Keil A., Saint-Macary C., Zeller M. (2013), Intensive Commercial Agriculture in Fragile Uplands of Vietnam: How to Harness its Poverty Reduction Potential while Ensuring Environmental Sustainability?, Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, 13, 1, p. 1-25
Markets for high-value agricultural commodities are growing and can contribute to reducing rural poverty. However, the poor may be unable to participate in such markets, and adverse environmental impacts may counterbalance short-term benefits. Hence, policies are needed that help reducing poverty while protecting the environment. We address this challenge using the case of commercial maize production for animal feed purposes in a marginal upland area of Vietnam. We identify determinants of farmers' degree of participation in maize production using regression analysis and assess farmers' awareness of soil erosion and their conservation practices. The poorest are particularly specialized in maize but depend on disadvantageous input supply and marketing arrangements to offset infrastructural and institutional deficiencies. High awareness of soil erosion is contrasted by lacking conservation practices due to high opportunity costs. Policies should foster the integration of livestock in the maize-based farming system and promote soil conservation technologies that produce feed.
Schad I., Schmitter P., Neef A., Lamers M., Nguyen L., Hilger T., Hoffmann V., Saint-Macary C. (2012), Why do people not learn from flood disasters? Evidence from Vietnam's northwestern mountains, Natural hazards, 62, 2, p. 221â241
This article explores how the causes and impacts of a flood event as perceived by local people shape immediate responses and future mitigation efforts in mountainous northwest Vietnam. Local flood perception is contrasted with scientific perspectives to determine whether a singular flood event will trigger adjustments in mitigation strategies in an otherwise rarely flood-affected area. We present findings from interdisciplinary research drawing on both socioeconomic and biophysical data. Evidence suggests that individual farmers' willingness to engage in flood mitigation is curbed by the common perception that flooding is caused by the interplay of a bundle of external factors, with climatic factors and water management failures being the most prominent ones. Most farmers did not link the severity of flooding to existing land use systems, thus underlining the lack of a sense of personal responsibility among farmers for flood mitigation measures. We conclude that local governments cannot depend on there being a sufficient degree of intrinsic motivation among farmers to make them implement soil conservation techniques to mitigate future flooding. Policy makers will need to design measures to raise farmers' awareness of the complex interplay between land use and hydrology and to enhance collective action in soil conservation by providing appropriate incentives and implementing coherent long-term strategies.
Keil A., Zeller M., Heidhues F., Dung P., Saint-Macary C. (2010), Land titling policy and soil conservation in the northern uplands of Vietnam, Land Use Policy, 27, 2, p. 617â627
In Vietnam, a quasi-private property regime has been established in 1993 with the issuance of exchangeable and mortgageable long-term land use right certificates. Using primary qualitative and quantitative data collected in a mountainous district of Northern Vietnam, this paper investigates the role of the land policy in the adoption of soil conservation technologies by farmers. This issue is of crucial importance in the region where population growth and growing market demands have induced farmers to intensify agricultural production. While poverty has been reduced, environmental problems such as soil erosion, landslides, and declining soil fertility have become more severe over the past years. Our findings suggest that despite farmers' awareness of erosion, soil conservation technologies are perceived as being economically unattractive; therefore, most upland farmers continue to practice the prevailing erosion-prone cultivation system. Focusing on agroforestry as one major soil conservation option, we estimate household and plot-level econometric models to empirically assess the determinants of adoption. We find that the possession of a formal land title positively influences adoption, but that the threat of land reallocations in villages discourages adoption by creating uncertainty and tenure insecurity. The analyses reveal that these two effects interact with each other but are of small magnitude. We conclude that the issuance of land titles is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite to encouraging the adoption of soil conservation practices. However, current practices remain economically unattractive to farmers. This deficiency needs to be addressed by interdisciplinary research and complemented by strong efforts by local authorities to promote sustainable land use.
Ahlheim M., Fror O., Heinke A., Keil A., Duc N., Dinh P., Saint-Macary C., Zeller M. (2009), Landslides in Mountainous Regions of Northern Vietnam: Causes, Protection Strategies and the Assessment of Economic Losses, International Journal of Ecological Economics and Statistics, 15, F09, p. 108-130
Landslides are a severe problem during the rainy season in many mountainous regions in Asia where forests have been cut down so that mountain slopes are destabilized. In this study we analyze the extent and causes of landslides in a mountainous area in Northern Vietnam as viewed from the perspective of the population concerned. We also scrutinize the ideas of these people regarding suitable landslide protection measures and their willingness to contribute to the practical implementation of these measures. It is shown that the majority of people living in this area feels highly concerned about the frequent landslide events and that they support the idea of government programs to mitigate the danger of future landslides. We measure the utility they expect from such a landslide protection program, i. e. the social value of such a program, in terms of their willingness to contribute personally to its implementation. Since household budgets are tight in these rural areas where subsistence farming still prevails we also analyze the possibilities to measure these expected utility gains in terms of people's willingness to support the proposed landslide protection program through working time instead of money. The prospect of employing such an alternative means of contribution is, however, seen rather critical.
