Upland Livelihood and Assistance

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					                                  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This study aims to identify the causes leading to the different living standards in upland
communities, factors influencing on the livelihood options of people, how they benefited
from the provided assistance, and to propose on how support to be given in more effective
way.
A research team of NTFP Research Center and Hanoi University conducted the study with
technical assistance of IIED and financial support of SIDA in period from Sept. 2002 to
March 2003 in five communes located in four mountainous districts of Quang Ninh, a
northeastern province of Vietnam. Three of these communes are categorized as the poor,
while the remainders enjoy a good living standard (in comparing to upland areas). The data
collected in five communes relate to the issues such like: village/commune history and population
development, land use, economy status of commune/village/household in each historical period,
provided assistance and the impacts, equity issues, causes of commune/village/household poverty
identified by villagers, their current problems and solutions.
 Most of inhabitants of the studied communes started their permanent settlement just 4-6
decades back. This is a period of big social-economic changes. The centralized economy
started with collectivization, consequently, the agricultural land and means of production
became common property. The agriculture cooperative development evolved from low to
high grade and finally, to disintegration with emerging of market economy. Land tenure
changed simultaneously with cooperative disintegration. Firstly, agricultural land and later
forestland were allocated to households. A cycle of agricultural land tenure has completed in
a spiral way in a period of over three decades.
The change happens also in cultural life of upland inhabitants with intensive illiteracy
eradication and anti-superstition campaign, which started at the same time with
collectivization and declined in parallel with cooperative development, and resumes at higher
speed since the last decade.
 Land reform has been conducted simultaneously with the development of numerous assistance
programs addressing all the social-economic aspects such like efficient land use, infrastructure
improvement, literacy lift up and so on. The market oriented economy has improved life of people
in all studied communes and it is generally recognized as particularly noticeable for last several
years. However, a range of weaknesses of the assistance programs also expose such like lack of
participation, poor study of social-economic conditions of localities, lack of product market survey,
misuse of aid fund and etc. The wealth differentiation in surveyed communes has developed since
implementation of renovation policies. It was budding in land allocation, especially in forestland
one. The implementation of the assistance development projects has contributed to deepen this
differentiation.
The correct or wrong forest resource utilization in the past and market policy is deciding
factors leading to poverty or wealth of these five communes. Two of these communes are
endowed with large forests of rich biodiversity and high value products. The forest
exploitation was a main income source in the past and remains very important one for local
people up to date. The poor management for over 3 decades has resulted in overexploitation
and depletion of the forest resource base, consequently, low income of most community
inhabitants. The controlled trade of forest commodities (both planted and natural) contributes
to deepening their poverty. The commune of the second type is ranked as “particular poor”,
although it locates between the two better-off, which derive their cash income from
production of NTFPs. Agricultural practice on very limited land is the only income source of
people, because the forest products developed with support of Resettlement program four
decades back were not saleable. Two communes of third type have a high income thank to their
traditional cinnamon production for commercial purpose. The liberalized market at the early
ninety-decade created a great opportunity for earning to the producers. High cash income
from cinnamon allowed households to buy adequate inputs for agriculture and livestock, and
to invest in secondary activities. In return, these investments bring more income to
households to upgrade their houses, obtain comforts and to take better care for health and
children education.
The analysis on findings of the household poverty causes, equity issues and effectiveness of
development assistance programs goes in deep on: how and what have the authorities at
different levels and poverty alleviation programs done for the commune economy
development and maintaining equity, especially, in supporting the poor?; how do the poor
think of the provided assistance, their own problems and solutions?. The causes of household
poverty are numerous, but the main are: a) The weaknesses in land reform, both of
agricultural and forestland allocation to households is one of poverty causes of numerous
households, b) Poor access to information and low literacy level together with high
population growth is the another causes of poverty; c) The farmer passiveness in marketing as
the consequence of long existence of planned economy is also a reason for their poor living,
while most outside assistance tend to increase passiveness of the beneficiary groups more
than to strengthening their self-help capacity; d) The role of commune and village
administration institutions is most important in community development, maintaining the
equity and supporting the poor. Where the village/commune leadership is strong, the poverty
reduction is more successful, e) Lack of participation is a reason of low benefit of the poor
from most assistance programs; f) Weak role of AFE as an institution responsible for
providing technical support to farmers; g) The SFEs, a big land stakeholder in community,
enjoy much more favorable share but fail to use land and forest resource in a sustainable way,
while a number of households have no access to forest land.
The study proposes a range of recommendations for addressing the existing constraints of
assistance programs and development policies and possible areas for further research.
International Institute for Environment   Forest Science Institute of Vietnam
       and Development (IIED)           Non-timber Forest Product Research Center




   UPLAND LIVELIHOODS AND ASSISTANCE




                               Le Thi Phi
                             Tong Van Chung
                               Le Bang Tam




                                 June 2003
                                                                  CONTENT

1. INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 14
2. METHODOLOGY AND SCOPE ................................................................................................... 1
     2.1 Scope of study ...................................................................................................................... 2
     2.2 Methodology ........................................................................................................................ 2
3. FINDINGS ......................................................................................................................................... 5
     3.1. Dong Lam commune of district Hoanh Bo…………………………………………….5
     3.1.1. Overview of social and economic conditions of Dong Lam ............................................ 5
     3.1.2. PRA Results of Cai and Dong Quang ............................................................................ 6
        3.1.2.1 Similarities of two villages .......................................................................................... 6
        3.1.2.2 Differences between the two villages .......................................................................... 8
     3.1.3. Findings of household economy study ………………………………………………………10
        3.1.3.1. Similarities of the better-off and the poor ................................................................ 10
        3.1.3.2 Similarities of the better-off households .............................................................. 11
        3.1.3.3    Similarities of the poor ........................................................................................... 12
     3.2. Thanh Son commune of Ba Che district ....................................................................... 13
     3.2.1. Overview of social and economic condition of Thanh Son ............................................ 13
     3.2.2. Thac Lao and Long Toong PRA results………………………………………….. ....... 14
        3.2.2.1 Similarities of both villages ....................................................................................... 14
        3.2.2.2. Differences between two villages ............................................................................. 17
     3.2.3. Findings of household economy study ............................................................................. 19
        3.2.3.1 Similarities of the interviewed households in two villages .................................... 19
        3.2.3.2 Differences between Thac Lao and Long Toong interviewed households ............ 20
        3.2.3.3. Similarities of the better-off ................................................................................... 20
        3.2.3.4    Similarities of the poor households ........................................................................ 20
     3.3. Luong Mong commune of Ba Che district ..................................................................... 21
     3.3.1. Overview of the commune social and economic conditions ............................................ 21
     3.3.2. PRA results of Khe Giay and Dong Cau .......................................................................... 22
        3.3.2.1. Similarities of two villages ..................................................................................... 22
        3.3.2.2. PRA differences between two villages .................................................................. 23
     3.3.3. Findings of household economy study .............................................................................. 26
        3.3.3.1 Similarities of all the interviewed households ........................................................... 26
        3.3.3.2 Similarities of the better-off ..................................................................................... 26
        3.3.3.3 Differences between the poor .................................................................................. 26
     3.4. Huc Dong commune of Binh Lieu district ...................................................................... 28
     3.4.1. Overview of social and economic condition of commune .............................................. 28
     3.4.2. PRA results in Luc Ngu and Khe Mo ............................................................................. 29
        3.4.2.1 Similarities of Luc Ngu and Khe Mo......................................................................... 29
        3.4. 2.2. PRA differences of two villages ................................................................................ 31
     3.4.3. Findings of household economy study .............................................................................. 34
        3.4.3.1 Similarities of the interviewed households ............................................................. 34
        3.4.3.2 Similarities and differences of the better-off ........................................................ 35
        3.4.3.3 Similarities of the poor ......................................................................................... 35
     3.5. Quang Lam commune of Dam Ha district ..................................................................... 36
     3.5.1. Overview of social and economic condition of Quang Lam ............................................ 36
     3.5.2. PRA results in Li Say and Binh Ho 2 .............................................................................. 37
        3.5.2.1. Similarities of two villages ...................................................................................... 37
        3.5.2.2. Differences in PRA of two villages ......................................................................... 40
     3.5.3. Findings of household economy study ............................................................................... 42
        3.5.3.1 Similarity of the all surveyed households .................................................................. 42
        3.5.3.2 Similarities of the better-off ................................................................................... 43
        3.5.3.3 Similarities of the poor ........................................................................................... 44
4. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION .................................................................................................. 44
    4.1 Overview of important historic evens and land reform ................................................ 44
    4.2. What are the causes of the commune poverty or prosperity ? ..................................... 46
     4.2.1 Dong Lam and Thanh Son…….. ....................................................................................... 47
     4.2.2. Huc Dong……………………… ....................................................................................... 49
     4.2.3 Luong Mong and Quang Lam…. ...................................................................................... 49
    4.3. Intra-village differences and the causes .......................................................................... 51
     4.2.1 . Dong Lam commune………… ....................................................................................... 51
     4.3.2. Thanh Son commune…………....................................................................................... 53
     4.3.3 Luong Mong commune………. ....................................................................................... 55
     4.3.4 Huc Dong commune…………. ....................................................................................... 56
     4.3.5 Quang Lam commune……….. ........................................................................................ 57
5. CONCLUSION AN RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................. 58

