Spotlight On: Vietnam

© 1997 Philippe Berry/IFPRI

Vietnam has achieved rapid economic growth during the past 15–20 years, resulting in dramatic reductions in the incidence of poverty. The country has rapidly become a leading exporter of rice, coffee, black peppers, cashew nuts, and seafood. Income growth in urban areas is creating new domestic markets for high-value commodities. Despite this progress, many small farmers remain poor, particularly ethnic minorities and those living in remote upland areas. Although the deltas and coastal areas are generally more prosperous, they are vulnerable to rising sea levels associated with climate change. A recent World Bank study found that Vietnam was one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

IFAD has a large portfolio of projects in Vietnam, most of them focused on the northern uplands and central highland areas. Currently, IFAD has five major programs spanning nine provinces of Vietnam. These programs include the Rural Income Diversification Programme, the Decentralized Programme for Rural Poverty Reduction, the Programme for Improving Market Participation of the Poor, the Developing Business with the Rural Poor Programme, and the Pro-Poor Partnerships for Agroforestry Development Project.

The market access component of the IFAD-IFPRI Partnership is launching a set of research activities to support ongoing IFAD projects in the identification and testing of innovative approaches to agricultural marketing. More specifically, at least three activities are envisaged for the Partnership in Vietnam. First, IFPRI will work with local collaborators to combine agroclimatic geographic information systems (GIS) data and data from the recent agricultural census to identify spatial patterns and household characteristics associated with diversification into different high-value crops. This study will also explore the relationship between crop mix and poverty.

Second, IFPRI will use the GIS data to develop recommendation domains based on market accessibility, population density, and agroclimatic characteristics. The recommendation domains will facilitate the task of anticipating where successful interventions can be scaled up.

Third, IFPRI will work with IFAD project staff to implement impact evaluations of selected projects or interventions. Two projects under consideration are a community-driven development project in three provinces and a payment-for-environmental-services project in Bak Kan province. Spotlight on IFAD-IFPRI Partnership Vietnam country brief.

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