Saturday, January 23, 2021

Vietnam's Great Success Built on Agricultural Reform


1) This analysis from Vietnamese and German scholars published in 2010 is worth sharing.
The Transformation of Agricultural Producer Cooperatives: The Case of Vietnam
Axel Wolz and Pham Bao Duong
During the mid-1980s Vietnam experienced widespread hunger and malnutrition. This led to an economic reform process already before the transition in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union (CIS). Vietnam embarked on a unique way of decollectivization which followed neither the Chinese model nor the direction of agricultural transition among CEE and CIS countries. The collective farms had to be either transformed into service cooperatives based on share capital and voluntary membership or liquidated. Vietnamese farmers had to meet two challenges. They again had to manage their private farms as entrepreneurs. In addition, they had to create new supporting organizations. After a slow start many farmers were successful in transforming or establishing agricultural cooperatives for their support during the last decade. Three phases of institutional development can be distinguished. The main features of agricultural cooperatives are analyzed.

2)  Also worth looking at is this 2019 study published in Sweden

 The rural transformation of the two rice bowls of Vietnam: the making of a new Asian miracle economy by Montserrat Lopez Jerez

This paper assesses the factors driving inclusiveness in Vietnam's rural transformation by comparing the two rice deltas of the country since reunification in 1975. In order to achieve this, a pro-poor institutional development approach based on Adelman is applied. We focus on asset-oriented, demand-generating and price-increasing interventions. Our findings point out that the experienced growth might be considered inclusive, but the dynamics of poverty reduction, income generation, and productivity-enhancement are substantially different in the two delta economies. This might have implications for the prospects of Vietnam's continuation in a 'growth with equity' model, if policies and innovations are not locally adjusted.
Montserrat is Spanish teaching now in England.  Her bio is interesting.  I wonder if a visit to Cuba would be useful.

3)  This 2016 World Bank report contains a different kind of insight into the dramatic reform of Vietnamese agriculture and markets 

Transforming Vietnamese agriculture : gaining more from less

Over the past quarter century, Vietnam's agricultural sector has made enormous progress. Steady advances in smallholder rice productivity and intensification through the 1990s and beyond have played a central role in Vietnam's successes in poverty reduction, national food security, and social stability. Vietnam once experienced hunger yet its per capita food availability now ranks among the top tier of middle-income countries. Many countries are trying to learn from Vietnam's food security success. Vietnam's average rice yields now trail only those of China among Asia's emerging economies. The country has also achieved explosive growth in agricultural exports and now ranks among the top five global exporters in products as diverse as shrimp, coffee, cashews, rice, and pepper. Vietnam's performance in terms of agricultural yields, output, and exports, however, has been more impressive than its gains in efficiency, farmer welfare, and product quality. Vietnam lags behind regional peers in relation to agricultural land, labor, and water productivity and has seen its once robust growth in total factor productivity decline in recent years. A chasm is forming between farm and non-farm incomes, and income inequality is rising within rural areas. Most of Vietnam's agricultural trade is in the form of raw commodities, typically sold at prices lower than those of leading competitors due to quality or other differences. At home, there are growing concerns about food safety.  

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