Agricultural policy and land use changes in a Black Thai commune of northern Vietnam, 1952-1997

Thomas Sikor, Dao Minh Truong

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Vietnamese agricultural policy has changed radically during the past 5 decades. Decollectivization in the 1980s and 1990s followed 2 decades of collective agriculture. This article examines the effects of agricultural policy on land use. It reports the results of remote image interpretation and socioeconomic field study in a Black Thai commune in Vietnam's northern mountains. It suggests that the landscape in the commune has been highly dynamic and that this dynamism was partly the result of the agricultural policy. Collectivization and decollectivization affected land use, but their influence was mediated by other factors, primarily changing technology and markets. In addition, the relationship between national policy and local land use is complicated by 2 factors: (1) changes in local institutions may predate national reforms, and (2) implementation of national policy and the resulting local institutions may differ from place to place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalMountain Research and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2002


  • Agricultural policy
  • Decollectivization
  • GIS
  • Land use changes
  • Vietnam

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