Bibliography

Boxes
    Box 3.1.1: Support projects implemented or being implemented in Dong Lam........................... 5
    Box 3.1.2 : Some PRA‟s description of how forest land was allocated to households ................ 6
    Box 3.1.3 : Example of the poor marginalised in forest land allocation ........................................ 7
    Box 3.1.4: How people market their products .............................................................................. 7
    Box 3.1.5: The opinion of two poor about how a village meeting held and what subject
    discussed at the meeting….…………… .............................................................. ………………..7
    Box 3.1.6 : Example of how assistance is provided to farmers ................................................... 11
    Box 3.1.7. How the IPM trainees control the pest for his paddy field ........................................ 11
    Box 3.1.8: An example of how the poor is marginalised from forest land access ...................... 12
    Box 3.1.9: How the poor are excluded from involvement into assistance projects.…….. .......... 12
    Box 3.2.1 The assistance projects implemented and being implemented in commune .............. 14
    Box 3.2.2: Opinion of PRA‟s participants on injustice of forest land tenure.............................. 15
    Box: 3.2.3: How people think of the forest trees advised by the district for planting................ 16
    Box: 3.2.4: How Thanh Son people worry of marketing cinnamon …………………. ............ 16
    Box: 3.2.5: PRA‟s opinion of poor management of Thanh Son commune................................ 16
    Box 3.2.6: PRA‟s opinion of AFE‟s activities ........................................................................... 17
    Box 3.3.1: Some statisticals of Luong Mong literacy level ........................................................ 21
    Box 3.3.2: Assistance provided to Luong Mong for last two decades ...................................... 21
    Box 3.3.3: PRA‟s opinion on the forest land allocation and land tenure……………………… 23
    Box 3.3.4: PRA‟s opinion of assistance approach and its effectiveness ..................................... 23
    Box 3.3.5: PRA‟s opinion on the effectiveness of assistance projects ....................................... 25
    Box 3.3.6: PRA‟s opinion of SFE‟s power in buying the pine resin .......................................... 25
    Box 3.3.7: An example of the better-off household earning income from cinnamon ................. 26
    Box 3.3.8: An example of the poor considered by PRA group as a slow ................................... 27
    Box 3.3.9: The economy status of a man considered to be slow by Khe Giay PRA ................. 28
    Box 3.4.1: The assistance programs provided to Huc Dong commune ..................................... 28
    Box 3.4.2. PRA assessments of villager life ............................................................................. 30
    Box 3.4.3 : PRA‟s comments on quality of construction works funded by the 135 and how
    beneficiary group is excluded of participation ............................................................................. 34
    Box 3.4.4: The poor considered to be slow thinks of his problems ............................................ 36
    Box 3.3.1: Projects implemented in Quang Lam since 1980 ...................................................... 36
    Box 3.3..2: The commune CP comment on construction works ................................................. 36
    Box 3.5.3: How agricultural land was allocated to the households in Quang Lam ..................... 38
    Box 3.5.4: PRA‟s comment on shortcomings in forest land allocation ...................................... 38
    Box 3.5.5. PRA‟s opinion of how the village head is selected .................................................. 38
    Box 3.5.6: PRA‟s comment on AFE‟s training.......................................................................... 42
    Box 3.5.7: An example of how a man with innovation chooses his livelihood ......................... 42
    Box 3.5.8: The difficulties faced by the poor farmers in getting loans .................................... 43
    Box 3.5.9: The feelings of the poor about how other people think of their poverty ................... 44
    Box 3.5.10: How the poor think of their problems and solutions ............................................... 44
    Box 4.1: Comment of Hoanh Bo workshop on effectiveness of some forestry assistance
    projects……….…………………………………………………………………………………. 46
    Box 4.2: History of unsustainable forest management in Thanh Son and poverty causes……47
    Box 4.3. An example of how a model for demonstration is set-up ............................................. 52
    Box 4.4: An example of how loan provided by the 325 is used ............................................... 52
    Box 4.5: Poverty causes identified by authorities and farmers of Thanh Son commune ............ 54
    Box 4.6: The comment on support of a project considered to be the most effective.................. 57

Table

    Table 3.1.1: Village development history and land reform............................................................ 6
    Table 3.1.2: PRA‟s assessment of the roles of village authorities and assistance projects in
    village development………………….. ......................................................................................... 9
    Table 3.1.3: Average income/day of an adult man and woman ................................................. 13
    Table 3.2.1: Development history and land reform of Thac Lao and Long Toong ..................... 15
    Table 3.2.2: PRA assessment on the role and impacts of village authorities and assistance
    projects on village development………....................................................................................... 18
    Table 3.3.1: Development history and land reform in Khe Giay and Dong Cau ........................ 22
    Table 3.3.2: PRA opinion on the role and effectiveness of village authorities and assistance
    projects in village development ……… ...................................................................................... 25
    Table 3.4.1: Development history and land reform of Luc Ngu and Khe Mo ............................. 30
    Table 3.4.2: PRA‟s assessment of the roles of village authorities and assistance projects in
    village development …………………………………………………………………………… 33
    Table 3.5.1: Development history and land reform in Li Say and Binh Ho 2 ............................. 37
    Table 3.5.2: PRA comments on the roles of village authorities and assistance projects in village
    development ……….………………… ....................................................................................... 41

    Annex
        Annex 1: Social and economic statistical data of surveyed communes …………………….67
        Annex 2: Diagram of the organizational set-ups at commune and village levels …… 68
        Annex 3: Some figures of the labor cost in the studied communes …………………………69
           Annex 4: Some names of products mentioned in the report…………………………………69

    Maps

           Map 1:                      Vietnam ……………………………………………………… .. . ..70
           Map 2:                      Quang Ninh province………………………………………………71
           Map 3:                      Studied communes ……………………………………………….72
    Acronyms

AFE             Agriculture and Forestry Extension
CP              Committee of People
CPEC            Commune Party Executive Committee
DARD            Department for Agriculture and Rural Development
FAB             Farmer Association Branch
FAO             Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FSIV            Forest Science Institute of Vietnam
IF              Forestry Inspection
IIED            International Institute for Environment and Development
IPM             Integrated pest management
MDF             medium density fiberboard
NF              National Front
NFB             National Front Branch
NTFP            non timber forest produce
OPU             Old People Union
OPUB            Old People Union Branch
PAM             Program Alimentation Mondial
PC              Party Cell
PEC             Party Executive Committee
RB              Resettlement Board
SFE             State Forest Enterprise
SIDA            Sweden International Development Assistance
VA              Veteran Association
VAB             Veteran Association Branch
WU              Women Union
WUB             Women Union Branch
YU              Youth Union
YUB             Youth Union Branch


Exchange rates (March 2003): US$ 1 = 15,336 Vietnamese Dong
1. INTRODUCTION
The research project “Land use and sustainable livelihoods in upland Vietnam” is funded by SIDA
and coordinated by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in
collaboration with the Forest Research Institute of Vietnam (FSIV). The project aim is to seek ways to
optimize land use and ensure sustainable livelihoods in the mountainous regions and to provide
guidance to policymakers
Study of the marketing of upland products is one of the major research themes of the project. The
objectives of this research theme are to identify the constraints in the upland market structure that
impede the development of products, and based on the findings, to propose measures for improving
the market system and for providing assistance to the beneficiary groups. The findings and analysis of
The study resulted in eleven conclusions and consequently eleven recommendations for marketing
improvement. One of these is some communes located in the quite remote areas, however, their
people produce traditional commodities with relatively stable, big markets and thanks to this, their
standard of living is quite good and their households do not rely on extraction of forest products for
cash income. Meanwhile, the other communes enjoy a much better location, which is favorable for
economic activities, and they also receive more assistance from national development programs, but
still most of their households are poor and forest dependent. What reasons lead to these differences?
This conclusion has led to the recommendation for studying the causes of the intra and inter-
community differences such as how people in some communes were able to identify the right
products to cultivate for the market, while people in other areas failed. What was the initial motivation
or stimulation for this innovative self-help solution and how did the process of development take
place? The results of such a study will provide useful recommendations to the upland development
programs such as how assistance should be provided to farmers, what capacity and quality is needed
from the implementers of these assistance programs.
The following sections present the study of intra and inter- community differences. Section 2
describes the research methodology and the scope of study. Section 3 presents the findings of field
research in the five communes; it includes a brief overview of the social-economic conditions of the
selected communes, PRA and household economy survey. Section 4 analyses the findings, and
discusses the historical events for last 6 decades in the selected communes, the causes of differences
in living of people between the communes and inside the villages of the same communes. Section 5
presents conclusions and recommendations for mitigating the problems and how assistance to be
provided to lift up living for mountainous people.

2. METHODOLOGY AND SCOPE

The study was conducted by a team of three researchers, including one from NTFP Research Center and two
from Sociology Faculty of Hanoi National University in period of 6 months, from September 2002 to March
2003. The research questions are:
- What factors leading to choice of forest crop monoculture for cash income in some communes, while the
    others derive their income mainly on agriculture for subsistence and on natural forest extraction for
    cash? What are the disadvantages and advantages of these choices?
- How the poor households in any commune /village device their income and what differences between
    the poor and the better-off in this term
- How the poor households benefit from government assistance programs for improvement of
    infrastructure, production of cash crops and policies that facilitate marketing.
- How do the poor households in any commune/village think of their problems in producing agriculture
    and forest commodities?
- What are the intra-village relationship in term of benefit sharing from natural resources, outside resources
    including information, administrative and political contacts?
- What kinds of government interventions could help to ensure that the benefits of improved marketing
    reach the poorest households in any commune/village, and are spread more equally among different
    districts?