Saint-Macary C. (2014), Microeconomic Impacts of Institutional Change in Vietnam's Northern Uplands. Empirical Studies on Social Capital, Land and Credit Institutions, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang
The Doi Moi reforms initiated in Vietnam in 1986 to lead the transition from a centrally-planned to a market-oriented economy have entailed deep institutional transformations. At the national level, achievements have been impressive, the high economic growth in all sectors of the economy have permitted to divide poverty incidence by three in the country since 1993. Mountainous regions and its inhabitants, however, have lagged behind in the process. There, the combination of poverty and the degradation of natural resources remains a pressing issue. Drawing on a conceptual framework that highlights the determinant role of institutions in the poverty-environment nexus, this book investigates the sources of success and failure in the current institutional framework to address objectives of equity, economic growth and environmental sustainability in Vietnam's mountains. The empirical investigation uses an original dataset collected in a rural district and examines three critical dimensions: the definition of land rights, the functioning of credit markets, and the formation of social capital.
Le Thi Ai Van, Birkenberg A., Nielsen T., Keil A., Saint-Macary C. (2013), Linkages Between Agriculture, Poverty and Natural Resource Use in Mountainous Regions of Southeast Asia, in Fröhlich H., Schreinemachers P., Stahr K., Clemens G. (eds), Sustainable Land Use and Rural Development in Southeast Asia: Innovations and Policies for Mountainous Areas, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 175-212
In the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia, smallholder farmers are both victims of and actors in the degradation of natural resources, as a result of their agricultural activities. Addressing sustainable development thus requires a good understanding of the agriculture-poverty-environment nexus - defined as the set of complex linkages between agriculture, poverty and the environment - and of the economic incentives that drive the natural resource use of smallholder farmers in vulnerable areas. The objective of this chapter is to improve our understanding of the extent and nature of these linkages across different settings in Southeast Asia - namely northern Vietnam and northern Thailand, and to derive policy recommendations that can contribute towards the enhancement of sustainable development in these regions. The chapter draws on empirical research conducted in northern Vietnam and northern Thailand between 2007 and 2011.
Hilger T., Keil A., Lippe M., Panomtaranichagul M., Saint-Macary C., Zeller M., Pansak W., Tuan Vu Dinh, Cadisch G. (2013), Soil Conservation on Sloping Land: Technical Options and Adoption Constraints, in Fröhlich H., Schreinemachers P., Stahr K., Clemens G. (eds), Sustainable Land Use and Rural Development in Southeast Asia: Innovations and Policies for Mountainous Areas Springer Environmental Science and Engineering, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 229-279
This chapter briefly summarizes the causes and consequences of soil erosion, before presenting examples of effective soil conservation technologies (SCT), such as contour-based cropping, cover crops, mulching and geo-textiles, and based on case studies from northern Thailand and northern Vietnam. Depending on site conditions, a soil erosion reduction of 30-60 % in the first year after establishment and up to 72-98 % by the third year was observed in these studies when compared to local farmers' practices. In north-east Thailand, maize grain yields increased from 1.5 and 3.2 Mg ha-1, to 3.8 and 5.5 Mg ha-1 under minimum tillage und relay cropping. The study in north-western Vietnam revealed that although the majority of farmers were aware of soil erosion mitigation methods, adoption rates of the promoted soil conservation technologies remained low. These technologies compete for land and labor resources with the main cropping activities, in particular highly profitable commercial maize cultivation, incurring high opportunity costs. Based on these case studies, we conclude that innovative approaches to soil conservation require a change in land use systems, not just the adoption of conventional SCT in the existing systems. The integration of plant and animal production in the uplands should be promoted that allows farmers to benefit from urban-based economic growth on the one hand, such as through the exploitation of niche markets for high-value meat, while being environmentally sustainable on the other. The improved integration of animal husbandry with plant production systems could make feed producing soil conservation options more attractive to farmers, which could be further stimulated by introducing payment for environmental services (PES) schemes.
