First Mission Report Vietnam 25_07

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					                      Mission Report Hanoi, Vietnam
                             24/06/03-4/07/03
                 Inception Mission: Credit in Rural Vietnam
                      VLIR Policy Preparing Research




                   Hannelore Beerlandt and Miet Maertens
                               PRG Leuven


                        -Draft Mission 25th July 2003-




Contents

   1.   Rural Credit in Vietnam: Different Actors
   2.   Main Findings and Issues
   3.   Reactions and Suggestions regarding our Research
   4.   Planned Research Approach
   5.   Research Questions Raising
   6.   Missing Information and Remaining Practical Questions
   7.   List of Persons Met and Institutions Visited




                                 www.prgleuven.be
                          Hannelore.Beerlandt@prgleuven.be
                                 mmaerte@gwdg.de
1. Rural Credit in Vietnam: Different Actors

During our mission we have met different actors providing micro credit to rural
households in Vietnam. In addition we visited the State Bank of Vietnam and various
institutions involved in managing, monitoring and facilitating micro finance schemes.
We met people from scientific research programs concerned with rural credit and we
collected some statistics and additional studies on micro finance from several
information centers. The different actors and the institutions we visited during the
mission are summarized in the table below.



         DIFFERENT ACTORS                             INSTITUTIONS VISITED

 I. Actors involved in legalization and supervision of credit institutions
  State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)                    - State Bank of Vietnam

 II. Actors involved in providing rural credit
 a. The formal sector
 - Under the ‘law on credit institutions’        - Vietnam Bank for Agriculture
     · Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and            and Rural Development
       Rural Development (VBARD)                 - Social Policy Bank
     · Social Policy Bank (SPB) (Vietnam         - People’s Credit Fund
       Bank of the Poor)
 - Under the ‘law on cooperatives’
     - People’s Credit Fund (PCF)
 b. The semi-formal sector
   - Multilateral cooperation                    -   Belgian Technical Cooperation
   - Bilateral cooperation                       -   Action Aid GB
   - NGOs                                        -   Save the Children Fund, US
   - Mass Organizations                          -   Oxfam Belgium
                                                 -   VECO
                                                 -   SNV
                                                 -   FAO
                                                 -   Asian Development Bank
                                                 -   Vietnam Women’s Union
 c. The informal sector
   Moneylenders, traders, etc.
   Relatives, neighbors, etc.

 III. Actors involved in mediating, facilitating and monitoring formal and
     semi-formal micro-credit schemes
 Mass organizations
       · Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU)             - Vietnam Women’s Union
       · Farmers’ Association (FA)
       …..




                                                                                     1
    IV. Actors involved in capacity building for management of community
        financial institutions
     - Non-profit organizations                           - World Council of Credit Unions
     - NGOs                                                 (WOCCU)
     - ….                                                 - Belgian Technical Cooperation
                                                          - Save the Children US

    V. Actors involved in research concerning rural credit
                                                          - Micro Finance Resource
                                                            Institute (National Economics
                                                            University)
                                                          - The Uplands Program (Hanoi
                                                            Agricultural University and
                                                            Hohenheim University)
    VI. Information centers
                                                          - General Statistical Office
                                                          - NGO Resource Center
                                                          - Ministry of Agriculture and
                                                            Rural Development




2. Main Findings and Issues


The main actors providing rural credit and their characteristics

Many actors are involved in providing credit to rural households in Vietnam. Those
different credit institutions and actors can be classified into a formal, a semi-formal
and an informal sector (see table). The formal sector actually consists of three credit
institutions providing credit to rural households: the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture
and Rural Development (VBARD); the Social Policy Bank (SPB, formerly the
Vietnam Bank of the Poor) and the Peoples Credit Fund (PCF). The first (VBARD)
operates under the Law on Credit and Financial Institutions while the latter (PCF) is a
credit cooperative working under the Law on Cooperatives. Both institutions,
VBARD and PCF, function as commercial banks and are self-reliant with autonomous
financial management. They provide short term credit (12 months) at a monthly
interest rate of 1.1% and VBARD also provides medium term loans at a monthly
interest rate of 1.5%. The size of these short term and medium term loans is variable,
depending on the households’ demand, and can reach up to 300 or 400 US $. The
VBARD generally requires collateral for all types of loans while the PCF demands
collateral only for larger loans. The Social Policy Bank (SPB) provides heavily
subsidized credit to the rural poor at a monthly interest rate of 0.5%. The SPB is
specifically targeting poor households in rural areas based on a list of poor
households1 provided by the local People’s Committee. Usually the SPB credit
concerns a one-time credit for which no collateral is required and with a fixed loan
1
 According to these lists, a household is poor if the monthly income is lower than 80.000 VND.
(1 US $ = ± 15,000 VND)