                                                                                                         -1-
2.1       Scope of study
The study was conducted in five communes of four mountainous districts of Quang Ninh province. These
districts are Hoanh Bo, Ba Che, Dam Ha, and Binh Lieu. The total number of interviewed people is 270 and
total number of households surveyed is 125.
2.2       Methodology
Commune selection
Two kinds of communes selected for study are: a) with good economy development and high income level
of households; b) the poor with low income of households (in the list of poor communes of the districts and
province)
Criteria for the poor communes selection:
- The commune is poor compared to others in the district
- Favorable natural conditions (good natural potential), not so bad infrastructure, proximity to cities and
     town which is favorable for culture exchanges and marketing commodities.
Criteria for the rich communes selection:
- The average income is higher than other communes in the same region while its infrastructure and
     natural resources are similar or worse.
Basing on the findings of the research on marketing of upland products and results of interviewing the district
administrators as well as the statistical data, five communes in four districts are selected including:
- Thanh Son commune has a large forest area and connected to district town by good road at relative short
     distance, but it is the poorest in Ba Che
- Luong Mong, a remotest commune of Ba Che where transportation and communication is very difficult
     and natural resources are inferior to Thanh Son. Despite of that, the Luong Mong income is much better
     than all the other communes of Ba Che district.
- Quang Lam of Dam Ha district is also one of few mountainous communes where the average income of
     households is high although the commune receives less assistance from poverty alleviation programs.
- Huc Dong commune locates between Quang Lam and Hoanh Mo, two communes with high income,
     while Huc Dong is much poorer and about 50% of its households still face food shortage.
- Similarly, Dong Lam of Hoanh Bo enjoys a favorable geographically location and rich natural
     resources, but it is ranked as the poorest commune in the district
Village selection
Two villages are selected for study in each commune: one better-off and one poor. The criteria for village
selection are following:
     - infrastructure (road) and distance from village to commune center (commune CP)
     - forest land area
     - agricultural land area
     - income
As all five communes have no income statistical data of each village (the income of commune also is just
estimation mainly based on agricultural production, furthermore, most of communes deliberately lower its
income figure for the hope of getting more assistance), the scoring each criteria is based mainly on assets
such as houses, facilities, land, buffaloes, food balance and etc. The steps of village selection are following:
commune staff of 5-12 people are requested to list the village names, their infrastructure (road quality,
distance to commune center, district town, market and so on), forest and agricultural land, water surface,
economic status. Then the scoring is based on ten scale and finally, the selection is made by comparison the
scoring results. The below tables present some example of village selection in Huc Dong and Quang Lam
communes.
Table 1 : Village selection in Huc Dong

  Village             Agricultural land      Forest land            Infrastructure         Income
  Xu Cau              5                      9                      3                      6
  Khe Van             5                      10                     3                      6




                                                                                                           -2-
    Luc Ngu            4                            6                         5                         8
    Po Dan             4                            5                         7                         7
    Na Ech             5                            4                         10                        10
    Khe Mo             4                            4                         7                         4
    Thong Chau         6                            7                         4                         6

Table 2 : Village selection in Quang Lam

    Village                Agricultural land            Forest land            Infrastructure           Income
    Li Say                 10                           8                      10                       9
    Li Say Chay            7                            6                      10                       7
    Mao Lieng              8                            6                      10                       6
    Seng Long              8                            10                     7                        8
    Binh Ho 1              7                            9                      5                        8
    Binh Ho 2              7                            9                      5                        10
    Sec Long Min           4                            10                     6                        4
    Ly Khoai               4                            10                     4                        7

Selection of households for study
Household selection is conducted by PRA with participation of 8-10 people. The criteria for participant
selection are: a) people living in village for long time; b) having a good knowledge of village history and
livelihood of every household in village. However, the selection of PRA participants depends entirely on
village head, as a result, most of them are leading members of mass organizations. So it is not wrong to say
that PRA results are the opinions of village authorities.
 The questions discussed at PRA are the following:
- Village and commune history development, population
- Land and history of land use
- Village management, mass organizations and their roles to village development
- The economy status of village in each historical period
- The national/provincial/district/commune policies for community development, the assistance projects
     implemented or being implemented in village/commune, the beneficiaries, criteria for involvement
     selection, their impact of commune economy
-     Household wealth ranking
- Causes of village/commune and household poverty
- The current problems of village/commune, causes and solutions
The better-off and the poor households are a study focus of the research team. In order to conduct the work
more efficiently, the team narrows the number of households to be studied by requesting PRA‟s participants
to identify the causes of poverty or wealthy of each household. Then the research team focuses on the
following types of households:
- the better-off households becoming wealthy thank to initiative or innovation. Those households having
     income from salary sources are excluded from interviewing.
- the poor households which are considered to be slow or lazy, households with women headed or
     recently separated households*. The poor households with the heads that are disable or loose working
     capacity are excluded of interviewing as well.



*
   Some ethnic minority groups have a custom that several generations and couples live in one house. The young couple may
live together with their parent and families of their brothers for many years until they feel need to separate to be independent
household




                                                                                                                          -3-
Household economy study
The common methods are applied such as interviewing together with observation to find out the questions
relating to :
- Duration of household settlement in village, its members (ages, literacy, health )
- Assets: house quality, kitchen, stable, furniture and other facilities (radio-cassette, television, bike and
     motorbike and so on)
- Land: forest and agricultural land tenure. How land has been allocated to household, current land use
- Income: income sources of household such as gardening, agriculture, livestock, forestry and secondary
     activities.
- Balance of income and expenditure such as for basic needs, education, health care, production
     investment, house upgrading, social cost, comforts and etc.
- Credit : household indebtedness, sources of loans, interest rate term and condition of getting loans.
- Savings: accumulating capacity of household and how the savings are used.
- Village management: whether household involves in managing village/commune (including mass
     organizations) or member of which organization, benefits of membership
- The assistance projects or programs were or being implemented in village/commune. Whether household
     is involved in their activities and way of involvement. The comments on impact of these programs on
     household and village/commune development.
- What information sources the household usually has got ? from where does household get market
     information and how does it sell the commodities in the past and currently?.
- What factors influencing on the livelihood decision making of household ? what risks household is
     facing and it strategy for mitigating?
- What supports does household receive from community in its difficult moment/period such as relatives,
     friends, authorities at commune and village levels?
- How does household think of its economy status?, whether there is change?, the causes and solutions for
     improvement.
Data aggregation and analysis
Data aggregation is based on comparing the similarities and differences relating to the above mentioned
questions between interviewed households, the better-off and the poor, between villages of the same
commune and between the communes.
Based on the findings, a brief overview of historical events the five communes experienced during last six
decades is made. It is important for understanding the reasons leading to differences in income earning of
people in different communes. Lastly, an deep analysis and discussion on intra-village differences, their
causal-result relationship.




                                                                                                         -4-
3.       FINDINGS
3.1.     Dong Lam commune, district Hoanh Bo
3.1.1. Overview of social and economic conditions of Dong Lam
Dong Lam was formed in 1983 from separation of Dong Quang commune into two ones. Its six villages
locate on both foot sides of a same mountain at the length of over 30 km (see the map) that causes difficulty
for administration for the commune CP, the headquarter of which is still on the territory of Son Duong
commune.
The statistics of land use and infrastructures as road, healthcare, schools, communication are described in
annex 1.
The commune education statistical data show that 76% people have passed school years between 1-5, and
12% of them are between 6 – 9.*. However, according to estimation of the commune and village authorities
over 30% people are illiterate.
The collectivization was conducted in early sixties. At first stage, each village was one cooperative. Among
these, one based mainly on agricultural practice, one purely on logging and four remainders on both sources
of earning. They exploited the timbers to exchange rice with Hoanh Bo SFE by contracts.
Hoanh Bo SFE is a land stakeholder of the commune. Currently, it manages over 100 ha of natural forest in
the commune territory. The SFE is delegated by Quang Ninh DARD a responsibility to control all the natural
timber exploitation and trading.
Administration system of Dong Lam is the same as all other communes in the rural areas of the whole
country (annex 2).
During the last two decades, Dong Lam gets assistance from a range of national and international–funded
programs and projects. Some projects have activities at the whole commune scale, while others provide
assistance only for several villages and in each village, not all the households are beneficiaries (box 3.1.1).
Box 3.1.1: Support projects implemented or being implemented in Dong Lam
District RB supported households in two villages to plant cinnamon in 1999-2000
Program 327 supported households to plant cinnamon and acacia in 1995-1996 through Hoanh Bo SFE, consequently,
the commune CP has no idea of how many hectares planted. They also are not aware of program five million hectares
(661).
Project FAO-Belgium is being implemented in commune over two years and all the villages are benefited from its
activities.
Credit project (325) provided the preferential loans to households from 1997. Eighty households received loan with total
amount of 400 million dong in 2002.
Program 135 financed 100 million dong to construct a primary school in 2000 and 400 million to upgrade 0.5 km road to
Dong Quang in 2002. As stated by the commune chairman, the commune wish very much to participate in construction
work for job generation, but the contractors refuses. The commune CP has no right to take part into discussion for
bidding and to supervise the process of contractor selection.
District AFE has conducted various training on technique of planting fruit trees, IPM, established some models of fruit
tree garden and new improved varieties of crops, livestock raising.
The poverty causes identified by the commune authorities are following:
- Too small area of agriculture land (rain fed paddy field)
- Previously, the logging was a major income source, now it is forbidden
- The planted forests are still too young to bring income
- Lack of capital for agriculture, livestock and forest planting investment
- Low literacy level
The commune CP fails to identify a strategy for commune economy development and makes its own plan
basing on the district one.




