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Land allocation policy and conservation practices in the mountains of Northern Vietnam

  • Saint-Macary, Camille
  • Keil, Alwin
  • Zeller, Manfred
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    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 16 problems such as soil erosion, landslides, and declining 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.

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    Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China with number 51763.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:51763
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    1. Carter, Michael R. & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Getting Institutions 'Right' for Whom: Credit Constraints and the Impact of Property Rights on the Quantity and Compostiton of Investment," Staff Paper Series 433, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1998. "Land institutions and land markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2014, The World Bank.
    3. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
    4. Shively, Gerald E., 2001. "Poverty, consumption risk, and soil conservation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 267-290, August.
    5. Lutz, Ernst & Pagiola, Stefano & Reiche, Carlos, 1994. "The Costs and Benefits of Soil Conservation: The Farmers' Viewpoint," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 273-95, July.
    6. Meredith J. Soule & Abebayehu Tegene & Keith D. Wiebe, 2000. "Land Tenure and the Adoption of Conservation Practices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 993-1005.
    7. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
    8. Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
    9. Grepperud, S., 1997. "Soil conservation as an investment in land," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 455-467, December.
    10. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2003. "Land rights and economic development : evidence from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3120, The World Bank.
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