Zeller M., Ufer S., Dinh Thi Tuyet Van, Nielsen T., Schreinemachers P., Tipraqsa P., Berger T., Le Thi Ai Van, Keil A., Pham Thi My Dung, Heidhues F., Saint-Macary C. (2013), Policies for Sustainable Development: The Commercialization of Smallholder Agriculture, in Fröhlich H., Schreinemachers P., Stahr K., Clemens G. (eds), Sustainable Land Use and Rural Development in Southeast Asia: Innovations and Policies for Mountainous Areas, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 463-490
Sustainable development requires a mix of policies that can simultaneously address social, economic and environmental objectives. While the preceding chapters of this book have focused on agricultural, environmental and socio-economic aspects and related policies, this chapter looks at the commercialization of smallholder agriculture and, in particular, the need to target the poor so as to enable them to better participate in market-oriented development. The mountainous regions of northern Thailand and northern Vietnam have witnessed a substantial transformation over the last two decades, turning as they have from largely subsistence-oriented to market-oriented agriculture. This development began in Thailand earlier than in Vietnam, but during the 2000s, smallholder agriculture in Vietnam also commercialized at a rapid rate, leading to an increase in farm incomes and a decline in poverty levels. Our main policy conclusion here is that the commercialization of agriculture can be conducive to a sustainable increase in smallholder incomes and reduction of poverty levels; however, policies aimed at addressing the environmental externalities caused by market participation must be combined with socially-oriented policies that target poorer segments of the population, especially in the areas of education, health, social assistance, political participation and non-subsidized credit, as well as infrastructure and market-oriented development policies aimed at long-run sustainability.
Saint-Macary C. (2012), Are Ethnically Diverse Communities "Bad" Communities? An Empirical Study on Social Capital Formation in Northern Vietnam, 28th international conference of agricultural economists : "The Global Bio-Economy", Foz Do Iguaçu, Brésil
Using data from rural communities in which ethnic heterogeneity was induced within through involuntary resettlements policies in the 1960s, we estimate the exogenous effect of ethnic heterogeneity on individual participation in local organizations and households' social network capital. The effect on participation depends on organizations' political nature and the public nature of managed goods. We find no direct impact on social network capital but an indirect effect through interactions with identity and participation. Results do not confirm theoretical predictions of a negative relationship but show that ethnic heterogeneity can encourage bridging connections, and, as such, fosters innovation and economic development.
Keil A., Saint-Macary C., Zeller M. (2011), Agricultural Commercialization in the Uplands of northern Vietnam: how to achieve both Poverty Reduction and Environmental Sustainability goals?, GEWISOLA : "Unternehmerische Landwirtschaft zwischen Marktanforderungen und gesellschaftlichen Erwartungen", Halle, Allemagne
Income growth and urbanization in developing countries have enlarged markets for high-value agricultural commodities. However, there are concerns that lacking access to physical, financial, and human capital, as well as infrastructure and institutions limit the ability of the poor to participate in and benefit from such commercial agricultural activities. There may further be a trade-off between wealth enhancing effects of intensive commercial agriculture and adverse long-term effects on farmers' livelihoods due to natural resource degradation. This study provides empirical evidence on these crucial issues and derives related policy recommendations using the example of Vietnam. Here, economic growth has boosted the demand for animal products and, consequently, commercial maize production for animal feed purposes especially in erosion-prone upland areas. Using data from mountainous Yen Chau district in north-western Vietnam, the main objective of this paper is to investigate the degree of farmers' engagement in commercial maize production and the determin ants of their land allocation decision, whereby a special focus is laid on the poorest farm households. We find that maize covers most of the sloping uplands and generates the lion's share of farmers' cash income. The poorest farmers are particularly sp ecialized in commercial maize production, but they are highly dependent on relatively disadvantageous input supply and marketing arrangements offered by maize traders. Although farmers in all wealth groups are well aware of soil erosion, effective soil conservation measures are rarely practiced. Due to the trade-off between short-term wealth enhancing effects of maize production and la cking sustainability we propose a two-pronged policy approach that comprises (1) measures aimed at enhancing the short-term profitability of maize produc tion for the poorest farmers while reducing the associated market related risks and (2) measures aimed at enhancing both the economic and ecological sustainability of land use in the long run through the prom otion of economically attractive soil conservation options that may gradually evolve into a more diversified land use system.