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size of around 200 to 300 US $ (depending on how the quota are set for each district
and how the funds are distributed among the communes in the districts). Although
several studies point out that access to credit is more important than the exact cost
(interest rate) of credit, the SPB continues to provide heavily subsidized credit in rural
Vietnam. All three formal credit institutions; VBARD, SPB and PCF are active in
almost every province of the country, which does not mean that they cover every
single commune in each province. The VBARD is currently reaching about 7 million
rural households, the SPB 2 million and the PCF about 800,000.

The semi-formal sector consists of credit programs funded by donor organizations
(including multilateral organizations such as FAO, ADB; bilateral cooperation and the
52 NGO’s providing micro credit in Vietnam) and/or by the mass organizations in
Vietnam (Vietnams Women’s Union and the Farmers Association). Credit provided
by the semi-formal sector usually concerns small, short term loans for which no
collateral is needed. The size of the loans varies from 20 to 200 US $. The interest
rates used in these credit programs are comparable to those of VBARD and PCF
(1.1% monthly) or higher (up to 1.8% monthly). These semi-formal credit schemes
often operate according to the Grameen principle with solidarity groups and
compulsory savings. Most NGOs originally didn’t focus on micro credit but their
credit programs developed as a component of other rural development projects. The
semi-formal sector is smaller, more local and more limited than the formal sector. E.g.
the BTC-project reaches 62,000 households; Action Aid GB 28,000 households; and
the TYM fund of the Women’s Union reaches 15,000 households. All these semi-
formal credit programs are in fact illegal in Vietnam but they are tolerated. There does
not exist a legal framework for these type of micro credit schemes or community
financial institutions. Towards institutional and operational sustainability this poses
severe problems. E.g. mobilizing savings is impossible in these programs, which puts
serious limitations on their capacity to build up the own capital. As long as this is not
regulated, these credit programs remain dependent on donors for their operational
costs. The State Bank of Vietnam is currently working on a draft text that should
provide a legal framework for these credit schemes.

Finally, the informal sector is still a very important source of credit in rural Vietnam.
Informal credit includes ‘social’ credit from relatives, neighbors and friends as well as
credit at high interest rates from moneylenders and traders. This type of credit can be
in cash as well as in kind (e.g. agricultural inputs which need to be paid back at the
end of the harvest, etc.). The importance and extent of this type of credit in rural
Vietnam is unknown. According to some, informal credit is much more important
than formal and semi-formal credit. According to others, its importance is decreasing
with the expansion of the formal and semi-formal sector.


The role of mass organizations in mediating credit

Characteristic for the rural credit market in Vietnam, the formal sector was well as the
semi-formal sector, is the role of the mass organizations in mediating credit. The
majority of loans are mediated or facilitated in one way or another by the Vietnams
Women’s Union (and to a lesser extent by other mass organizations such as the
Farmers’ Association etc.). In fact many different credit schemes funded from
different sources can all be coordinated by the Women’s Union and run parallel in one


