We applied a remote-sensing method using MODIS time-series imagery to detect the expansion of intensive farming systems (shrimp farming and triple rice cropping) in the Soc Trang and Bac Lieu provinces of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD). Field surveys for interpreting the estimates derived from the remote-sensing analyses were conducted in June and September 2007. From 2000 to 2006, there has been rapid expansion of inland aquaculture, especially shrimp farming, in the western part of the Bac Lieu province and the coastal regions of both the Bac Lieu and Soc Trang provinces. The triple rice-cropped area expanded concentrically from specific small locations in the Bac Lieu province from 2001 to 2006. The triple rice-cropped areas in Soc Trang province also expanded concentrically from 2001 to 2003, but some of these new triple rice-cropped areas returned to double rice cropping after 2004. Interviews with farmers and ancillary hydrological monitoring data suggested that changes in the water environment and transmission of information about new farming systems are closely connected with the annual expansion of triple rice-cropped areas in both provinces. The availability of salt-free irrigation water in the dry season may have led some pioneering farmers to attempt full-scale dry-season cropping. Furthermore, successful dry-season harvests and recent increases in the price of rice might have encouraged neighboring farmers to follow suit. Based on MODIS time-series imagery with field interviews at land-use change hotspots, the spatial structure of coastal farming systems and their recent changes were revealed from a macroscopic view point.
ASJC Scopus subject areas