Saint-Macary C., Keil A., Zeller M. (2009), Land allocation policy and conservat ion practices in the mountains of Northern Vietnam, International Association of Agricultural Economists Conference, Beijing, Chine
In Vietnam, a quasi-private property regime has been established in 1993, with the issuance exchangeable and mortgageable land use right certificates. Using primary qualitative and quantitative data, this paper investigates the role of the titling policy in fostering the use of soil conservation practices by upland farmers in the northern mountains region. There, population growth and growing market demands have induced farmers to intensify agricultural production onto steep slopes. While poverty has been reduced, environmental problems such as soil erosion, landslides, and de clining soil fertility have become severe over the past years. Our findings suggest that soil conservation technologies although relatively well known are perceived as being economically unattractive. Focusing on agroforestry, we estimate household and plot level econometric models to empirically assess the determinants of adoption. We find that the possession of a formal land title influences adoption, but that the threat of land re-allocations in villages creates uncertainty and discourages this type of investment. We conclude that more efforts are needed from decision-makers to promote and support the adoption of conservation practices and also to clarify objectives of the land policy in order to secure land tenure and initiate a more sustainable development in fragile areas.
Saint-Macary C., Zanuso C. (2015), Build back better? Long-lasting impact of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti, DIAL Document de travail, Paris, Université Paris-Dauphine, 56
Cet article estime l'impact à moyen terme du tremblement de terre qui a frappé Haïti en 2010 sur le bien-être des ménages. Grâce à des données longitudinales de première main, ainsi que des données objectives géo-référencées de l'intensité du séisme, nous estimons l'impact au niveau national et pour un échantillon plus restreint excluant l'aire métropolitaine de Port-au-Prince à l'aide d'une estimation en doubles différences. Parce que l'épicentre du séisme se situe dans cette zone spécifique qui est la capitale, nous mobilisons plusieurs stratégies pour répondre à la violation potentielle de l'hypothèse d'évolution parallèle en absence de choc. Nos résultats montrent que le choc négatif a provoqué une perte de richesse durable dans le temps pour les ménages haïtiens. Nos résultats suggèrent également un impact négatif durable sur l'offre de travail. Plus précisément, lorsque nous excluons l'aire métropolitaine, nous observons une diminution de 3.9 points de pourcentage de la probabilité de participer au marché du travail, constituant un obstacle important au processus de résilience. Le dérèglement des différents moyens de subsistance réduit la probabilité pour les ménages de se remettre du choc dans aide extérieure. Pourtant, nos résultats montrent des limites dans le ciblage des populations affectées.
This paper analyses the long-lasting effects of the 2010 Haiti earthquake on household well-being.Using original longitudinal data and objective geological measures, we estimate the impact over the whole country, and outside the Metropolitan Area of Port-au-Prince with difference-in-difference estimations. As the earthquake hit the country in a very specific area, its capital city, we employ different strategies to address the possible violation of the parallel trend assumption. We provide strong evidence that in Haiti the immediate negative shock has been associated to persistent welfare losses over timeOur results also show that the earthquake has an overall negative long-lasting impact on labour market participation. When we exclude the more specific Metropolitan area, we observe a drop of 3.9 p.p. in the probability to participate to labour market, encumbering the resilient recovery.The disruption of household's livelihood system reduce the probability to recover from the shock without external aid. However, our findings suggest that the assistance program's coverage, even among the most impacted households has been highly variable.
Zeller M., Saint-Macary C., Keil A. (2008), Maize boom in the uplands of Northern Vietnam : economic importance and environmental implications, Research in Development Economics and Policy (Discussion Paper Series), Stuttgart, Universitaet Hohenheim, 23
In Vietnam, the demand for meat products has grown dramatically due to rapid economic growth and urbanisation and is expected to further increase in the future. Being the primary source of feed for the country's livestock and poultry industry, maize has become the second most important crop after rice. While this maize boom has the potential to reduce rural poverty, it promotes the expansion of agricultural cultivation into fragile agro-ecological zones, often leading to deforestation and soil degradation, especially in the uplands. Using empirical evidence from mountainous Yen Chau district in north-western Vietnam, the objective of this paper is to investigate the current economic importance and environmental implications of maize cultivation. Furthermore, particular emphasis is placed on the identification of factors influencing farmers' decision how much area to allocate to maize in order to derive research and policy recommendations. Maize is the dominant crop in Yen Chau, covering most of the uplands and generating the lion's share of households' cash income. Although farmers are well aware of soil erosion on their maize plots, effective soil conservation measures are rarely practiced. Maize is attractive to farmers from all social strata, notably the poor, and through marketing arrangements with traders its cultivation is also not constrained by poor infrastructural conditions. Access to low-interest credit should be enhanced to mitigate farmers' risk of being caught in a poverty trap when maize revenues plummet due to pests, diseases, price fluctuations, or adverse weather conditions. To address the problem of soil degradation in the maize-dominated uplands, research is needed on soil conservation options that are economically more attractive than those promoted thus far.