*The primary school comprises two grades. The grade 1 was 4 years of schooling in the past, but currently 5 years. The
grade 2 lasts for 3 years of schooling




                                                                                                                         -5-
Two villages selected by the commune authorities for study are Dong Quang and Cai as they have the similar
conditions, however, living of people in Dong Quang is better than in Cai
3.1.2.      PRA Results of Cai and Dong Quang
3.1.2.1                  Similarities of two villages
- Both villages formed in fifties and their ninety percent population is Thanh phan ethnic minority, as a
   result, they share the same customs and living style.
- Population growth rate is high for the last decades and from 1-3 households at initial settlement, it reaches
   a figure of 71 in Cai and 123 in Dong Quang (table 3.1.1).
Table 3.1.1: Village development history and land reform

                                                         Cai                                     Dong Quang
  Date of first settlement                                          1956                             1951
  Current number of households                                 71 (333 people )                123 (687 people )
  Date of cooperative establishment                                 1964                             1964
  Date of high grade cooperative set-up                             1977                             1978
  Disintegration of high grade cooperative                          1982                             1982
  Agriculture land allocation                                       1987                             1987
  Pricing buffaloes                                                 1988
  Average area of paddy field per head                             120 m2                           360 m2
  Date of forest land allocation to households                      1992                             1992
  First amendment                                                   1995                             1994
  Second amendment                                                                                   1998
  Number of households having forest land                             52
  Largest area/household                                             30 ha                            7 ha
  Total forest area of the village                                  1326 ha
  Area allocated to households                                      553 ha
  Date of cooperative disintegration                                 1998                            1998
    -  Both villages are at the same distance from the district town and are accessible to only high-floored
       vehicles. Households locate in a group of 5-10 on both sides of road along the bottom of one
       mountain.
   - The villages have the same administration structure, same date of collectivization and then
       disintegration.
   - Paddy fields was divided equally to people 1987-1988. The households formed after this date have
       no opportunity to access to agricultural land.
   - Forest land was allocated to households in 1992, some amendment in 1994-1995 (and 1998 in Dong
       Quang). The land allocation was conducted by district FI officials. Some households have very large
       area (30 ha), while others have small or even no land at all. The remained natural forest is far from
       villages, consequently, difficult for management. However, those households having no forest land
       are awaiting for more land allocation (box 3.1.1).
Box 3.1.2 : Some PRA’s description of how forest land was allocated to households
PRA in Dong Quang: In 1992, it was reported that each household would be allocated 3 ha. In order to make it easier
for the district officials to demarcate the plot and take pictures, households were requested to clear boundary line. As
households had no idea on how large one hectare is, they cleared until the plot seemed to be big enough. However, the
certificate was provided without any measurement and picture taken as promised. The consequence is that the figure in
certificate is 3 ha, but in reality, some households have only 0,5 ha. Most of households have land smaller than written in
certificate.
In 1995, some amendment was made. Each household were allocated 5 ha and should pay 20,000 dong/ha for getting the
certificate (green book). Several households have paid but no book received. They do not know where to claim.
In 1998, the second amendment was conducted in Dong Quang and the household is allowed to have more land with
maximum amount of 7 ha. Again, no measurement and proper boundary demarcation was made, but based purely on
estimation. This has resulted in some conflicts between households on forest land tenure.




                                                                                                                     -6-
Box 3.1.3 : Example of the poor marginalised in forest land allocation
Trieu Duc Nghieu and Dang Thi Mui, hamlet 1, Dong Quang village: four of six households of hamlet 1 have no
forest land. The day all of us go to field to receive land, the officials were drunken and they quarreled a lot, then they left,
saying that would come back next morning, but they did not do as promised. What should we do to have forest land?.
Dang Van Lam, a better-off in hamlet 1 of Cai: I have received only 16 ha. Now my children have grown-up and this
land to be divided to them. I regret very much for not claiming more land because I believed in the officials words that if
farmers get land and fail to plant trees, the government will take it back. Later, I realize that the village authorities get a
lot of land. Exactly how much it is nobody knows. One thing is clear that their forests are too large which spread from
their houses up to other mountains. As a result, they are unable to protect their forest from
encroachment of outsiders.
-  Income resources:
    Agriculture: very limited agricultural land and lack of irrigation result in inability of household
        cereal self-sufficiency in both villages
    Livestock husbandry: food shortage and lack of investment in technique and other inputs, while
        disease epidemic happen regularly, cause high risks and low profit in this business. No household in
        the commune has skill on raising breeding pig and all of them have to buy the piglets from the
        outside. The buffaloes are used for ploughing fields and pulling timbers chopped illegally from
        unallocated natural forest and for sale when they are too old for working. Pigs and chicken are
        mainly for self–consumption (wedding, funeral, festival and so on) and only small amount is
        reserved for sale.
    Forestry: exploitation of natural forest (mainly illegal logging) is an important income source for
        the poor to balance their basic needs and for the better-off to obtain the comforts, house construction
        and investment back in agriculture.
- The changes in crop mix are similar: planting the same forest trees (acacia, cinnamon and canarium),
   fruit trees (litchi and logan) as identified by the district.
- Both of villages have no bazaar. In period of the planned economy, the cooperatives used to sign
   contracts with Hoanh Bo SFE to exchange timber for rice and other basic needs. Currently, selling and
   buying most of commodities are mainly at home as the outside traders go to every household to do
   business. However, for the last 3-5 years, several small shops have emerged in each village with few
   commodities of very basic needs (salt, kerosene, and so on).
Box 3.1.4: How people market their products
Dong Quang PRA: Nobody in the village takes products to market for sale. The women feel very shy when they have
to sell their products. The outsiders vendors bring food to households for sale. Some households in village attempted to
carry the business by selling pork or keep the small pubs, but people often buy in debt and then their indebtedness last too
long for the shop owner to continue maintaining their business.
-   FAO project with the district AFE as its partner has the same activities in all the villages such as
    selection of several households in each to establish the models of industrial chicken and pig raising, fruit
    tree gardens and acacia nurseries. Training on livestock raising and IPM are provided to women and on
    fruit tree growing to men. Those attending training are unable to apply themselves as investment is too
    high and technique is too complicate to follow.
- People, including the village heads are unaware of the names, objectives and activities of most projects
    and programs implemented in the commune (325, 135, 327, and so on)
- No system of loudspeakers or any alternative communication means exists to inform people of news or
    activities. All information are disseminated orally, through community. The head of village inform the
    heads of hamlets and from the later to households. No regular meeting held and it takes place only when
    commune instructions are given to village.
Box 3.1.5: The opinion of two poor about how a village meeting held and what subject discussed at
the meeting
Li Ngoc Ngu, 5 school years, hamlet 2, Dong Quang. I attended the last week meeting. It was discussed of building
“new culture family”. I remember only some points such as no drinking alcohol, solitary responsibility, no illegal logging
and forest destroy, responsibility for contributing to village development.. People argued so much for several hours and
left the meeting at about 12 o‟clock without any conclusion.




                                                                                                                          -7-
Trieu Qui Tien, an illiterate, hamlet 2, Dong Quang. The wife says: my husband attended the meeting, but he came
back without telling anything. Then she asked him: what did they talk about? Husband‟s answer: I do not
remember, they argue too loudly.
  The mass organizations, except WU, are weak in village activities development (table 3.1.2).
  Both villages have the same opinion that household economy was very meager in cooperative period and
   getting better since the agricultural land allocation and clearly improved for last several years.
3.1.2.2                   Differences between the two villages

