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Title: Vulnerability and Risk Management of Rural Farm Households in Northern Vietnam
Authors: Fischer, Isabel
Keywords: Vulnerability
Rural Farm Households
Việt Nam
Series/Report no.: The Faculty Agricultural Sciences at University of Hohenheim, on 17th of August 2010;
Abstract: Dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences to the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Hohenheim 2010. Over the past 20 years, the Vietnamese Government has achieved remarkable results in poverty reduction, which were mainly accomplished by the launching of the ‘doi moi’ reform process in 1986. Although Vietnam has made good progress concerning the implementation of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and poverty levels are already meeting the standards, 28.9 per cent of thetotal population (85 million in 2007) are still living below the national poverty line (UNDP, 2007). Regional disparities are apparent and there are still many challenges, including the reduction of child mortality as well as the enhancement of maternal healthcare and the quality of primary education (United Nations Vietnam, 2009). Major improvements are necessary, especially in the 250 mountainous, rural areas of Northern Vietnam, whichare mainly populated by ethnic minorities. According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam the poverty rate in this particularly underdeveloped region was still 49 per cent in 2006, by far the highest rate in Vietnam. Focusing on the Uplands of Northern Vietnam3,it may be summarized that farming remains the most important economic sector and the population in this region is increasing fast. To date, the natural resources have been depleting as well as the environment has been degrading seriously due to unsustainable expansion of agriculture on sloping lands. All in all, poor and near-poor ethnic minority households are vulnerableto a broad range of risks, which can have devastating effects on their livelihoods and well-being. As formal insurance schemes do not yet contribute to reduce risk and its consequences, vulnerable households have developed sophisticated risk management strategies. Hence, this study concentrated its research on the livelihoods of vulnerable rural households, and their adaptive and coping strategies regarding risks. While adaptive strategies are ex-ante strategies and aim at securing income even in times of crises, coping strategies are a reaction to acute risks and are employed ex-post. Informal social networks and semi-formal micro-insurance schemes count to the former strategies and either keep vulnerability levels constant or even reduce them. The latter strategies try to smooth consumption, nevertheless, often at the expense of the future livelihood, thereby increasing vulnerability.
Appears in Collections:Agriculture and rural development

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