfu/g, in the majority of packets (72%), and contaminant numbers were low (≤106 cfu/g). Plant-infection MPN counts indicated rhizobial numbers ranging from 108 rhizobia/g moist peat but as was the case with plate counting, most inoculants (75%) had ≥108 rhizobia/g. Current standards for peat inoculants in Australia and elsewhere are ≥ 1x109 rhizobial cfu/g moist peat at the point of manufacture and MPN plant-infection counts are ≥108. Therefore, in relative terms, a high percentage of legume inoculants produced in Vietnam already meet the high standards set in other countries. During 2009-2010, the QA program was continued doing by checking inoculants produced by participating institutes as well as private companies (two companies in Nghe An and Son La). The variation in rhizobial and contaminant counts for the different batches resulted from differences in procedures and expertise amongst the three institutes. The number of CARD 013/06 – Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants 223 rhizobia/g inoculant was unstable between production batches in 2007 but improved during 2008 – 2010. This resulted from improvement of production technology  Inoculant technology development It is likely that peat will be the major inoculant carrier for Vietnam. Vietnam has many peat mines located throughout the country but quality ranges from poor (Can Gio), moderate (Binh Phu) to good peat (U Minh). Properties of peat that have been identified as being important for inoculant production include source of peat, moisture holding capacity and sterility prior to injection with inoculant cultures. Tests on effects of peat sources on inoculant quality revealed that several of the Vietnamese peats were suitable for inoculant production supporting good growth of rhizobia. The number of rhizobia in five Vietnamese peats reached ≥ 109 cfu/g moist peat, equal to numbers supported by high quality Australian peat. There was some variation in quality. Numbers in one peat provided by Komix was only 3.4 x 107 cfu/g moist peat at 6 months. While there is some information known about properties of peat required for high quality inoculant production, it is difficult to identify the specific physico-chemical properties and measuring quality in terms of growth and survival of rhizobia is essential. In Vietnam currently, sterilization by autoclaving is used. The moisture content of the peat before autoclaving should be adjusted to approximately 20%. Depending on contamination in terms of numbers and types of microorganisms in carriers, sterilization conditions are different. Peat is often sterilized at 1210C for 45–60 minutes, two times with 24 hours intervals between sterilization. Another method of sterilization can be applied in Vietnam is gamma irradiation treatment. The treatments of peat at 30 – 40 kGy were the best as some current experiments done at IOOP.  Standards and quality control A workshop on quality control of inoculants was delivered at the beginning of the project by Australian scientists and a workshop on inoculant production and quality control was presented later in the first year by scientists in Thailand. All scientists involved in the project, including industry personnel, participated in the quality control workshop and selected personnel attended the workshop in Thailand. Protocols for quality control were adapted to Vietnamese conditions and a quality control laboratory was set up by the IOOP. There are currently no specific standards for rhizobial inoculants in Vietnam, rather there are standards for nitrogen fixing microbial fertilizers. However, it is very important to have effective QA of legume (rhizobial) inoculants. A number of modifications to the Vietnam National Standard for Nitrogen- Fixing Microbial Fertilizers (TCVN 6166- 1996) were justified to make it more relevant to rhizobial inoculants, based on production technology and efficacy requirements. The new standards largely utilize the well- constructed and comprehensive framework of the current standard. The proposed name of the standard is the Vietnam National Standard for Legume Inoculants and contains details on the technical requirements of the inoculants including labeling as well as methods of testing and reporting. 3.2 Extension and training of farmers and advisors 3.2.1 Extension and Training Extension and training of farmers and advisors was a major focus of the project as a means of facilitating adoption of legume inoculation in Vietnam. The extension-training program was built around simple, multi-location inoculation experiments in the legume production areas of the country. The experiments involved participation of farmers and extension officers in all aspects, from the design of experiments to sowing, sampling, harvesting and interpretation of results. The MARD extension Tran Yen Thao, Pham Van Toan, Pham Van Bien, David Herridge & Rosalind Deaker 224 service played a large role in extension activities. An economic analysis of production and use of legume inoculants in Vietnam has been developed using data from demonstration trials. In addition, training courses were organised for farmers, extension workers and researchers in methods of inoculant use, as well as economic and environmental benefits of inoculation.  Demonstration trials Demonstrations were done during almost three years from 2007 to 2010. A total of 181 demonstration trials conducted in 10 provinces during 2007-2009. The demonstration fields usually had two treatments: +inoculation and – inoculation (farmer’ practice with N fertilizers). There were also extensive field demonstrations in Binh Dinh and Dong Thap. In Binh Dinh, demonstration was conducted on 14 ha of groundnut and 13 households participated in the demonstration (Winter/Spring 2009/2010). In Dong Thap, the demonstration was on 61.5ha with the participation of 120 households in Spring/Summer 2009 and another extensive demonstration was on 100 ha with the participation of 150 households in Spring/Summer 2010. Generally, inoculation of soybean and groundnut increased yield, on average by 310 kg/ha and increased the profit for farmers, on average by 4.500.000VNĐ/ha. The size of the benefit varied across the different sites. The increase was around 500.000VNĐ/ha at the demonstration field of groundnut at Bau Don, Tay Ninh province, and as high