Modelling drought impacts on coffee production in Viet Nam: a system dynamics approach

Pham, Y. ORCID: and Reardon-Smith, K. and Mushtaq, S. (2019) Modelling drought impacts on coffee production in Viet Nam: a system dynamics approach. In: 23rd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM 2019), 1-6 Dec 2019, Canberra, Australia.

Text (Published Version)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (952kB) | Preview


Viet Nam is the world’s largest producer of Robusta coffee, accounting for more than 40% of global Robusta output. Coffee production contributes to about 10% of agricultural export turnover in the country and supports the livelihoods of approximately half a million smallholder farmers. However, coffee cultivation faces numerous challenges, particularly drought and water shortages driven by changing climate conditions and unsustainable agricultural practices.

Using a system dynamics approach, our study aims to assess the major impacts of drought affecting sustainable coffee production in Dak Lak Province, a key coffee growing region responsible for more than 30% of Viet Nam’s coffee output. A dynamic hypothesis (causal loop diagram) was formulated based on literature review and qualitative data from interviews with 60 coffee farmers and experts to capture the interrelationships and feedbacks among factors relating to drought impacts on coffee production.

Mapping these relationships to produce the causal loop diagram indicates that the consequences of drought on coffee cultivation are an outcome of complex interactions between the climate system and human systems, specifically population growth, deforestation and agricultural development. Key factors driving drought impacts on coffee production are declining rainfall in the dry season, increasing coffee expansion and over-irrigation, which interact with other factors, such as rising temperature and evapotranspiration, through reinforcing and balancing feedback loops. The impact of drought on coffee yield and coffee quality mainly depends on drought severity and supplemental ground and surface water availability.

Our analysis highlights several systems archetypes, including ‘tragedy of the commons’ and ‘limits to growth’, associated with overuse of regional common resources, triggered by uncontrollable agricultural expansion and water exploitation, particularly of groundwater for irrigation. The unintentional outcomes of a number of management decisions or policies (indicated through the ‘fixes that fail’ systems archetype)—such as the planned migration program which has led to population growth and deforestation, contributing to declining water availability—are also analysed. The monoculture cropping system of Robusta coffee also has undesirable consequences, including increasing vulnerability of the coffee system to changing climate and market risks such as price volatility.

A suite of management strategies is proposed including awareness raising and promotion of technologies and policy measures on efficient water use for irrigation, sustainable planning for coffee development, livelihood diversification, agroforestry either through intercropping or shading, and forest protection, reforestation and afforestation.

An initial simulation model based on these results is in progress for robust quantification of drought impacts and for the design and testing of various policy interventions for sustainable coffee production.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 37786
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Only Abstract, as made available here, published.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2020 06:41
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2020 04:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: Causal loop diagrams, system dynamics, drought impact assessment, adaptation
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070301 Agro-ecosystem Functionand Prediction
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300402 Agro-ecosystem function and prediction
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829805 Management of Water Consumption by Plant Production
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only