Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study


Government and market initiatives for the governance of fertilizer quality in Vietnam


The governance of fertilizer quality is critical to food security, as the prevalence of low-quality fertilizers hinders fertilizer use and stagnates agricultural production. This paper documents and assesses the government and market initiatives to address this issue in Vietnam. We conduct in-depth field interviews with stakeholders and identify three initiatives related to fertilizer quality control in the markets: (1) government regulation and control through licensing, mandatory quality labeling, and random inspections; (2) producer efforts to maintain quality and brand through warranty and dealer certification; and (3) hierarchical social learning, where fertilizer retailers update product assortments based on reputations among farmers, who regularly evaluate fertilizer quality. We highlight the importance of public regulation by discussing how government and market initiatives interact and complement each other.


Report No.: HIAS-E-130
Author(s): Emi Kojin(a), Do Van Hoang(b), Nguyen Thiet(b), Yutaka Arimoto(c), Vo Hong Tu(b), Yukichi Mano(c), Nguyen Duy Can(b), Kazunari Tsukada(a)
Affiliation: (a) Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
(b) Can Tho University
(c) Hitotsubashi University
Issued Date: May 2023
Keywords: low-quality fertilizer, experience goods, Vietnam
JEL: L15, L51, Q16, Q18