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SOIL MANAGEMENT FOR

SMALLHOLDER COCOA FARMERS


IN VIETNAM
Dr. S. Paramananthan
(Soil Survey and Suitability Consultant)

Param Agricultural Soil Surveys (M) Sdn. Bhd.


A4-3 Jalan 17/13, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, MALAYSIA
SUCCESS
Alliance
Vietnam:
Establish
smallholder
cocoa in the four
Vietnamese
Provinces of
Ben Tre, Tien
Giang, Ba Ria
Vung Tau and
Binh Phuoc
SOIL MANAGEMENT FOR SMALLHOLDER
COCOA FARMERS IN VIETNAM

Objective:
● Improve quality and quantity of smallholder cocoa
grown in South Vietnam
● Strength partnership between local government /
universities / farmer groups / US and International
private sector
● Sustainable development of cocoa smallholders
industry

Achieved through:
● Develop appropriate training protocols
● Develop core group of trainers to train farmers
● 17,000 smallholders over 7,500 ha (600 trees / ha)
SOIL MANAGEMENT FOR SMALLHOLDER
COCOA FARMERS IN VIETNAM

SUCCESS Alliance hopes to achieve objective by:

● establish cocoa clubs


● establish cocoa nurseries to supply seedlings
● establish model farms
● provide training and extention
● enhance capacity of local partners
SOIL MANAGEMENT FOR SMALLHOLDER
COCOA FARMERS IN VIETNAM

Objectives of assignments:

● Review soil under which cocoa is cultivated


● Propose a land evaluation system for cocoa
● Look at sustainability of soil health
● Provide training materials for extention
workers
SOIL MANAGEMENT FOR SMALLHOLDER
COCOA FARMERS IN VIETNAM

Smallholder Cocoa in South Vietnam

● Cocoa cultivated under logans, coconut, cashew


nut, durians

● Farm Sizes
─ Ben Tre and Tien Giang 0.4-1.0 ha
─ Ba Ria Vung Tau and Binh Phuoc 1.0-1.5 ha
Location map of Ben Tre Province showing cocoa areas
Location map of Tien Giang Province showing cocoa areas
Location map of Ba Ria Vung Tau Province showing cocoa
areas
Location map of Binh Phuoc Province showing cocoa areas
ENVIRONMENT
Topography and Elevation
● Ben Tre and Tien Giang
─ Mekong Delta ~ 1-2 metres
asl.
─ Level (0-3° slopes)
● Ba Ria Vung Tau and Bin Phuoc
─ Upland areas (100-300
metres)
─ Level, undulating and rolling
land
(0-15° slopes)

Geology and Geomorphology


● Ben Tre and Tien Giang
─ Estuarine deposits
● Ba Ria Vung Tau and Bin Phuoc
CLIMATIC ─ no reliable climatic data

● Temperate:
─ Mean monthly temperature 24.5°-
29.3°C
─ Different summer / winter
temperature < 5°C

● Soil Temperature Regime (Soil Taxonomy)


─ Isohyperthermic

● Rainfall:
─ 1,900 mm – 2,600 mm/annum
─ 3-5 dry (< 100 mm) months
─ Rains in Summer

Soil Moisture Regimes (Soil Taxonomy)


● Ben Tre and Tien Giang ─ Aquic
● Ba Ria Vung Tau and Binh Phuoc ─ Ustic
SOILS

Current Situation:
● Reconnaissance Soil Map / Report for Vietnam
(1:1,000,000)
● Ben Tre and Tien Giang (1:250,000) ─ Mekong River
Study
● Ba Ria Vung Tau / Binh Phuoc (1:100,000 scale maps)

► Reports in Vietnamese
► Soil Classification Systems
─ FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World (FAO, 1990)
─ Vietnamese System (based on FAO/UNESCO)
Soil map of Tien Giang and Ben Tre areas
Soil map of Ba Ria Vung Tau areas
Soil map of Binh Phuoc area
Physical and chemical characteristics of the major soil units
(Ba Ria Vung Tau)

Characte- CECsoil
Texture (%) Colour Base Organic
ristic pH-H2O (Topsoil) Available
(50 cm Saturation Matter Remarks
(Topsoil) meq/100 g P2O5 (ppm)
depth) % (Topsoil) %
Soil Unit Clay Silt Sand Gravel soil

4 14 82 - 10YR5/4 5.64 4.83 46.38 2.6 0.69

Haplic
Acrisols

25 9 66 - 10YR7/6 5.41 4.74 48.76 3.5 0.92

Rhodi-
Acric 60 30 10 - 10R4/6 4.52 12.78 27.54 4.2 2.24
Ferralsols

Xanthi-
Lixic 52 28 20 10-15 7.5YR4/6 5.76 16.53 62.92 8.4 1.72
Ferralsols

Chromic
18 32 50 - 7.5YR6/6 6.13 10.33 44.2 7.2 3.79
Acrisols
Physical and chemical characteristics of the major soil units (Binh Phuoc)

