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ABSTRACT

This study was done in Thoda, a village in the northern suburbs of Hanoi City where the agrarian households have to cope with a sudden shock of loss of land caused by transforming agricultural land into non-agricultural use. The aim of study is to examine how magnitude of the shock of land loss and how these households developed new forms of livelihoods in response and thereby recovered from the shock.

In Vietnam today, approximately 200,000 ha agricultural land is transformed for non-agricultural uses annually (Hanoimoi, 2006). For agrarian households, cultivated land is a key livelihood asset of household. Therefore, loss of cultivated land clearly forces households to seek new forms of livelihood. What are the shocks to farmer households caused by land revocation in Tho Da village and how is the process of adaptation to the shocks of land revocation traced by the households are question that emerged for this study.

The study was conducted in 5 stages: first, a review of literature and complete thesis proposal with comments from supervisors; second, gathering data; third, making data sets; fourth, writing up as a draft paper; fifth, revising the paper under supervisors’ comments. Methods used for the study involved reviewing documents, group discussions, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews of households.

Evidence suggests that the land revocation not only caused the loss of dispensable livelihood assets in terms of land, traditional on-farm skills, loss of food and income sources in terms of buffer for individual households and for village community; but also was the source of other losses in terms of disorder in rural society, identity, and opportunities. Households responded to the shock by utilizing their resource base (including human capital, compensation, cultivated land, residential land, and other assets) to earn a living and to build their capacity. In this process, they had to cope with risks and uncertainty. Evidence suggests diversity, dynamics, and differences between household groups by age in resource base as well as in choice of activities. In addition, findings show that income diversification seems to imply a trade-off and role reversal in terms of households’ income sources. Namely, wage labour and industrial poultry rearing were dominant, especially in working-age households. In addition, pursuing children’s education appears motivated in order to improve the capacity for the next generation in spite of trade-offs of the present generation.

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