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Impacts of the Intensively Large-Scale Agricultural Commodity Production System to Food Sovereignty of the Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam

Implementation time: June – December 2021
Funding agency:
 Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Asia- Hanoi Office (RLS)
Project leader:
Dr. Nguyen Vinh Quang (CARES)

Passion fruit in Van Ho district, Son La province
1. Project description

Recent days, the ethnic minority smallholding farmers in some locations in Vietnam have taken part in the intensively large-scale agricultural commodity production systems, which were brought to the communities by outside market-oriented investors. Joining these models put the poor and vulnerable farmers, especially the ethnic minorities, at risk of losing their rights to decide themselves on their own traditionally food or agricultural production system – which is defined as food sovereignty, a new concept and movement to protect the farmers against capitalists in the recent two decades.

This exploratory research project is therefore designed to expose level of vulnerabilities of the local smallholding farmers, with intention to raise public awareness and to find solutions to protect and ensure the farmers ’s food sovereignty. Four villages of Hang Trung 1 and Suoi Lin in Van Ho commune, and Na Bai and Leo in Chieng Yen commune, in Van ho district of Son La province, is chosen as study sites for this research.

Those villages are chosen because their population are mostly the ethnic minority people, and the transition from traditionally farming activity to market-oriented production has been widely happening. Group discussion, in-depth interview and questionnaire interview, among others, will be used to collect information in July and August 2021.

A full research report, a policy brief (in Vietnamese and English languages), a policy paper, and a sharing workshop are products of this project, to be completed and shared widely by end pf December 2021.

2. Objectives

  • To identify the current situation, advantages and disadvantages of smallholding farmers in ethnic minority communities when participating in/switching to commercial agricultural production;
  • To assess the impact of participation/switch to commercial agricultural production of smallholding farmers belonging to ethnic minorities on their income and sustainability of livelihoods (Food Sovereignty);
  • To evaluate the role and impact of stakeholders (extension; agents provide seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, processing/commercial business, etc.) to farmers’ decision participating in the agricultural product supply chain; and
  • To provide policy recommendations to ensure the best food sovereignty for farmers, especially the poor, ethnic minority ones.

3. Research team

  • Research team leader: Dr. Nguyen Vinh Quang (CARES)
  • Research team member: Dr. Nguyen Minh Duc (CARES)
  • Research assistant: BSc. Nguyen Duc Manh (CARES)

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