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Income Diversification And Poverty Reduction In The Northern Uplands Of Vietnam

  • Minot, Nicholas

In the context of the economic development, income diversification is sometimes defined as the process by which households switch from growing low-value staple food crops to growing a mix of food crops and higher-value commercial crops (crop diversification) and from farming to non-farm activities (non-farm diversification). The literature on income diversification has measured trends, identified determinants, and speculated on the constraints to diversification, but there has been relatively little analysis of the contribution of diversification to income growth. This paper uses household survey data from 1993 and 1998 to quantify the contribution of crop diversification and non-farm diversification to the growth of household income in the northern upland region of Vietnam. We find that rural incomes have increased substantially over this period, but non-farm income has increased at the same rate as farm income. Poor households are particularly dependent on crop income growth, while higher-income households rely more on non-farm diversification to increase their incomes. Crop diversification has made a non-negligible contribution to rising living standards in the northern uplands, but the contribution of yield growth is substantially greater. Crop income growth among poor households is based heavily on yield increases, while income growth among richer households is associated with area expansion and crop diversification. These results have implications for policies and investment to improve rural living standards.

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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada with number 22029.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea03:22029
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  1. Reardon, Thomas, 1997. "Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 735-747, May.
  2. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bezuneh, Mesfin & Aboud, Abdillahi, 2001. "Income diversification, poverty traps and policy shocks in Cote d'Ivoire and Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 367-384, August.
  3. Minot, Nicholas & Baulch, Bob, 2002. "The spatial distribution of poverty in Vietnam and the potential for targeting," MTID discussion papers 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Delgado, Christopher L. & Siamwalla, Ammar, 1997. "Rural Economy and Farm Income Diversification in Developing Countries," 1997 Conference, August 10-16, 1997, Sacramento, California 197035, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
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  6. Delgado, Christopher L. & Hopkins, Jane & Kelly , Valerie & Hazell, P. B. R. & McKenna, Anna A. & Gruhn, Peter & Hojjati, Behjat & Sil, Jayashree & Courbois, Claude, 1998. "Agricultural growth linkages in Sub-Saharan Africa:," Research reports 107, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bezuneh, Mesfin & Clay, Daniel C. & Reardon, Thomas, 2001. "Heterogeneous Constraints, Incentives And Income Diversification Strategies In Rural Africa," Working Papers 14761, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  8. Joshi, P.K. & Gulati, Ashok & Birthal, Pratap S. & Tewari, Laxmi, 2003. "Agriculture diversification in South Asia," MSSD discussion papers 57, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Escobal, Javier, 2001. "The Determinants of Nonfarm Income Diversification in Rural Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 497-508, March.
  10. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 26(1), October.
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