                                                                                        3
location. The Women’s Union, who has a very extensive network into the smallest
and most remote communes, provides the link between the rural households
demanding credit and the district, province or central level branches of the credit
institutions. The role of the Women’s Union varies between the credit schemes and
can consist of promoting the credit schemes at the local level, selecting ‘credit-
worthy’ clients, organizing meetings for clients, explaining the terms and conditions
of the credit, collecting outstanding liabilities from clients, supervision on the use of
the loan, financial management of the credit programs, etc. Some credit institutions
are trying to strengthen their own local network in order to decrease the dependence
on the Women’s Union as a mediator while others rely completely on the Women’s’
Union for organization, coordination, and financial management. The VBARD
currently still cooperates with the Women’s Union as a mediator for rural credit
schemes but they are expanding their own network of district and commune level
branches2 where rural household can directly deal with the bank without the
mediation of the Women’s Union. Most semi-formal rural credit programs rely
completely on the Women’s Union to transfer credit to rural households. Often, also
the accounting and management of those credit schemes is carried out by the
Women’s Union, whose members are often not well trained in book-keeping and
financial management. Therefore some NGOs and other donors have shifted their
focus on capacity building and training of local people in financial management in
addition to providing credit in rural areas. Also the World Council of Credit Unions
(WOCCU), a non-profit organization, is involved in capacity building of community
financial institutions in Vietnam. However, training in financial management is
difficult and costly because representatives of the Women’s Union are elected and
hence change regularly, which makes capacity building difficult and discontinue. In
addition, the Women’s Union is a social organization and its members are often not at
all ‘business minded’. Also, specific donors instruct each their own financial system,
which results in very complicated accounting systems at the local level. Another issue
arising with the role of the Women’s Union in mediation credit, is the focus on
women as beneficiaries of credit programs. Men often have access to credit only via
the women and women are responsible for repayment of the loans.



The “Solidarity” groups

Most rural credit schemes are based on solidarity groups; following the Grameen
principles. These solidarity groups would increase the social control and pressure for
repayment and therefore replace collateral as a guarantee of loan repayment. The
group pressure and incentive for repayment is often based on reputation-building and
thus on access to consecutive loans in the future. In addition, working through such
solidarity groups reduces transaction costs of dealing with every client separately. In
many cases the Women’s Union (or even the Local People’s Committee) intervenes in
the formation and composition of these solidarity groups. The Women’s Union as
mediator follows the instruction of the credit supplier about the target group and the
selection of members for solidarity groups. Selection of members is often based on
very vague criteria such as the requirement to be ‘hard-working’.


2
    Currently the VBARD has 1,600 branches at the province, district and commune level.


                                                                                          4
Through operating with solidarity groups, there is less need for rural households to
provide collateral for a loan and transaction costs for the credit provider decreases.
However, the cost of obtaining credit for rural households might actually increase and
the access to credit for certain households might decrease. First, as all the clients
always have to agree in forming a group to get access to the credit; this means being
prepared to share all private economic information. Second, the members of solidarity
groups have to meet regularly which might also become a burden to the household.
Third, it is easy to imagine that the selection for admission to a credit group is done in
a relatively little objective way, given the vague criteria for selection of households. It
might be that political motives play a role or that in extreme cases bribes are
necessary to get access to the credit groups. Fourth, the poorest households might be
excluded from entering a credit group because they would reduce the chances of
repayment. The high transaction costs in terms of sharing information and attending
meetings might keep more wealthy households away from small loan schemes but
they might actually also lower the accessibility for poorer households. Therefore,
poorer households looking for credit (without collateral) could be forced into the
informal credit network where interest rates are a lot higher.

Most of the credit schemes show repayment rates of bordering 100%. Beyond these
high repayment rates however, there might be dynamics within solidarity groups
facing high pressure for repayment, which could result in a confirmation of poverty
and power hierarchy. E.g. members not able to pay back their loan might find
themselves forced to exchange labor, land or other assets with other members in
return for loan resettlement. There might also be a danger of getting trapped into debt
cycles if households not able to repay their loan are forced to take up other loans (at
high interest rates) for paying back the group loan. The occurrence of such negative
dynamics might depend on the terms and conditions of the loans (such as the
repayment of the principal, etc.) and could actually increase if there are many micro
credit schemes in the same location.



Institutional Future of Micro Credits in Vietnam

Rural micro credits in Vietnam are currently very dependent on (permanent) donor
funds, partly because the legal framework for mobilization of own funds (e.g. from
savings) is not complete. The elaboration of the legal framework is in progress and
coordinated by the State Bank of Vietnam. In the meantime the only alternative is to
organize these credit activities within cooperatives (like the ‘Peoples Credit Fund’
cooperative). A minimum of financial resources, sufficiently available and specialized
staff, and a double bookkeeping system are criteria to meet the legal requirements of a
credit cooperation.

