Local Coalitions in Agricultural Land Acquisition and Compensation Practice in Vietnam: A Case Study in Thua Thien Hue Province

By Thi Bich Thao Nguyen and Hirofumi Abe.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: August 21, 2015 $US5.00

Land acquisition and compensation for urban development has become a matter of great concern given the multi-facetted impacts on different groups of people — particularly the vulnerable in developed and developing countries. Since the 1986 Doi Moi economic reforms, Vietnam has experienced remarkable changes in urban transformation. Peri-urbanization and the acquisition of agricultural land for development have impacted millions of rural Vietnamese. This paper looks at issues of agricultural land acquisition, compensation and the livelihoods of effected farmers. Thua Thien Hue Province, in Central Vietnam, will be analyzed as a case study to provide a platform for discussion and comparative analysis to other cases in Vietnam, China and some African countries. It aims to examine the local practice of agricultural land acquisition and the sustainability of livelihoods for local farmers. Through direct interactions with the local farmers and other relevant stakeholders via in-depth interviews, questionnaires and focus groups discussions, the research findings indicate that the local practice of agricultural land acquisition and compensation in Thua Thien Hue has resulted in the permanent loss of livelihoods for thousands of farmers compounded by poor compensation rates. Meanwhile, the land is converted for residential uses at a much higher value. While the primary livelihood of farmers remains wet rice cultivation, acquisition of their land at lowered prices without follow-up welfare services sends communities deeper into the cycle of poverty. This study concludes that the local implementation of policies should take a comprehensive approach through a more participatory process that empowers the local community so as to maintain overall social stability.

Keywords: Agricultural Land, Acquisition, Compensation Policy, Sustainability of Livelihoods, Employment Conversion

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.23-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 21, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.241MB)).

Thi Bich Thao Nguyen

Ph.D Candidate, Division of Sound Material Cycle Science, Graduate School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama City, Okayama prefecture, Japan

Hirofumi Abe

Professor, Vice President of Okayama University, Division of Sound Material Recycle Society, Okayama University, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, Japan