Impacts of – and farmers’ adaptation to – land allocation policies in the north central uplands of Vietnam

Rikke Folving Ginzburg, Andreas Waaben Thulstrup, Thomas Theis Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


A series of policies on land tenure have been implemented in Vietnam following the doi moi restructuring. This study assesses the impacts of these policies, the extent to which they have had intended effects and coping strategies adopted by farmers. Data were collected in five upland villages in Nghe An Province, North Central Vietnam. The intended effects of the land allocation policies were poverty alleviation, intensification of agriculture, agricultural modernization and forest protection. The policies implemented to achieve these goals include changes in land allocation, purportedly to increase land tenure security. However, the policies have been implemented in a very uneven manner and the effects differ widely due to differences in the local contexts in which they have been implemented. In general, farmers perceive the impacts of policies as adverse and have attempted to cope with their impact in a variety of ways. The paper argues that land allocation policies have: (1) decreased the amount of land available, (2) not improved land tenure security and (3) had a limited impact on farming practices. The differences between the five villages are great, demonstrating the very different results produced by national policies depending on the specific implementation modality and the local context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeografisk tidsskrift / Danish journal of geography
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)36-55
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Land tenure security
  • Shifting cultivation
  • Land allocation
  • Land use intensification

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