During the last years the Women’s Union of Vietnam has become an important actor
in providing rural credit and as mediating organization for rural credit schemes. With
the legalization of this type of ‘semi formal’ credit, the question raises what role the
Women’s Union will play in the rural credit market in the future Whit their own
available funds (from the TYM credit scheme) they would probably have the
possibility to start an own legal credit institution. However, this could contrast with
the social objectives of the mass organization. Also, there might be a lack of business


                                                                                         5
minded people and adequately trained staff for the Women’s Union to start up and run
a commercial business. However; also within the Women’s Union the ‘dream lives’ to
found a commercial credit institution for women. Projects strengthening the capacity
of the Women’s Union; especially with monitoring and information systems, and
voices in favor of more specialized ‘credit staff’ within the Women’s Union in fact
support this option.

The alternatives at present are limited however. Much depends on the speed of which
formal banks will elaborate their local rural network to increase access for rural poor
but also depends on the financial and monitoring capacity of private initiatives. Closer
cooperation between different micro credit schemes could increase their collective
capacity and enlarge the chance to become a competitive and more efficient local
banking system. With the legalization of local credit institutions and the expansion of
their network, the Women’s Union could still function as a kind of lobbying
institutions between banks and farmers and be active in ‘loan promotion’.

It can be concluded that rural credits schemes in Vietnam; be it formal or semiformal
have succeeded in attracting attention to rural poverty but have probably in many
cases failed in targeting the poorest households and in becoming sustainable.
Subsidized credits and the lacking legal framework have contributed to these
shortcomings. The future role of the solidarity groups within formal credit types is an
issue to be researched. The role of the Women’s union in all this matter has been
variable and challenges a compromise between their social and more economic
objectives now and in the future.



3. Reactions and Suggestions Regarding the Research Proposal

Although many impact studies of rural micro credit schemes exist, the persons
encountered during the mission were very enthusiastic about the idea of our impact
study and thought it to be very useful in adding missing information about the actual
consequences of micro credit on household level and in the communities.

Having a closer look at the existing studies3, we find that:
1. Most studies start from a specific micro finance scheme and evaluate the impact
   of that specific credit on the borrowers only, leaving the non borrowers of that
   scheme out of scope and not putting the particular credit scheme in perspective of
   the whole credit environment.
2. Most studies are very qualitative and small scale


3
  We have found many relevant but relatively qualitative, technical studies or studies on the
institutional level regarding micro credit schemes. Apart from these we came across two studies that
are addressing similar issues as our intended research on the impact of credit on rural households. One
of these is a World Bank study implemented by prof. Dao van Hung of the Micro Finance Resource
Center (National Economics University; Hanoi). The results of this study, surveying 3000 Vietnamese
households, are not available yet. A second relevant study was carried out within the research project
‘The Uplands Programme’ (University of Hohenheim and Hanoi Agricultural University). This
research concerns the access to credit in the Northern mountainous regions of Vietnam and several
publications resulting from this project are available.



                                                                                                     6
3. Most studies are very technical and focus on operational and implementation
   problems.

Without underestimating the value of these studies (indeed, often very important
issues are touched), there is a lack of profound representative studies at household
level. Various actors met were very interested in the results of our study and were
very cooperative in organizing our research in their target area.

More specifically the following characteristics of our study were pointed out as being
very interesting and innovative:
- the fact that no specific credit scheme is targeted, the at random sample of our
   research will include households borrowing from all potential sources, or not
   borrowing at all;
- the fact the all types of credit (including also informal credit) and how those are
   linked are analyzed
- the fact that poverty dynamics of households and groups are included in the scope
   of the study;
- the fact that access to (and the demand for) credit is linked with other factors
   under changing conditions in Vietnam like land markets, marketing chain and
   liberalization of commodity markets, acknowledging the transition characteristics
   of Vietnam.

Also some suggestions were made towards our research approach.
- To include the poorest areas of Vietnam in our research; mainly the Central and
   Northern mountainous areas and the Central coastal areas.
- To specifically look at the access to and demand for credit by ethnic minorities
- To link our data on credit with existing data of the multi purpose survey (nation
   wide; 1998 and 2002) by creating a panel.
- To study intensively the demand for credit; also from the non borrowers.