       Differences                            Dong Quang                                        Cai
Forest and Agricultural More agricultural land and less acute Larger forest area and higher
land                         shortage of rice                                 dependent on forest
Off-farm activities          Faster in development and more diverse in Slow and poorly developed such like
                             activities such as             shop keeping, some           sundry     goods      shops,
                             transportation service entertainment, food entertainment, hired motorbike
                             service to primary school, carpentry …
Projects and programs - Project 135 funded for construction of - FAO project , Project 325, AFE
implemented and are             school grade 2, the road and sluices               activities
being implemented            - RB project: provided seedlings and
                                money as labor compensation
                             - FAO project , Project 325, AFE
                                activities
Causes of          village  Difficulty in selling products as the  Low literacy level of people
poverty identified by           market is too far                             Lack of capital
PRA group                     No common agricultural land fund left  Very few opportunities in
                                when conducting land allocation. The             attending technical training
                                consequence is landless or limited in  The cooperative disintegrated too
                                land of the new households. Forest land          late
                                is available, but too far for management.
PRA criteria for wealth ranking
                       Dong Quang                                                       Cai
Better-off: brick-constructed house with kitchen, > 2 Better-off: similar criteria
buffaloes, motorbike and others comforts (television,
radio-cassette, electric fan and so on)
Average: small brick-constructed house or just roofed Average: brick-constructed house or just roofed by
by tiles with kitchen, 1 buffalo, a cheap motorbike, tiles with a kitchen, 1 buffalo, motorbike of low
ability to balance in food.                                    cost, some other comforts, self-sufficient in food.
The poor: leave-roofed and soiled-constructed wall The poor: similar criteria
house, no buffalo and other comforts such as radio,
electric fans, food shortage
                                                               The hunger: dilapidated house, food shortage year-
                                                               around
Result of wealth ranking
The Better-off : 24 HH, making up 19,51 %                      The Better-off : 12 HH, making up 16,90 %
 Thank to salary or subvention 13 HH                           5 HH
 off-farm activities                      4 HH                 2 HH
 Service and subvention                                        1 HH
 self-starter (initiative)                7 HH                 4 HH
The Average: 56 HH, making up 45,52 %                          The Average: 16 HH, making up 23,35%
The poor: 43 HH, making up 34,95%                              The poor : 36 HH, making up 50,7%




                                                                                                               -8-
   disable and serious illness           6 HH                     3 HH
   no land or small land:                10 HH                    8 HH
   Woman is the head of family                                    3 HH
   Lives in very remote place                                     1 HH
   drunken and waster: 4 HH                                       2 HH
-   Slow, has no initiative                   23 HH                19 HH
                                                                  The hunger : 5 HH, making up 7,04 %
                            123                                                         71

Table 3.1.2:        PRA’s assessment of the roles of village authorities and assistance projects in village
development

Name                 Cai                                                            Dong Quang
                                   Activities and effectiveness                            Activities and effectiveness
Head of village      Meeting schedule is quarterly, but it is organized only        Similar to Cai
                     when the instruction comes from the commune CP.
VAB                  7 members, some time gather for fun                            Hold meeting recently together with YUB
                                                                                    to make a campaign on avoiding drinking
                                                                                    alcohol, gambling. Its role is week
NFB                  No activities. Its head is unaware of his organization         No activities
                     functions
YUB                  Some time hold meeting for fun, has no clear impact             Hold regular meeting, some contribution
                                                                                    to security and mitigation of the gambling.
                                                                                    The impact is weak.
WUB                  Family planning, visit and assistance provided when            Similar to Cai. Furthermore there is
                     difficulty or illness happen to its member. FAO project        activity in generating jobs for women
                     support it to conduct the saving and revolving loan
                     activity for livestock and forest planting. The regular
                     monthly meeting held. Good contribution to household
                     economy development, improvement of technical
                     knowledge for women
FAB                  Head of village is also FAA‟s head. Difficult to               Similar to Cai.
                     distinguish between the two
OPUB                 No activity                                                    No activity
FAO project          Supporting in establishment of various models such as          Similar to Cai
                     raising industrial chicken, pigs, acacia nurseries, training
                     on IPM, organizing exposure visit to good models,
                     providing loans. It is evaluated as having good impact
                     on economy development of village.
Program 135          No one know 135. People know only that national                Similar to Cai
                     government funded for primary school and Dong
                     Quang road construction.
Project 325          12 HHs receive loan with total amount of 47 million            Similar to Cai, however, number of
                     dong, and 3-year term at preferential interest rate of 0.25    households getting loan is higher
                     % per month. Many households have need in loan but
                     fund is limited. The poor should write a claim to the
                     village head and then commune CP organizes a
                     committee to consider each case with presence of the
                     village heads
Program       327    SFE is an implementers. In 1995-1996, SFE provided             Similar to Cai
and 661              cinnamon and acacia and canarium seedlings to
                     households. People were not aware program thinking
                     only that SFE assisted them.




                                                                                                                          -9-
RB project           Including of the village head, no one know that there is     In 2000 and 2001, the project provided
                     a Resettlement department in the district.                   cinnamon seedling and money to some
                                                                                  households 270.000 dong/ha. (box 3.1.6).
AFE                  AFE gives the village several hundreds of litchi and         Similar to Cai
                     logan in 2000. It invited 7 people to attend the training
                     course held in commune on technique of planting fruit
                     tree and IPM. Households that like to buy improved rice
                     varieties should inform the village head and he will send
                     some one to AFE Center to buy. People say that there is
                     only agriculture extensions, but no forest one.
Healthcare           Provide free medicine and service to the people in           Similar to Cai
station              commune
School grade 1       In every village and convenient for children                 Similar to Cai
Grade 2              School is too far (in Dong Quang ), few households can       There is school
                     afford to send their children to it


3.1.3. Findings of household economy study
Thirty households are interviewed, including 7 better-off and 10 poor in Dong Quang, 4 better-off and 9 poor
in Cai.
3.1.3.1. Similarities of the better-off and the poor
Despite the differences in wealth, the poor and the better-off households have many thing in common such as
following:
- Low literacy level. Over 30% of people are illiterate, including the better-off that both husband and wife
     keep a sundry good shop and motorbike transportation service. Most of people finish 1-3 school years,
     few passed 4-5 years and only two of them finish 6-7 school years. Those passed 1-3 school years often
     become reilliterate again and have a great difficulty in reading and writing.
- Except several households having off-farm activities, the remainders earn their living by three income
     sources: agriculture, forest exploitation and gathering agricultural seasonal work. The second and third
     sources for the poor are major.
- The households expenditures are for the following items (in order of importance): basic needs (mainly
     rice), agriculture inputs (fertilizers, insecticide, advanced seeds and others), house construction, purchase
     of comforts (the better-off buy motorbike and television, the poor - bike and electric fans), social
     relationship such as funeral, wedding, ceremony offerings in man recognition*. The education
     expenditure is lowest, only for buying book because note book and school fees are subsidized. Most of
     children finish grade 1 and few finish grade 2. The secondary school locates in the town and require a
     much higher cost. For that reason, only few better-off are able to afford their children to continue study.
     However, some better-off, who are able to afford 2-3 costly motorbikes, but refuse to allow their children
     to follow the secondary school. Most of pupils attending the secondary school are children of the
     commune authorities. The cost for health care is lowest as the government policy provide health
     insurance to the people in zone 3. Only in cases of serious illness, people should get treatment in town
     hospital and the cost may be much higher because of gift to be given to hospital staff for better care or
     ceremonial offerings.
- No one of the interviewed are aware of the national mountainous development policies and the names of
     implemented programs (327, 661, 325, 135, RP . .), not saying of tax exemption policies or possibility to
     get loans from agriculture bank.
- The household sources of information relating to market and product selection for development are from
     traders, commune authorities, AFE and projects and community. Their access to television, broadcasting
     and newspaper sources is very limited. Some better-off own television and radio-cassette, but these
     facilities are not much in use because of electricity availability only 3-4 months/year (rainy season), time
     shortage and poor fluency in Kinh.

*
  This is a custom of Dao people. The recognition is organized only for man one time for his whole life whenever he is able
to accumulate sufficient saving to make a big party so that any adult in community can come to attend




                                                                                                                     - 10 -
-  The trees planted by all households are acacia, cinnamon, canarium, litchi and logan with predominance
   of the first. These species were provided previously by the projects such as 327, RB, AFE and so on. For
   last several years, acacia become favorite for its high demand from timber market of coal mine industry.
   it is also an easy planted species with fast growth and mid-term rotation. Households in Dong Lam
   usually buy acacia seedling in free market, only few of them produce themselves with support of FAO
   project. For logan and litchi, very few households plant them by their own money.
- Most of projects were implemented without any planning and training to farmers how to plant and take
   care of the planted (box 3.1.6).
Box 3.1.6 : Example of how assistance is provided to farmers
Trieu Tien Hinh, the better-off, hamlet 3 of Dong Quang: I bought cinnamon seeds and produced seedlings myself
and planted in my garden for 2 years already. One day, an official came and gave me 595.000 dong and I did not have to
give him any receipt.
Linh Du Kim, the poor in hamlet 2 of Dong Quang: One day, by chance I passed hamlet 3. I saw a truck full of
cinnamon seedlings and an official distributing them to people. I told him that I have 1 ha of forest land and asked him to
give me some. He gave 5000 seedlings to me, several month later, he came back and gave me 450.000 dong.
Li Ngoc Ngu, a poor, hamlet 2 of Dong Quang: My sister was given 3.000 cinnamon seedlings, but she was too busy
to plant, so she gave them to me. At first stage, the cinnamon grew well, later they gradually died a lot although I take
good care of them, weeding regularly. I do not understand what reason it is.
-  All households need capital for production investment, including the better-off, but very few of them
   know the possibility of getting loan from the agriculture bank. Their loan sources usually are from their
   relatives or close friends which are limited, but free of interest. The poor wait to get loans from the 325.
   In Dong Quang, only the village head managed to get loan from the agriculture bank (his brother is the
   commune chairman and his sister in-law is WU‟s head).
- When the question raised about how the households intend to use loans, the interviewers receive the
   same answers which are to buy buffaloes and plant acacia.
- Most of people attended training courses organized by FAO project or AFE on IPM, livestock raising
   and fruit trees planting are not able to apply themselves because of various reasons such as poor
   understanding, high investment requirement of the technique that households are not able to afford (box
   3.1.7).
Box 3.1.7. How the IPM trainees control the pest for his paddy field
Ly Tien Duc, hamlet 1 of Cai. I plant six sao* of rice. For this crop, I have spent 400.000 dong to buy fertilizer and over
200.000 dong for insecticide.
Interviewer: why do you spray so much? Answer: as I see the pest I make spray immediately. Some time spray is made
every 3 days. The same is doing to rice seedlings.
Interviewer: who do tell you the way to control pest? Answer: it is very easy, just discovering the pest I go to shop and
the sellers will tell how to do.
Interviewer: Do you attend the IPM course organized by FAO or AFE? Yes, I did, but I can not do others, spray should
be done immediately, other way thing gone.
His neighbor attending the interview confirms: exactly, spray should make as soon as possible as the pest is discovered