Texture (%) CECsoil


Characteristic Colour pH-H2O Base Available Organic
(Topsoil)
(50 cm Saturation P2O5 (ppm) Matter Remarks
(Topsoil) meq/100 g
Soil Unit depth) % (Topsoil) %
Clay Silt Sand Gravel soil

Haplic Acrisols 31-42 11-3 57-55 - 10YR6/3 4.60 12.7 19.7 11.2 3.00

Chromic Luvisols 31-35 18-16 51-49 50-80 10YR4/2 6.00 11.0 55.0 5.6-11.2 8.5

Rhodic Ferralsol High Iron


47-46 23-27 29-26 - 2.5YR5/4 4.1 5.0 38.5 14.1-6.3 5.4
(Fk) (Fe)

Xanthi-Acric
39-49 1.5-15 45-35 10-15 7.5YR4/6 4.7 7.5 41.7 9.9-2.0 5.50
Ferralsol (Fu)

50-60
Skeleti-Chromic
27-40 15-13 57-46 below 50 10YR7/6 5.00 6.0 33.3 4.3-2.0 3.8
Acrisol (Fa)
cm

Hapli-Chromic 8-10 (iron High Iron


29-37 10-4 61-57 7.5YR7/8 4.8 2.5 17.2 8.1-6.8 3.10
Acrisols (Fp) nodules) (Fe)

Mottled
Gleyic Acrisol
36 31 33 - 10YR8/2 4.9 6.87 35.3 poor
(Xg)
drainage
Hypothetical cross-section in the Ben Tre/Tien Giang areas
Dominant soils of Ba Ria Vung Tau and Binh Phuoc areas
The tentative classification of the major soils
found in the Project Areas
FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of Soil Taxonomy
Province the World ― Revised ― Second Edition Vietnamese Soil Taxonomy
Legend (FAO, 1990) (Soil Survey Staff, 1999)

Dystric Fluvisols Dystric Fluvaquents na

Dystric Gleysols Dystric Endoaquepts na

Ben Tre and Umbric Gleysols Umbric Endoaquepts na


Tien Giang
Sulfic Endoaquepts
Thionic Gleysols na
Typic Sulfaquepts

Thionic Fluvisols Sulfic Fluvaquents na

Rhodic Ferralsols Rhodic Haplustox Rhodi-Acric Ferralsols

Haplic Ferralsols Typic Haplustox Xanthi-Acric Ferralsols


Ba Ria Vung Tau
Haplic Acrisols Typic Haplustult Haplic Acrisols

Ferric Acrisols Plinthc Haplustult Ferric Acrisols

Rhodic Ferralsols Rhodic Haplustox Rhodi-Acric Ferralsols

Haplic Ferralsols Typic Haplustox Xanthi-Acric Ferralsols


Binh Phuoc
Haplic Acrisols Typic Haplustult Haplic Acrisols

Ferric Acrisols Plinthc Haplustult Ferric Acrisols


LAND EVALUATION

Edaphic factors important for


cocoa are interrelated:

● Climate Factors
● Land Factors
● Soil Factors
― physical and chemical
Classification of soil nutrient status for cocoa

Nutrient status
Nutrient
Crops Very low Low Moderate High Very high

pH Cocoa < 4.5 4.5–5.0 5.0–5.5 5.5–6.5 > 6.5

Organic C
Cocoa < 1.0 1.0–1.5 1.5–3.0 3.0–4.0 > 4.0
(%)

Total N
Cocoa < 0.10 0.10–0.15 0.15–0.25 0.25–0.40 > 0.40
(%)

Total P
Cocoa < 150 150–250 250–300 300–350 > 350
(µg g-1)

Available P
Cocoa < 10 10–15 15–25 25–35 > 35
(µg g-1)

Exchangeable K
Cocoa < 0.15 0.15–0.25 0.25–0.30 0.30–0.45 > 0.45
(cmol kg-1)

Exchangeable Mg
Cocoa < 0.15 0.15–0.25 0.25–0.40 0.40–3.00 > 3.0
(cmol kg-1)

CEC
Cocoa <8 8–12 12–15 12–25 > 25
(cmol kg-1)
Criteria for assessment of severity of soil limitations in cocoa
SOIL PROPERTIES Minor Limitation Moderate Limitation Serious limitation Very serious  limitation
(S1) (S2) (S3) (N)
CLIMATIC DATA (c)
1. Mean annual max. temp. (°) ­28 28­30 30­32 33+
2. Mean annual min. temp. (°) +20 18­20 15­18 ­15

