Conflicting Innovation or Motivation? The Role of Agribusiness in Knowledge Production and diffusion in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta [2013]

  • 23 October, 2018
  • ckcvietnam

Research presented at the Vietnam National Alumni Conference: Celebrating 40 years of Australia-Vietnam Diplomatic Relations: Education for Development: Future Collaboration and Directions, Hanoi, Vietnam 14-15 December 2013.

Agribusinesses are playing an increasingly important role in agricultural knowledge production and use.  It encompasses agricultural production, processing and distribution, including seed supply, agrichemicals and farm machinery, and it impacts on all types of enterprises including farms and retail stores, reaching deep into rural areas  However the agricultural innovation system in Vietnam has often been conceptualised as outside the mainstream science system and the extension system.  Because of this, the innovation capacity of other actors in the agricultural sector – including agribusinesses – is often neglected.

This research investigates the role of private agribusiness in knowledge production and diffusion in the Mekong Delta, the largest and most active region for agricultural production in Vietnam.  Data for this analysis was collected during one-year of field research in the Mekong Delta in April 2010-2011, and is part of a larger study implemented under the Water-related Information System for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta (WISDOM) project.

This research first reviews the evolution of knowledge regarding agricultural development, and presents a brief history of agribusiness development in the Mekong Delta.  It then examines the expansion of agribusiness into agricultural knowledge diffusion, and the difficulty of resolving the conflicting claims of motivation and innovation to achieve sustainable agricultural development.  It concludes that agricultural entrepreneurship should be based on a system that nourishes and fosters interactive learning and innovation for rural communities through the state-university-industry triple helix.