Land accumulation for modernization and improvement of agricultural efficiency has been considered a strategic direction of the Party and the State. In realization of the political direction, there are challenges to achievement of the goal, and to ensure social justice. In such context, CISDOMA has been conducting different activities to contribute to addressing these challenges.
Land accumulation and concentration are considered as unavoidable alternative to develop modern commercialized agriculture. These strategies have been formulated in many Party Principle Documents such as the 11th Communist Party Congress’s Resolution (2011), the 12th Communist Party Congress’s Resolution (2016), and other policies to promote effective production models. The current Land Law (issued in 2013) has been amended to facilitate agricultural land accumulation and concentration. However, there are many challenges which must be addressed, as prerequisites to ensure stakeholders’ rights and benefits particularly smallholder farmers.
Firstly, rural employment is one of the challenges. Many research showed that lack of rural employment is associated with land accumulation. In Vietnam, 36% of farmers possess farms with less than 0.2 hectares of agricultural land (GSO, 2016). With this farm size, to accumulate land for a 100-hectare farm, at least 500 other households will be dispossessed from farmland. In the context of high proportion of the labor force in agriculture in Vietnam (41% of total labor in 2018, OECD, 2019), the speed-up in land accumulation will create labor surplus (mainly people in the 30 to 40 age group). This amount of labor will exceed the absorption capacity of industrial and service sector. Additionally, training and job creation for a huge amount of farmers after land accumulation and concentration presents a significant challenge.
Consultation workshop of AgriCo on Land Accumulation and Concentration in Agriculture.
Secondly, limited social security services in Vietnam also pose a challenge. Land accumulation within the context of lacking social security services, and limited rural employment will lead farmers to lose their livelihoods and even push the impoverished. There have been increasing trend of farmers, who have switched from farm activities to off-farm jobs, but still hold the agricultural land as a secured asset, and as an assurance when they are unemployed and sick. More importantly, land is also an integral part of people’s life particularly for those in underdeveloped areas where agricultural production is main livelihood for a large majority of people. According to a National Assembly Standing Committee’s report on monitoring the implementation of policies on residential and productive land for ethnic minorities in 2012 (Lê, 2012), from 2002 to 2011, in Vietnam, 558,485 poor ethnic minority households are lacking residential and productive land. One of the main reasons for this situation is that some individuals and companies have increasingly accumulated agricultural land to expand their production. This activity will complicate the situation of buying, selling and mortgaging land which has detrimental effects on ethnic minority people.
Multi-stakeholders consultation workshop on agricultural land policies and enforcement.
Also, the efficiency of agricultural land use after accumulation raises many questions. There are concerns about true purposes of enterprises when they accumulate land. According to (Thuan, 2018), many have raised the question on the actual purpose of enterprises (including those whose main business is real estate) investing in agriculture, It is unclear answers about the future, after the expiry of the land lease contract (usually 20 years), if enterprises will return the land for agricultural purpose, and if this land can still can be suitable for agricultural purpose..
In the context of small-scale and fragmented agricultural land in Vietnam, it is necessary to concentrate land to achieve appropriate scale for efficient production and to meet market needs. However, to limit negative consequences on for the society and ensure the rights and benefits of smallholder farmers, it requires careful consideration for appropriate policies and sound measurements. To prepare necessary conditions, promoting effective production models and linkages among small-scale farmers are important.
CISDOMA has carried out many activities to bring alternatives for more effective agricultural production, and to find solutions to land fragmentation such as:
- Introduce, promote and support cooperative models of small-scale farmers with agroecological practices to improve land use efficiency and meet market demands.
- Conduct research and surveys on effective production models of smallholders, analysis of challenges that farmers encounter and solutions.
- Research, analyze and contribute to the revision of the Land Law and related document to ensure benefits of small-scale farmers.
Training course “Land rights in the context of land accumulation and concentration” from 22nd April to 23rh April 2019
- Lê, N., 2012. Tích tụ đất đai ngày càng phức tạp. [Online]
Available at: http://vneconomy.vn/thoi-su/tich-tu-dat-dai-ngay-cang-phuc-tap-20121020085741884.htm
[Accessed 31 1 2020].
- OECD, 2019. Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2019, Paris: OECD Publishing.
- Thuấn, N. Q., 2018. vn. [Online]
Available at: http://www.vanhoahoc.vn/nghien-cuu/van-hoa-viet-nam/van-hoa-ung-xu-voi-moi-truong-tu-nhien/3486-nguyen-quang-thuan-tich-tu-tap-trung-dat-dai-cho-phat-trien-nong-nghiep-o-viet-nam-trong-dieu-kien-moi.html
[Accessed 31 1 2020].