3.1.3.2                Similarities of the better-off                            households in both
villages
The better-off households that have income sources derived from forest and agriculture practice have the
following in common
- They or their parent are the first comers of village and own the assets accumulated for 2-3 generations
- Locating in the places favorable for agriculture practice.
- Having more rain fed paddy field to rotate two crops yearly that allow food self-sufficiency. Some food
     shortage of 1-2 months may occur when the weather is not favorable. The other cereal like cassava,
     maize and sweet potato are used to raise small livestock or partly to supplement rice shortage.


*
    One sao is equal to 360 m2




                                                                                                                    - 11 -
-   Livestock husbandry is underdeveloped in the all villages. The products is partly for self-consumption
    and partly for sale. Buffalo is a multi-purpose animal that serves as savings, means of production and
    profit generating, That's why, each household at least has 2-3 buffaloes.
- Having large area of forest land, most of which are under acacia and cinnamon since the early nineties or
    with naturally growing canarium, so currently, they have some income from their own forest land.
- Having strong male labors to derive income from the common or SFE‟s natural forests. The income
    from illegal logging and hunting of these households is high which serve as a major source obtaining the
    costly comforts and expand their production.
The better-off derived cash income from the secondary activities:
- The owners of this type usually are young and shifting to the business for last 2-7 year.
- They have rice fields and forest land given by their parents, but the area is limited.
- Their business was small at the starting and thank to the income from this source, they are able to invest
    back to agriculture. The better inputs allow them to reach food self-sufficiency with limited paddy field.
    At the same time, they invest in acacia planting on their forest land. Furthermore, they expand their
    business to other fields such as transportation service, carpentry, entertainment and so on. However, their
    services are still too poor and not so diverse to satisfy the local needs. Many important basic goods are
    still supplied by outsiders that serve people at their home.
3.1.3.3             Similarities of the poor
- Most of them live in the places inconvenient for information exchange, transportation or far from center
    of village (village head house). For example, 62,5% of households in Deo Thong and 100 % of
    households in Khe Len of Dong Quang, which it takes 2-3 hours of walking to get to, are poor. All the
    households of hamlet 3 of Cai, which are 2 km from village head, are poor as well. These households
    often are forgotten to be informed to participate into some community activities and poverty alleviation
    programs. Some households even have no opportunity to write the claim for forest land (box 3.1.8).
Box 3.1.8: An example of how the poor is marginalised from forest land access
Trieu Tien Thanh, hamlet 3 of Cai: I do not have forest land as nobody informed me to go for receiving land. When I
knew the news from my neighbor, the officials have left

Box 3.1.9: Example of how the poor are excluded from involvement into assistance projects
Trieu Tien An, hamlet 3 of Cai : five households in this hamlet have no chance to participate into any projects. They
ignore us. We are ranked as the poor, but no one get the preferential loans and free seedlings and training. I raise this
issue at the village meetings several times, but they are not interested in this poor hamlet.
-    Although being forgotten to be informed to participate to development projects, they always are reported
     to contribute to the charitable activities such as making donation to Cuba, disaster suffering people, study
     encouragement fund, construction of affection houses* and so on. Fund raising is on voluntary basis, but
     in reality, it is compulsory and every household should contribute certain fixed amount. If someone is in
     cash shortage, she/he is obligated to borrow for donation.
-    Most of households in hamlet 1 and 2 of Dong Quang locating on land of Son Duong and Thong Nhat
     communes, but registering as Dong Lam citizen do not get proper support from the Dong Quang
     authorities. They have no forest land and even put aside of the list of people provided red book for
     agriculture and settlement land.
-    The recently separated households or those ones migrated from other places to commune after the land
     allocation date are or landless or own little of agricultural land, which locate in the poorly-irrigable areas,
     consequently, it is possible to them to rotate only one crop yearly with unstable productivity (one sao of
     the better-off with good inputs is able to provide in average 400 kg of rice yearly, while the poor
     mentioned above are able to obtain only 50-70 kg/sao). For them, the forest extraction and seasonal work
     are the major sources of income to balance food shortage and other basic needs.
-    The households with women as the head and small children are often in the list of the poor. These
     women usually earn their living by extracting the paper bamboo to sell to SFE or different NTFPs,
*
  For last several years, the campaign for donation to raise fund for constructing houses for the poor people whose close
relatives are martyr.




                                                                                                                       - 12 -
   hence, their labor cost is much lower. They also rarely are informed to take part into community
   activities.
- Having no buffalo to pull timbers harvested illegally is also one of the reason leading to poverty.
- Cash shortage to provide adequate inputs for paddy fields results in low crop productivity as mentioned
   above.
- The poor earn their income from 3 sources: agriculture, forest extraction and seasonal works. For most of
   households of this group, the income from the second and third sources are major.
- Price of some forest products offered to the households living far from center of the village is much
   lower. For example, in hamlet 3 of Cai (far from hamlet 1 only 2 km), paper bamboo price is 100
   dong/kg instead of 130 dong/kg in the later. These households blame SFE for depriving their bargaining
   power as it provides the buying permission to only one trader for each area.
Table 3.1.3: Average income/day of an adult man and woman

              Activity                                      Average income/day (dong)
                                                      Man                               Woman
 Hunting                                 Varies from 10,000 to 200,000
 Illegal logging                                 40,000-50,000
 Bamboo extraction                                   20,000                              15,000
 Other NTFPs                                                                          5,000-15,000
 Seasonal work                                  20,000-25,000                        15,000-20,000


3.2.       Thanh Son commune of Ba Che district
3.2.1. Overview of social and economic condition of Thanh Son
Thanh Son was set-up in 1984 by separation of Thanh Lam commune in the two (map 3). Its nine villages are
situated on both sides of the road, which goes along Ba Che river therefore only those villages one right side
of river are accessible to the vehicles.
The statistical data of commune land use and infrastructures as road, healthcare, schools, communication are
described in annex 1.
The commune CP has no statistical data on commune literacy, however, its general remark is very high
illiteracy among the adults and only few people reach the grade 2.
In the old commune, the collectivization process started in 1961, Firstly, each village formed one cooperative,
later (1977) three joined into one (high grade cooperative). Nonetheless, poor management resulted in
worsening the people livelihood and consequently, its short existence, and lastly returning into the former
type.
During this period, the commune inhabitants earned their living by logging to sell to Ba Che SFE on fixed
price named by them as “the dead ”. Due to over-exploitation, in 1975, the highest value timber resource ran
out. In the following stage, many groups of people from other areas came for logging. All timber species
which were in high demand were chopped down. In 1995, when the logging ban policy applied, the good
value timber resource had depleted, consequently, the forest vegetative cover rich in biodiversity evolved into
low economic value bamboo cover. The new paper factory has just been erected in Ba Che and the high risk
of further depletion of bamboo resource is clearly evident as remark by director of Ba Che SFE.
Ba Che SFE manages 314 ha of planted forest (mainly pines) and over 4000 ha of natural forest in Thanh
Son . SFE‟s workers who are not the commune inhabitants do tapping resin of pine forest.
The organizational set-up of Thanh Son is the same as of Dong Lam. furthermore, according to the new
capacity strengthening policy of Quang Ninh province, an official sent by the district to replace the local
secretary of commune CP .
Thanh Son receives a lot of assistance from different sources such as provincial, national and international
for last three decades (see box beloved). Similarly to Dong Lam, participation is not always accessible to the
commune CP as well.