as 14.200.000VNĐ/ha at Chau Thanh, Tra Vinh province. Similarly for soybean, the profit from inoculation was as much as 11.640.000VNĐ at Duong Minh Chau, Tay Ninh province. The training program for farmers and extension workers included involvement in field demonstrations, attendance in workshops, exposure to extension literature and application of inoculants on their farms. Farmers were invited to the demonstration fields at least once. At many fields such as in Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Dong Thap and Binh Dinh they also came to the fields 2–3 times at nodule and biomass harvest as well as grain harvest time. At each trial site, at least 20 farmers, extension officers, agriculture advisors came and made evaluation of the trial (3600+ person visits to the extension trials). Researchers at the project institutes trained farmers and extension workers on how inoculants work, how to apply inoculants to seed, how to determine if the inoculated crops are fixing nitrogen well and how to record results. They observed development of soybean and groundnut and compared the health and growth of the plants in the inoculated and N-fertilised treatments. They dug plants from the soil to observe nodules and learnt to recognise effective nodules with pink colour inside. They learnt to evaluate inoculation benefits by sampling soybean and groundnut plants, weighing biomass and grains. Farmers were very interested in learning about nitrogen fixation and asked many questions. Questions were often asked by farmers were: - How much do the inoculants cost? - How much inoculant is used for 1000m2 or 1 ha? - Where can we purchase inoculants? - Do inoculants have other benefits besides replacement of urea (N) fertilizer? - Can we use inoculants together with plant protection products? - Can we use legume inoculants for other crops? - Are inoculants effected by bad weather such as heavy rain, hot weather when inoculating and during plant growth? - Can we use inoculants together with urea (fertiliser N)? And main requests: - Supply inoculants for farmers to test and to apply inoculants in their fields CARD 013/06 – Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants 225 - Technical support for farmers to use inoculants - Supply extension documents (flyers, manual)  Workshops Workshops were also conducted for farmers (22 workshops in 10 provinces). In each workshop, 30–50 farmers, extension workers/officers and other (agricultural persons, officers) participated, with around 900 persons in total at the workshops. Farmers and extension workers who participated in the field experiments and demonstrations were usually involved. In Binh Dinh, Dong Thap and Tra Vinh provinces extension officers took responsibility for training farmers at workshops in 2009 and 2010 after they learnt from the workshops organized by project persons in 2007 and 2008.  Extension materials At the workshop farmers were be supplied information on legume nitrogen fixation and its benefits, and on inoculants and how they are used. Each of the three project institute prepared their own presentations. Flyers (about 2000) were prepared and handed out to the farmers. The flyers were revised again to be more attractive to farmers. The flyers were designed as the shape of soybean and groundnut seed. There are 12.000 flyers were sent to project provinces, private sector and some governmental organizations for distribution in the future. The booklet was also revised in terms of good appearance and content after surveying farmer and ascertaining what farmers would prefer. Booklets were printed and 5000 copies are delivering to farmers, extension workers, researchers, persons at private sector and governmental officers. In some provinces (Binh Dinh, Dong Thap, Tra Vinh), at workshops and field day visits local TV journalists were informed and they came, took news and broadcasted news on TV and radio. We provided a video clip made and broadcasted in Dong Thap TV channel as an example of the another type of extension documents. A video clip was made during a farmer’s workshop in Dong Thap training farmers about nitrogen fixation and how to use inoculants in the good way. The clip is used as an extension material of Extension Centre of Dong Thap Province. 3.2.2 Change in farmer attitudes and practices in the use of inoculant The success of the extension and training program was evaluated by surveying farmers and extension officers at the beginning and end of the project. Farmers and advisors were surveyed to determine changes in awareness and interest in the future application of rhizobial inoculants. The survey was constructed to be short and simple but to provide the critical information that could be evaluated against baseline attitudes established from a similar survey carried out at the beginning of the project. Comparison of the two surveys will demonstrate if availability of inoculants has increased (project Objective 1) and if the extension programme has been effective in increasing awareness of and demand for inoculants (project Objective 2). The results of the survey indicated that there had been an increase in farmer awareness of inoculants and their role in legume growth promotion through biological N2 fixation. Almost all farmers in the final survey knew about inoculants and understood what they do. Tran Yen Thao, Pham Van Toan, Pham Van Bien, David Herridge & Rosalind Deaker 226 This was a direct result of the training and extension program provided by the project. Their knowledge mainly came from workshops and demonstrations. This survey also indicated a great interest by farmers and extension officers in future use of legume inoculants for soybean and groundnut in the target areas in Vietnam mostly because of economic reasons and because of their interest and desire to utilise new and novel technologies. The lack of use of inoculants at the time of the second survey largely reflected a lack of availability in the market place. The survey indicated that legume inoculants would be adopted readily in Vietnam provided they were accessible and easy to apply. Increasing production and supply of high quality legume inoculants in Vietnam, coupled with an effective extension program, should result in high adoption of inoculants. The further extension program would still need to emphasise the replacement of fertiliser N inputs, which represent a substantial part of the cost of growing these crops. The whole package should lead to increased farmer incomes and the relieving of poverty in many agricultural areas. 