, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 315-352

Multiple-Scale Integrated Analysis of Farming Systems: The Thuong Lo Commune (Vietnamese Uplands) Case Study

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This paper presents an application of an innovative methodological tool for the integrated assessment of farming systems (Multi-Objective Multiple-Scale Integrated Representation). It describes the effect of rural development in parallel on economic and ecological reading at different levels: household, village, and the “commune” comprising 3 villages. Socio-economic and environmental indicators are organized into integrated packages across scales. This is an ex-post facto analysis of a program of rural development implemented in the Central Vietnamese uplands in 1995 by the central government with the collaboration of FAO. We conclude that two classic problems can only be faced by using an integrated analysis across levels: “Large scale” generalizations can miss important “location-specific” characteristics, and exclusive focus on “location specific” issues carries the risk of loosing the “big picture.”