4. Planned Research Approach

The research will be implemented as first planned. Three important issues have
become more clear during the mission:

   1) The target areas for our case studies;
   2) The local partner for our research in Vietnam;
   3) The practical implementation of the research.


Location of case studies

Although the selected areas (the Red River Delta in the North and the Mekong Delta
in the South) do not belong to the poorest areas in Vietnam and although the Mekong
Delta has made more progress regarding poverty reduction during the last years than
other areas in Vietnam, we suggest to stick with the original plans for the following
reasons.



                                                                                    7
   -   The time and budget for our research is limited and thus we have to focus on
       two case studies only.
   -   Even though poverty might have been reduced in these areas, the poverty gap
       and inequality might have increased in these areas, which is particularly
       interesting regarding our interest in access to, demand for and impact of credit
       in rural areas. Statistics per province for these indicators have been copied and
       will be consulted.
   -   The link between credit markets; marketing chains; ethnic minorities will
       result most significantly from the comparison of the two ‘Delta’s’ rather than
       from other areas with more variable external factors.

The further selection of the location of the case studies –the provinces, districts and
communes –will be made in the first place based on statistical information regarding
poverty characteristics, demographic composition (minority groups), income
composition, agricultural practice, etc. In the second place we will try to select
communes were a lot of different actors providing rural credit are active. This
approach with a focus on statistical information for the selection of the case studies
areas instead of selection based on a specific credit program, was chosen in order to
keep the research as unbiased as possible.



Local partner

Several organizations that we visited are interested in cooperating with our study
within their target area. To keep the research as objective as possible, research
institutions were consulted for possible interest in cooperation. It is clear that within
this type of research project (short term and budget only covering operational costs)
there is however only limited opportunity for institutional cooperation.

Prof. Dao Van Hung from the Micro Finance Resource Centre (Hanoi, National
Economics University) in particular showed interest in cooperation. This cooperation
would mainly exist of:
   - feed back moments during the different stages of the project between prof.
       Van Hung and our team;
   - facilitation of the project and administrative support by the institute;
   - employing several master students from the department as field assistants
       during the qualitative phase of the research and mainly during the household
       survey;
   - capacity building and exchange between our team and the students;
   - making the household survey data available to master students of the institute
       for doing their own analyses and research.

We agreed to send CV’s of our research team again and to send a proposal of the
Terms of Reference regarding our collaboration.

For the South (Mekong Delta) the most obvious local partner would be Cantho
University where Prof Dao Van Hung has contacts and also possible support from
VECO and TRIAS.



                                                                                       8
Practical implementation of the different stages of research

Qualitative phase
The qualitative information needed mainly concerns the different credit opportunities
for households and their terms and conditions; details about trader’s credit; poverty
dynamics of households and groups. This information should make it possible to fine
tune the research questions and to develop a well targeted household survey in the
next phase.

For this qualitative stage, mainly one field assistant is needed. This person can work
in team with our researcher and should join her in every stage of the field work.
Preferable this person has some experience with implementing PRA’s.

Quantitative stage
In two selected communes (one in the North; one in the South), about 300 households
will be interviewed within a time period of 9 weeks. Students (National Economics
University) could function as field assistants in this stage and could use the data in a
later stage for research.

The students charge about 8 dollars per day for 2/3 surveys a day. Counting 4 dollars
per interview and another 1 dollar per interview for accommodation of the assistants,
makes the scope and timing of the survey possible.

The data entry would preferable happen in Vietnam. No agreements have been made
for this stage. Cooperation with the National Economics University for this stage of
the research will be explored.

Feedback workshops
Apart from the obvious feedback to our local partner; the research project intends to
organize feedback workshops on different levels (communes; Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi)
for all actors involved. Many of the persons met already insisted on being informed
about the outcome of our research.



5. Research Questions Raising

Social dynamics within micro credit groups

It is hypothesized that depending on the terms and conditions of the specific loan
schemes and depending on the organizational capacity of the institution involved, the
solidarity groups (based on the principles of Grameen banking) can lead to exclusion
of the poorest households and accentuate poverty hierarchy within the groups in rural
Vietnam.