3.3 Involvement of the private sector in inoculant production, distribution and marketing The potential market for inoculants in Vietnam could be around 500 tons annually, assuming application rates of 1 kg inoculant/ha and about 50% of legume area inoculated. This amount substantially exceeds the capacity of the project institutes for production (currently <30 tons annually). Therefore, involvement of the private sector is essential to expanding production to meet market demand. Three private-sector companies were actively engaged in the project - Private Business Ngoc Trung at Son La Town, Son La province, Viet A Nghia Dan Joint Stock Company at Nghia Dan, Nghe An province and Komix at Binh Duong province. Cu Chi Bio-Chemical Fertiliser Joint Stock Company has an interest in distribution of inoculants for farmers but have some staffing problems. A future collaboration between IAS and Cu Chi company for distribution and marketing would be effective. Ngoc Trung and Viet A Nghia Dan are young companies but they are interested in production of bio-products like rhizobial inoculants and have great potential for production and distribution. With SFI providing broth cultures and technology transfer, the two companies produced and supplied inoculants for 90 ha of groundnut and soybean, for Nghe An and Son La provinces in 2009. In 2010, they produced and supplied inoculants for another 100 ha of groundnut and soybean Komix, a biofertiliser company with an extensive distribution network covering almost half the country from the centre to the south, is most likely to adopt large scale legume inoculant production in the future. Komix participated in the project and conducted field experiments, field demonstrations and participated in field day visits and farmer workshops. Komix personnel were trained in small scale inoculant production by scientists at IOOP. Initially production at Komix will be medium scale with a plan to eventually increase production as expertise is further developed. Their current production capacity is 2 tones/month (24 tones/year) providing enough for 24.000 ha of groundnut and soybean. ISF in collaboration with the two private companies in Nghe An and Son La can produce around 12 tones/year. Current production capacity by IAS and IOOP is 5tones/year. Therefore, current total production in Vietnam is 46 tons per year, 10% of the potential market. The market proportion could be increased by both increasing production and by improving quality. If application rates were reduced to 250 g/ha then 40% of the market could be serviced. Private sector companies have their own distribution system often arranged through sale agents. An alternative means of distributing CARD 013/06 – Replacing fertiliser N with rhizobial inoculants 227 inoculants emerged when a CARD and IOOP evaluation team talked to farmers in Dong Thap province. It was proposed that participating farmers from the project could effectively distribute inoculant. This was suggested by one key farmer indicating that he could distribute to neighbours with a minimum quantity for 50 ha. Many key farmers were engaged in the project and this may be an effective system for initial distribution of inoculants produced by institutes. Quality assurance is very important to maintain sustainable high quality inoculant production. Private sector personnel will be trained in the quality control procedures developed in the project so that they may carry out testing of inoculants during production and at distribution. In addition, there will continue to be an independent laboratory for routine testing of inoculants produced by companies and for supplying mother cultures for large scale production. It is intended that IOOP will manage on-going quality control of inoculants. The laboratories at IOOP were equipped with facilities through the project and the quality control program has continued through the Ministry of Industry and Trade. 4. Conclusions and proposals 4.1 Conclusions - Two rhizobial strains were selected for legume inoculant production. The two strains have high N fixed effectiveness, suitable for different growing areas of soybean and peanut. The two strains also have proper characteristics of manufacturability. They are CB1809 for soybean inoculant production and NC92 for peanut inoculant production. - Inoculant technology for soybean and peanut was determined and produced at three project participating institutes (Institute for Oil and Oil Plants, Institute of Agricultural Science of South Vietnam and Institute of Soils and Fertilizers). - Quality standards of inoculants for soybean and peanut and suitable protocols for quality control were determined. - There had been an great increase in farmer awareness and attitudes of inoculants and their role in legume growth promotion through biological N2 fixation. This was a direct result of the training and extension program provided by the project. - Private sector involved in the project in inoculant production, distribution, marketing and extension programe. - R&D skills of researchers in project institutes were improved in inoculant technology, quality control and extension through training and research. - A stronger linkage between researchers, extension officers and people of private sector was established and had good conditions to maintain the relationship. - The collaboration of Vietnamese and Australian institutions was increased. 4.2 Proposals - Approve the two rhizobial strains CB1809 and NC92 to be the national strains and to be an advanced practice for inoculant production for soybean and peanut. - Continue extension programe in inoculant use in project provinces and extend to new areas through field demonstrations, workshops and extension document supply. - Maintain the linkage of researchers, extension officers and people of private sector in order to enlarge good effects of the project in extension, technology transfer and inoculant production. - Maintain the programe of inoculant quality control for high quality and stable products.

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