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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Crop Boom as a Trigger of Smallholder Livelihood and Land Use Transformations: The Case of Coffee Production in the Northern Mountain Region of Vietnam

1
Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
2
Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
3
Department of Anthropology and Geography, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Transitions)
Coffee is considered a boom crop in Southeast Asia. However, while it bears typical boom crop characteristics in many places where it has been grown, in other places it has contributed to agrarian transformation. This paper examines the context of coffee development in the Northwestern Mountain Region of Vietnam and describes how smallholder coffee growing has triggered an agricultural transition process, and corresponding land use changes, from subsistence-based to commercialized agriculture production. The research was conducted in a commune located in Son La province. Interviews with 46 selected households and three focus group discussions (10–15 people each) were conducted to understand changes in crop systems, corresponding land use, and labor use, due to the adoption of coffee (the boom crop). The research found that coffee has replaced swidden crops and enables a multicrop system, with less land devoted to swidden land use. The income from coffee is used to hire labor and to pay for the inputs needed to mechanize rice farming. The research findings show that the coffee boom has brought about livelihood transformation, changed land use, and transformed local livelihoods from subsistence to production for the market. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop boom; coffee boom; small holding coffee; crop system; agricultural transformation; livelihood transformation crop boom; coffee boom; small holding coffee; crop system; agricultural transformation; livelihood transformation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nghiem, T.; Kono, Y.; Leisz, S.J. Crop Boom as a Trigger of Smallholder Livelihood and Land Use Transformations: The Case of Coffee Production in the Northern Mountain Region of Vietnam. Land 2020, 9, 56.

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