3. Total annual rainfall (mm) 1,400­2,500 1,200­1,400 <1,200 +4,500


2,500­3,500 3,500­4,500
4. Length of dry season (months) ­2 2­3 3­4 4+

5. Relative humidity (month with lowest value) 40­60 35­40 30­35 ­30


60­65 65­75 +75
TOPOGRAPHY (t)
6. Terrain (°) 0–6 6–12 12–20 > 20
PHYSICAL SOIL CHARACTERISTICS (p)
7. Effective soil depth (cm) > 100 75­100 50­75 <50
8. Stoniness (%) 0–5 5–20 20–40 > 40

9. Consistence friable– firm very firm/loose compact


moderately firm

10. Texture sandy clay loam–clay loam, fine sandy loam coarse sandy loamy  sand


sand
11. Structure well developed moderately developed very weak or massive structureless
12. Peat (depth in cm) No peat ­ ­ ­
WETNESS CHARACTERISTICS (d)

13. Drainage class Moderately well to well  imperfectly drained poorly drained very poorly  drained


drained
14. Permanent water table (depth in cm) 75–100 50–75 25–50 < 25
CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS (f)

15. Nutrient status low fertilizer  moderate fertilizer  high fertiliser   very high fertilizer 


requirements requirements requirements requirements
16. Soil pH 5.5–6.5 4.5–5.5 3.5–4.5 < 3.5
17. Conductivity (µmhos/cm) < 500 500–1,000 1,000–2,000 > 2,000
18. Acid sulfate layer/Sulfidic layer (depth in  100+ 75–100 50–75 < 25
cm)

(Modified from Paramananthan, 1987 and Goh, 2002).


Evaluation of the Soil Map Unit
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Dystric Haplic Umbric Thionic Thionic Rhodic Haplic Haplic Ferric
Fluvisol Gleysol Gleysol Gleysol Fluvisol Ferralsol Ferralsol Acrisol Acrisol
CLIMATIC DATA (c)
1. Mean Annual Max. Temp. (°C) S3 S3 S3 S3 S3 S2 S2 S2 S2
2. Mean Annual Min. Temp (°C) S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1
3. Total Annual Rainfall (mm) S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1
4. Length of Dry Season (month) N N N N N N N N N
5. Relative Humidity (month with S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1
lowest value)
TOPOGRAPHY (t)
6. Slope (°) S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S2 S2 S1 S1
PHYSICAL SOIL CHARACTERISICS (p)
7. Effective Soil Depth (cm) S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S2
8. Stoniness (%) S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1
9. Consistence (moist) S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1
10. Texture S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1
11. Structure S2 S2 S2 S2 S2 S3 S3 S1 S1
12. Depth of Peat (cm) S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1 S1
WETNESS CHARACTERISTICS (w)
13. Drainage Class S3 S3 S3 S3 S3 S1 S1 S1 S1
14. Permanent Watertable Depth (cm) S2 S2 S2 S2 S2 S1 S1 S1 S1
CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS (f)
15. Nutrient Status S1 S1 S1 S2 S2 S3 S3 S3 S3
16. Soil pH - Water S2 S2 S2 S3 S3 S2 S2 S2 S2
17. Conductivity (µmhos cm-1) S1 S1 S1 S1 S3 S1 S1 S1 S1
18. Acid sulfate/Sulfidic layer depth S2 S2 S2 S3 S3 S1 S1 S1 S1
(cm)
Overall Current Suitability Rating Nc Nc Nc Nc Nc Nc Nc Nc Nc
Potential Suitability Rating S2fp S2fp S2fp S3fp S3fp S3f S3f S3f S3f
Main Limitations Weak structures, acidic pH, acid sulfate conditions Low nutrient retention, P-fixation, high
porosity
Corrective Measures Needs water control. Raising of beds, liming. Managed mulching. Rock phosphate.
Irrigation in dry season
FERTILISER REQUIREMENTS FOR COCOA

Amount of nutrients required depends on:


● Types of planting materials
● Nursery practices ─ quality of seedlings
● Competition from other plants
● Shade regime and type of shade tree
● Rainfall as affecting soil moisture
● Soil factors ─ ability to supply and store
nutrients
Nutrient uptake of cocoa (Ling, 1983)
Dry matter production and distribution in cocoa plants
(Thong and Ng, 1978)

Age of  Total dry  % Distribution


plants  matter 
(months) (kg/plant) Leaves Stem Branches Fruits Roots

5 0.027 51.9 29.6 ­ ­ 18.5

12 0.68 26.4 38.7 13.2 ­ 21.8

28 11.92 32.1 15.8 30.8 3.3 18.0

39 21.41 25.9 11.1 30.2 11.5 24.5

50 31.84 24.0 13.3 34.0 9.5 19.2

61 44.91 21.7 13.8 45.3 2.7 16.6

72 39.95 20.6 11.6 43.8 5.1 18.9

87 56.11 15.3 16.4 51.2 1.9 15.3


Nutrients immobilized in 5 year old cocoa (Ling, 1983)
kg/ha
Nutrient
Munchong Bungor
N 256 246
P 27 22
K 354 272
Mg 81 87
Ca 198 141
Dry Matter 27,775 25,830