                                                                                                        - 13 -
Box 3.2.1 The assistance projects implemented and being implemented in the commune
-   In 1978-1979, the district foreign trade company supported 3 villages (Bac Van, Thac Lao, Khe Long) to plant
    cinnamon. Some households in each villages were selected and provided with seedlings and money to plant. This
    cinnamon was harvested and some of these households continue to plant, the other stopped.
-   SCF gave the seedlings and rice to the farmers to plant sandalwood (1992-1993), however, the grant was provided
    through the district, but not directly to the beneficiaries.
-   PAM provided the seedlings and rice to plant sandalwood, cinnamon, pine in 1991. When harvesting the products,
    households should return 100 kg of rice per ha (or 30 kg of dried cinnamon) to the district
-   Project of RB provided money and seedlings to plant cinnamon 2-3 years back
-   Program 661 is just being implemented in commune at small scale. Ten households in Khe Ma have signed contract
    to protect natural forest for Ba Che SFE with cost of 39,000 dong/ha/year. Recently, SFE has given instruction to
    households to register for planting several species of trees. The government (SFE) will cover 80% of seedling cost
    and farmers pay 20%. The commune CP is not aware of to what program this activity belongs.
-   Program 135 supported 60 million dong to construct 3 classrooms, 300 million dong to establish a save drinking
    system, some funds for constructing the irrigation dams and so on. The program has plan to fund a primary school
    construction with total cost of 1 billion dong. All the 135 projects are decided at upper levels and outsiders
    implement them. The commune is not involved into planning and bidding processes. It is given a design copy to
    supervise the quality of construction. However, as commune chairman says, the commune has too little expertise on
    the construction to supervise.
-   District AFE provides assistance in training and seedlings of several fruit trees species. Often, only the heads of
    villages attend the training course, which lasts for a haft days.
Currently, 40% of households (104 of 260 households) are ranked as the poor*. The causes of poverty
identified by the commune CP are following:
- Low literacy level resulting in failing to apply the advanced techniques
- Poor infrastructure and transportation conditions
- Difficulty in selling products, the district procedure for permitting traders to buy products in locality is
     too complicate.
- Limitation and infertility of agricultural land, while inputs are inadequate and irregular
-     Poor irrigation. At present, 4 villages have no irrigation system.
- Lack of village management at the initial period of cooperative disintegration
- Inefficient use of loans
- The forest extraction is a main living source, while it has almost exhausted because of poor management.
- The higher level guidelines to change the crop mix is still based only on support of new rice varieties.
The commune authorities fail to make its own economy development strategy and just follow the district
guidelines. They have intention to delineate, but feel difficult in implementing. Litchi is suitable for local
condition, but no market for its product. The district authorities suggest to plant cinnamon, luong (big size
bamboo), canarium and star anise. The commune doubts of its possibility to bright fruit. Cinnamon is poor in
quality and low in price in this period. They think of solution to support the farmers in producing seedlings
and conducting market survey themselves. The seedling production is possible, but to find market is very
difficult as the commune is poor, often in finance shortage. Furthermore, whether the farmers manage to find
the market if they are supported to go.
Two villages selected by the commune authorities for survey are Thac Lao and Long Toong as they have the
similar agriculture and forest land and infrastructure conditions, however, living of households in the first is
better than in the second one.
3.2.2.     Thac Lao and Long Toong PRA results
3.2.2.1                   Similarities of both villages
As both villages are in the same communes, they share many in common such as following:




*
 Ranking criteria by year 2001 as following: income of the hunger < 55,000 dong/month, the poor < 80,000 dong/month, the
better-off > 150,000 dong/month




                                                                                                                 - 14 -
   Both formed in forties and fifties of last century from several groups of ethnic minorities with dominance
    of Dao Thanh phan. Later, Tay and Hoa groups left and only Dao remained. They practiced shifting
    cultivation on high mountains and their usage and customs are similar to Dong Lam people.
Table 3.2.1: Development history and land reform of Thac Lao and Long Toong

                                                                Long Toong                      Thac Lao
      Date of first settlement                                     1958                           1945
      Ethnic minority group                                 100% Dao Thanh phan            100% Dao Thanh phan
      Current number of households                                  18                             18
      Date of cooperative establishment                          1962-1963                     1962-1963
      Existence of high grade cooperatives                       1978-1981                     1978-1981
      Date of disintegration of cooperative                        1984                           1984
      Agriculture land allocation                                  1984                           1984
      Amendment                                                                                   1997
      Average area of paddy field per head                           104 m2                      200 m2
      highland cultivation per head                                  400 m2                      200 m2
      Date of forest land allocation to households                    1994                        1994
      Number of households having no forest land                        1                           5
      Smallest area forest land /household                            3 ha                        9 ha
      Largest area forest land /household                             9 ha                        27 ha
      Total area allocated to households                             105 ha                      272 ha
  Both of villages are separated from the main road by Ba Che river and in order to cross it people use
   boats or drafts (see picture and map). Those households having motorbike or bike have to keep them in
   their friend‟s houses on other side of river.
 The population is relatively stable for last 3-4 decades because of household migration to other places
   for easier living.
 The cooperatives were set-up and disintegrated in the same years, but cooperative‟s management board
   existed up to 1992. Since 1993, the board was replaced by village head. the position is selected every two
   years.
- Agricultural land was allocated to households in 1984 and forest land in 1994. Those households formed
   after these date have no opportunity to get land. The village authorities have requested the commune CP
   to make some intervention in assisting these households to access to land, so far no result yet (table 3.2.1,
   box 3.2.1).
Box 3.2.2: Opinion of PRA’s participants on injustice of forest land tenure
Thac Lao PRA: Previously Mr. Du from province came and said that every households would get 20 ha. Later, the FI
conducted allocation basing on the plots. There are the big plots and small ones. People are not satisfied with this way of
doing, but they are not able to do anything.
Some district policemen and leaders have been allocated forest land to establish their farms adjacent to village. The
largest area they have is 10 ha. They live in town and sometime come to hire labors to work on their farms at cost of
13,000 dong per day. Some areas under cinnamon planted by villagers, however, the FI takes it to allocate to these
people. The cinnamon owners got only some money as compensation for their seedling and labor input. In general, FI
has a great power on forest land.
PRA in Long Toong: Most of forest land is said to be of SFE, total land allocated to all the households of village is only
105 ha, while previously our cooperative managed 300 ha.
-   Both villages are not aware of their exact land tenure. Except land allocated to them, the remainder is
    said to be of SFE.
-   Crops: agricultural crops are the common ones and used for subsistence. Some households plant huong
    bai as district provided guideline and loans, but they suffered from loss as no buyer came for the product.
    There is no market as well for litchi and logan planted with support of AFE and RB. The cinnamon and
    sandalwood planted in early nineties have brought the income to households. Currently, district makes
    propaganda on planting canarium, luong and star anise (see box below).



                                                                                                                    - 15 -
Box: 3.2.3: How people think of the forest trees advised by the district for planting
Thac Lao PRA: anise star certainly grows well, but nobody is sure that it will give fruits. Risk of planting canarium and
luong is lower. The village has register to plant luong, Some amount of seedling arrived, but this time for other villages
and Thac Lao people should wait. The commune CP selected one man from FA who is good at crop practice to attend a
training course organized by the district. He has come back and still say nothing.
-  Income sources :
         Agriculture. The food shortage is widespread in Thac Lao, but not such acute as in Long Toong.
            In the later, even the better-off have to balance rice by other substitutes as cassava, maize, sweet
            potato etc. For the poor, food is sufficient only for 3 months when favorable weather happens
            and good crop is obtained.
         Livestock husbandry: buffalo, pig and chicken are raised in both villages. Buffaloes are mainly
            for ploughing fields and sold only when they are too old. In average, Long Toong sells 1-2
            buffaloes per year. The pig growth is very slow due to food shortage and lack of proper
            technical care. The chicken disease epidemics outbreak regularly, consequently, very few
            households have product for sale, despite of its high price and good demand in Ba Che town.
         Forestry.
            a) Natural forest. Forest exaction is one of major income source (bamboo, residues of previous
                 over-logging, other NTFPs). Average, people go to forest 6 months/year.
            b) Planted forest. Some households have cinnamon or sandalwood ready for harvest, but total
                 income from this source is small because of the district controlled market for forest
                 products. The households feel unreasonable offered price for cinnamon and prefer to wait
                 for change. Most of the planted cinnamon forest are young (box bellow).
Box: 3.2.4: How Thanh Son people worry of marketing cinnamon when the trading is controlled
Thac Lao PRA: whether we sell fresh or dried cinnamon, we have no bargaining power. We are not allowed to take our
product out of the district to sell. The outside traders say that they are obligated to pay high fees so they can not offer
good price. According to their words, for each purchase, they have to pay 2 million dong to SFE, 500,000 dong to FI,
500,000 dong to the police. It is impossible for them to buy cinnamon at a higher price. We are worried very much for
selling the cinnamon.
  The commune has no market. People buy their basic needs in several shops in the commune center. The
   foodstuff such as meat, fish and etc are sold by the vendors from the town. In order to obtain the big
   things, people go to town market. The cash products are not diverse and mainly sold at home or village.
   The bamboo is sold by two ways: to put on both side of road to sell to truck driver-middlemen or to
   make a drafts and pull along Ba Che river to sell directly to the long way-traders.
 All households need loans for investment in production and upgrading their houses, but they like to get
   the free interest only (325 program). Nonetheless, there are households that have access to the
   preferential loan but refuse it because of uncertainty in their reimbursement capacity.
 Except PAM and SCF, the names of the assistance projects implemented in commune are unknown to
   the farmers. They know only that government provide this or that assistance.
 All households intend to buy buffaloes if they have capital, while the commune CP has no planning for
   grazing fields and regulations for planted forest protection. The inevitable consequence is the serious
   planted crop damage (see box below).
Box: 3.2.5: PRA’s opinion of poor management of Thanh Son commune
Long Toong PRA: The trees planted on the allocated forest land are destroyed by buffaloes. We are given cinnamon,
canarium and sandalwood for planting, but it is impossible to protect them. Buffaloes ruin cinnamon and sandalwood
and eat all canarium . All buffaloes are of the other villages. Once we caught one and kept for several days but nobody
came for it and we were obligated to release it as the commune has no regulation on this issue.
   Similar to Dong Lam, the information sources for livelihood obtained by households mainly from people
    in community, AFE, assistance projects, the commune CP and traders. Most of people have no access to
    television, radio and newspapers because they are too poor to buy these comforts, and also of lack of
    electricity and, lastly their poor Kinh.
   District AFE conduct only few activities in commune and opportunity to attend its training courses is
    rather limited, not saying of the training effectiveness (box below).