Firstly, local institutions who are meditating micro credits could deliberately favor
certain households to be included in credit groups and reschedule loans of favored
households. On the other hand, members of credit groups might refuse poorer
households to enter the group because of reduced pay back chances, even for very
small loans.


                                                                                      9
Secondly, the pressure for the credit groups to pay back loans timely can be very high
with the incentive to get consecutive loans. In case one credit member can not pay
back, under some specific conditions and terms, this member might be forced to look
for another (often informal) loan in order not to bring the group in discredit. This
person could easily end up being trapped in a debt cycle. Alternatively, under these
conditions, specific group dynamics might evolve, and poorer members might be
forced to exchange assets (land, labor, etc.) to more wealthy members of the group in
return for settling the installment.

Factors that are hypothesized to influence these processes are:
- Terms and conditions of credit schemes:
         o The availability of heavily subsidized credit (with lower interest rates)
            might increase the incentives for favoring relatives and friends in getting
            access to cheap loans.
         o Lump sum repayment of the principal installment at the end of the term (in
            comparison to monthly or quarterly principal repayment) might increase
            the chance of internal group pressure when approaching the deadline for
            repayment; possibly leading to hierarchy within the group and debt cycles.
- The role of mass organization in mediating credit:
         o Vaguely defined criteria used by the Women’s Union to select candidates
            for the credit groups (e.g. being ‘hard working’, etc.) leaves a lot of scope
            for subjective selecting of credit beneficiaries.
         o Supervision on the use of the loan, monitoring outstanding debt liabilities,
            etc. is organized by the same institution as the ones mediating for group
            formation.
- The socio-economic situation in the commune:
         o High initial inequality among households might increase dynamics within
            credit groups and increase the chances for power hierarchy within credit
            groups and for the least well off members of the credit groups to get
            trapped in debt cycles.
         o The social capital of households matters a lot for access to credit. The
            social cohesion among households in the commune might determine
            dynamics within credit groups.
         o The demographic composition of the population, e.g. the presence of
            minority groups, might influence the access to credit and the dynamics
            within credit groups.
         o The distribution of land and the access to official land titles might
            influence households’ possibilities to provide collateral and their need to
            become a member of credit groups.
         o The functioning of land sales and rental markets might influence the way
            in which user- or ownership rights to land are used for credit resettlement
            within credit groups.
         ….
It would be interesting to elaborate this issue as at present most rural credit is
organized via these solidarity groups. The results might be of importance for
institutional organization of future rural credit schemes.




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Traders credit

Traders credit seems to be an important source for financing seasonal agricultural
inputs (often as credit in kind), especially in the South and more by poorer households
(with liquidity problems and with low access to other credit sources). There is no
consensus on the importance of this type of credit and how this will evolve in the
future with the expansion of rural micro-credit schemes. Some sources are sure this
type of credit will disappear as soon as infrastructure in rural areas will improve, other
sources predict it will become a very important type of rural credit in the near future.

For estimating the importance of traders credit for rural households now and in future
it would be particularly interesting to:
- study the complementarity of this credit with other sources of credit;
- study the way in which these loans are enforced, especially under conditions of
    fluctuating commodity prices and the impact of this type of credit on debt cycles;
- to understand these issues it will be important to achieve a better understanding of
    the marketing chain in general (with who do traders take loans for the inputs they
    deliver, do the traders have contracts with milling companies or exporting
    companies etc.).


Access to credit and transaction costs

Finally the question of access to loans remains. This is which type of households
(demographic, economic and poverty characteristics) take what type of credit (formal,
semi formal, informal, terms and conditions and total transaction costs) and for what
reason (investment, seasonal agriculture input, consumption, to pay back other loan).
Even more important is what to say about the households that don’t have any loans
outstanding or whose access is limited to informal credits.

Secondly, also the impact of the different types of loans on the vulnerability of the
households remains an unexplored field for quantitative research.



6. Missing Information and Remaining practical questions


Marketing Chain and Trader’s Credit

Not sufficient information has been collected regarding the marketing chain of
commodities; in particular rice. The information is needed to assess the impact of
trader’s credit and to assess the influence of market liberalization and globalization
(and in particular of the fluctuating market prices) on the impact of rural credit on
households.

