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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2021, Vol. 20 Issue (12): 3339-3351    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63612-2
Special Issue: 农业经济与管理合辑Agricultural Economics and Management
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Scale and scope economies in small household rice farming in Vietnam
Viet-Ngu HOANG1, 3, Trung Thanh NGUYEN2, 3, Clevo WILSON1, Thong Quoc HO3, Uttam KHANAL4
1 School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
2 Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover 30167, Germany
3 University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City 72516, Vietnam
4 Agriculture Victoria, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Horsham, VIC 3400, Australia
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The Vietnamese agricultural sector has experienced a dramatic structural change based on increased specialization in rice cultivation.  However, small-scale rice-farmers have continued to grow multiple crops, especially in less developed provinces.  While the literature advocates crop diversification for reasons of both economic and ecological sustainability, there lacks empirical evidence as to whether crop diversification brings efficiency and productivity gains to small farms.  The present study is the first applications of the input-oriented stochastic distance function approach in estimating scale and scope economies using data of multi-crop farming households in Vietnam.  We find strong evidence of product-specific economies of scale.  Scope economies are also present for rice, vegetable, and other annual crop production.  This suggests that crop diversification enhances efficiency and productivity.  However, there still exists significant technical inefficiency in crop production, indicating opportunities to expand farm output at the existing level of inputs and technologies.  More specifically, our empirical results indicate that it is desirable to expand vegetable and other annual crop production in mountainous areas while rice cultivation can be further expanded in delta and coastal regions. 
Keywords:  input distance function        stochastic frontier        economies of scope        economies of scale        product-specific  
Received: 08 July 2020   Accepted: 20 October 2021
Fund: We thank the farmers in Vietnam for their support and cooperation.  Support from the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, the German Research Foundation (DFG, funding No. DFG-FOR 756/1&2) and our colleagues at the Leibniz University Hannover for data collection within the research project “Thailand–Vietnam Socioeconomic Panel (” is highly appreciated. 
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence Trung Thanh NGUYEN, Tel: +49-511-7624827, Fax: +49-511-7622667, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

Viet-Ngu HOANG, Trung Thanh NGUYEN, Clevo WILSON, Thong Quoc HO, Uttam KHANAL. 2021. Scale and scope economies in small household rice farming in Vietnam. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 20(12): 3339-3351.

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