Cocoa litter production and nutrient contents (Ling, 1983)


Dry kg/ha
Age
Matter
(years) N P K Mg Ca
(kg/ha)
4 2,538 38 2 33 15 30

6 5,032 80 4 80 28 67

8 4,560 72 4 81 27 56

10 5,556 87 5 91 31 71
Nutrients in pod production (Ling, 1983)
Dry Bean kg
Ages
Yield Component
(years) N P K Mg Ca
(kg/ha)
Beans 9.2 1.6 4.7 1.2 0.5
3 450 Husk 4.9 0.6 20.3 1.2 1.8
Total: 14.1 2.2 25.0 2.4 2.3
Beans 20.4 3.6 10.5 2.7 1.1
5 1,000 Husk 10.6 1.3 43.3 2.5 3.8
Total: 31.0 4.9 53.8 5.2 4.9
Beans 28.6 5.0 14.7 3.8 1.5
7 1,400 Husk 15.4 2.0 63.1 3.6 5.6
Total: 44.0 7.0 77.8 7.4 7.1

Effects of pod husks on soil chemical properties (0-15 cm) (Ling, 1983)
Treatment
Parameter
Without Pod Husks Pod Husks (10 kg dry/tree)
pH 4.4 4.4
Total N (%) 0.139 0.138
Available P (ppm) 58 63
Organic Carbon (%) 1.13 1.35
Acid Ext. K (meg/100 g) 1.69 2.13
Acid Ext. Mg (meg/100 g) 0.95 0.99
Acid Ext. Ca (meg/100 g) 1.16 1.21
Classification of major leaf nutrient levels in cocoa
(modified after Murray, 1966)
% on D.M.
Nutrient
Deficient Low Normal
N < 1.80 1.8-2.0 > 2.00
P < 0.13-0.15 0.15-0.20 > 0.20
K < 1.20-1.40 1.40-2.00 > 2.00
Ca < 0.30 0.30-0.50 > 0.50
Mg < 0.20 0.20-0.45 > 0.45

Classification of minor leaf nutrient levels in cocoa


(Southern and Dicks, 1969)

ppm on D.M.
Nutrient
Critical Level Deficient Level
Mn 30 15
Fe 50 30
Zn 30 20
Cu 6 4
B 25 15
CHOICE OF SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS

● Commercial ― cost

● Organic source ― sustainable


Soil characteristics, limitations and management

Region Main Soil Characteristics Main Soil Limitations Management Practices


• Estuarine deposits. • Long dry season (3-5 • Bunding and water control.
• Poorly drained silty clays to months). • Drainage with water
clays. • High watertables, sticky control.
• Permanent watertable at 75 soils. • Heap the soil around cocoa
cm. • High sulfides. bush.
• Daily fluctuation of • Acidic soils. • Water management/heap
Ben Tre watertable. the soil around base after
and • Acid sulfate conditions. leaching the soil.
Tien • Soils sticky when wet but • Liming.
Giang hard when dry. • Heap after leaching out
• Salinity levels. salinity.
• Fertility status moderate to • Moderate amounts of N.
high especially P and K • Organic matter mulching.
(not in acid sulfate soils). • Liming.
• Acidity. • Monitor fertility/pests and
diseases.
• Deep basaltic soils and • Long dry season. • Irrigate soils in dry season.
alluvial soils. • High porosity. • Mulch soils to retain
• Excessive to moderately • Soil erosion. moisture/nutrients.
well drained. • P-fixation. • Mulch soils/stacking of
Ba Ria
• Slopes level to rolling. • Low fertility status. branches.
Vung Tau
• Heavy clay soils with high • Termites. • Rock phosphate
and
porosity. application.
Binh
• High iron content. • Band placement.
Phuoc
• Soils hard in dry season. • Organic manures.
• Low fertility status. • Return pods to field.
• Fertilizer applications.
• Eradicate termites.
RECOMMENDATIONS

• Extension workers should know main soil types in the


areas.
• Copies of maps (soils etc.) should be made available in
regional centres.
• Notes on management.
• Set up reliable climate station in major cocoa growing
areas.
• Field demo should be: correct/incorrect way of
correcting problem.
• Observation/trials using different techniques.
• Characterize and analyse soils using standard
international methods e.g. USDA’s Soil Taxonomy.
• Produce detailed maps (1:25,000 or 1:5,000) of cocoa
growing areas.
• Compile data to prepare manuscript ‘Cocoa Growing
Soils of South Vietnam ― Their Characteristics and
Thank you