The marketing chain seems to show a lot of variation between regions (mainly North-
South) and seems to remain vague and quickly changing. In the North, households
often assemble rice themselves after harvest. The collected rice is transported in small
amounts to millers. In the South; where rice plots per household are larger;


                                                                                       11
households often store their harvest; speculating for higher rice prices. Traders visit
these villages to collect the rice on several moments. Whether these traders are
organized as oligopolies and whether they themselves take credits to finance the
agricultural inputs; whether they are always contracted by export or milling
companies is not yet clear.

Most rice is exported by private export companies. State companies still collect rice
from farmers however; mainly to use as emergency stock in case of natural disasters
(rice stocks are dumped in the poorer mountainous areas from time to time). State
owned companies also export rice but mainly via private export companies.

Possible starting point for further research is the Rice Association (coordinating
farmers, traders, wholesalers, state owned companies and private export companies)
or one of the export companies of rice (associated with certain rice areas). During the
qualitative phase of the research sufficient time will be spent on this issue.


Remaining Practical Questions

Permission letters will be needed for entry at province; district and commune level.
The K.U.Leuven; DGOS Vietnam and the Micro Finance Resource Centre could
assist in this matter.

It is furthermore not yet clear with which visum the Belgian researcher will travel.
The longest stay in Vietnam will not exceed 12 weeks. The question is considered and
will be addressed by DGOS Vietnam in Hanoi.



7. Persons met and institutions visited (chronologically)

1. DGOS, BTC                                Mr. Pieter Vermaerke, interim attaché
                                            -
                                            Mrs. Tanh, Program Officer, Micro
                                            -
                                            Finance Specialist
2. BTC                                  Mr. Bartsoen, Program Officer Credit
                                        Program, BTC Vietnam
3. VBARD                                Mr. Pham Minh Tu, Deputy Director
                                        International Relations Department
4. Central Credit Fund                  Mr. Tam, Head of International Relations
                                        Department
5. VECO                                 Marco Van Grinsven
6. Vietnam Bank for Social Policies     Mrs. Loan
7. FAO                                  Mr. Pham Gia Truc, Program Assistant
8. Vietnam Women’s Union- BTC           Mrs. Minh, Technical Officer
9. Micro Finance Resource Centre, Prof. Dao van Hung, Vice Director
    National Economics University Hanoi
10. Asian Development Bank              - Mr. Ramui Trong Nghia, Financial
                                            Sector Economist
                                        - Ramesh          Adhikari,      Principal
                                            Governance Specialist


                                                                                    12
11. NGO Resource Centre
12. General Statistical Office        Mr. Nguyen Van Pham, Expert on ICP
                                      and Asian Statistics, Department for
                                      Integrated Statistics and Information
13. Oxfam Belgium                     - Mrs. Van Thi Thu Ha, Program
                                          Officer
                                      - Mr. Peter Mol, representative
14. Action Aid, UK                    Mr. Che Phong Land, Senior Project
                                      Officer, Savings and Credit
15. Save the Children, USA            Mr. Doan Anh Tuan, Asia Regional
                                      Micro Finance Specialist
16. The Uplands Program, Technical Dr. Harald Leish, Coordinator
    University Hanoi- University of
    Hohenheim, Germany
17. State Bank of Vietnam             - Mr. Do Khac Hung, Deputy Director,
                                          Foreign Department
                                      - Mr. Do Tuan Anh; Deputy Manager,
                                          Foreign Department
18. SNV                               - Mr. Andre Vording (leaving program
                                          manager)
                                      - Mrs. Haasje van der Mandele (new
                                          program manager)
19. Women’s Union                     Ms. Mins Hang (Head International
                                      Relations Department)
20. FAO                               Mr. Jack Colwell (Chief Technical
                                      Advisor; Project “ Strengthening National
                                      Food Security System”) and consultant at
                                      the Ministy of Agriculture and Rural
                                      Development
21. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Mr. Nguyen Van Ha, researcher
    Development
22. WOCCU (World … Credit Unions)     Mr. William Smith
23. State Bank of Vietnam             Mr. Ngan Hang Nha (Director of the
                                      Department “Credit and Cooperations”)




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