                                                                                                                    - 16 -
Box 3.2.6: PRA’s opinion of AFE’s activities
Thac Lao PRA: The village head attends a training course of haft day on rice and fruit tree cultivation techniques but he
does not train the other villagers.
Long Toong PRA: The village head attends a training course one time in the town. Then a district extensionist came to
village to train cultivation technique of 9 crops in one morning. He also distributed a leaflets to all the farmers attended
but we are not able to apply the things learned.
  The leaders of mass organizations in both villages are passive, particularly in Long Toong. Some
   organizations exist without any activity (table 3.2.2).
 Similar to Dong Lam, the PRA participants have opinion that their life gets better since the agricultural
   land has been allocated to households and noticeably improved for the last two years.
3.2.2.2.        Differences between two villages

                          Thac Lao                                                      Long Toong
Planted forest products
Some households have income from cinnamon and                   Most of cinnamon are planted several years back.
sandalwood. As the products are sold in small volume            Sandalwood planted in 1992 was sold, so currently,
for years so the villages has no estimation of total            the village has no income from planted forest.
production.
Traditional products
Farmers plant Mai bamboo to harvest the shoots for
commercial purpose. The income of this source is
meager
The facilities of value
8 motorbikes (type of 3-4 million dong), 5 televisions           2 old motorbikes of very cheap price, 1 grinder
(very old black and white), 3 grinders
The poverty causes
- Lack of capital for production investment                     - Low literacy, lack of production expertise
- No irrigation system, rain fed rice production                - No irrigation system, paddy fields often suffer from
      depends entirely on weather                                 water shortage
- Low literacy, while cost for schooling is high, (the          - There is no commune convention, which result in
      book price is too costly).                                  powerless of the farmers when buffaloes of other
- Difficulty in selling products and no bargaining                villages destroy their crops.
      power.                                                    - High birth rate
Identified strategies
If there is capital, the households will :                      We has no idea what to do. We should follow the
- plant canarium as it gives resin and fruit regularly.         commune CP instruction. We should reclaim for more
     Furthermore, its timber is highly appreciated by           agriculture land for food security before we are able to
     market. Some households have planted canarium              think of long-term plan
     themselves.
- raise buffaloes
Criteria of wealth ranking
The better-off:          brick-constructed house, > 2           The better-off: house roofed by tiles, 2-3 buffaloes,
buffaloes, motorbike of low cost and others comforts,           cheap motorbike or grinder, ability to balance in food.
grinder and food sufficiency                                    The Average: inleaking house, several furnishings,
The average: house roofed by leaves or fibrocement,             shortage of food several months
ability to balance in food by other substitutes.                The poor: leaking house, several chicken, food
The poor: leaf-roofed and soiled-constructed wall               shortage for 5-6 months
house, no comforts, food shortage, NTFPs extraction             The hunger: dilapidated hunt, daily food worry
is main source of income




                                                                                                                     - 17 -
Result of wealth ranking
The better-off: 6 HHs, making up 33,3%.                        The better-off : 4 HHs, making up 22,2%
All of them are initiative                                     - thank to salary and subvention 2 HHs
                                                               - thank to work hard and good saving -.2 HHs
The average: 6 HHs, make up 33,3 %                             The average: 5 HHs, making up 27,8%
The poor: 6 HH, making up 33,3%                                The poor : 5 HH, making up 27,8% most are due to
- too many children 2 households.                              having too many children, one is lazy
- Little of land   – 1 HH                                      The hunger : 4 HHs, making up 22,2% due to
- Slow and without initiative - 1 HH                           sickness and disable
                    18 HHs                                                               18 HHs

Table 3.2.2: PRA assessment on the role and impacts of village authorities and assistance projects on
village economy development

Names            Long Toong                                                   Thac Lao
                 Activities and effectiveness                                 Activities and effectiveness
Village head     The term is two years. Regular quarterly meeting is          Similar to Long Toong . Since 1993 there is 3
                 held. All farmers always attend. Meeting is held to          times people voted to select the head under
                 inform of the commune CP instructions                        supervision of commune CP
PC               Village has 2 party members that is not sufficient to        there is only 1 member
                 form a PC.
FAB              Village head is also the head of FAB so people               Similar to Long Toong
                 confuse of the activities of village or of FAB.
VAB              No                                                           Only 2 people. Has some contribution to
                                                                              village development
YUB              Has some activities, impact on village development is        Hold meeting when some young people have
                 not clear                                                    unacceptable behavior. Some impact, but still
                                                                              week.
WUB              quarterly meeting held to discuss only of reducing           Similar to Long Toong, but the members are
                 birth rate. There is only one woman illiterate in village.   more active at meeting and subject of
                                                                              discussion is more diverse: to visit and help
                                                                              women in difficult time and so on.
NFB               No                                                          No
OPUB              No                                                          No
Project SCF      Support to plant sandalwood in 1992-1993. The trees          Similar to Long Toong
                 have brought income to those participated in
Project PAM      Support to plant sandalwood and cinnamon. It is              Similar to Long Toong
                 evaluated by people to be effective and good impact
                 on village economy development.
Program 135      People are not aware of 135                                  Similar to Long Toong, but villagers know
                                                                              that government provided some poor
                                                                              households the material to roof their house (
                                                                              fibrocement).
Project 325      People name it as hunger eradication project. five            Similar to Long Toong, 4 households receive
                 households get loans with total amount of 15 million         loans,..
                 dong.
327 and 661      No one know of 327 and 661                                   Similar to Long Toong
RB project       People are not aware of it                                   Similar to Long Toong
AFE              AFE activities are week and very little impact on            Similar to Long Toong
                 livelihood of village
Health station   Take care of health for people free of charge                Similar to Long Toong




                                                                                                                 - 18 -
School            There is school grade 1                               Similar to Long Toong
                  School grade 2 in commune center and not favorable
                  for children in rainy season as no bridge connected

3.2.3. Results of household economy survey
Total number of households surveyed is 19, including 4 better-off and 5 poor in Thac Lao, 2 better-off and
8 poor and hunger households in Long Toong.
3.2.3.1                 Similarities of the interviewed households                                    in two
villages
- In overall, the poverty degree of both villages is highest compared to all others surveyed in 5 communes.
- Literacy level is very low. Most of the adults between ages of 17-40 are illiterate, especially the women.
    In Long Toong, the interpretation was needed as most of villagers are not able to speak Kinh or speak
    very little.
- High birth rate, average, 5-7 children per family
- Limited agricultural land, while most of rain fed paddy fields provide only one crop yearly with unstable
    productivity. At the same time, lack of proper inputs leads not only to low productivity, but further soil
    degradation. Drought in year 2002 killed paddy in both villages and very few households have
    insignificant rice harvest.
- All the households plant cinnamon, sandalwood and canarium on their allocated forest land with the
    assistance of different projects (free supply of seedlings and sometime rice or money as compensation for
    labor cost).
- Income sources:
      Cereal: most of households face rice shortage. The better-off are short for 2-4 months, while the poor
          are for more than 6-7 months. Only two cases surveyed (10,5%) say that they are able to have rice
          sufficiency only when good crop obtained. All the households, including the better-off have to
          balance their cereal need by cassava or maize.
      Livestock husbandry: most of households keep buffaloes, the better-off have 3-5 heads or even
          more, the poor keep 0-1 head by sharing with their relatives. There are only several households that
          are too poor to obtain the animal. The pig growth is too slow to bring profit because of poor
          investment. In average, a piglet needs 1-3 years to reach the weight of 60-80 kg for sale. As people
          express, pig raising is not profitable but a good saving way for big occasions. Poultry is raised
          mainly for self-consumption ( dead anniversary, wedding, Tet holiday and so on) as the disease is
          regular outspread and farmers have no measure to reduce the risks.
      Forestry: 100% of households are involved in extracting bamboo for cash. The poor go to forest
          year-round. Most of products are harvested on SFE‟s forest land, as a result these forests are more
          degraded than the household‟s ones. Usually, the strong men are able to earn 15,000 dong per day,
          the women gather other NTFPs (bark, leaves, herbs) and have lower earning, which ranges between
          5,000-10,000 dong per day.
 Households sell their products or at the village or in town market. For example, bamboo sold at village at
     1000 dong/bunch. In the later case, several people form a group to transport their bamboo along Ba Che
     river to the town and sell directly to the long-way traders and they are able to obtain a difference of 400
     dong/bunch. This price is much lower than the middlemen who transport bamboo by truck (1700
     dong/bunch).
 Both villages have no off-farm activities. Villagers buy their basic needs in several small shops in
     commune center and for that, they should cross the river. The grinder machines obtained by several
     households mainly for their own use and have the customers occasionally. As reported by an owner of
     machine, he manages to earn about 60,000 dong yearly from the business as most households or have no
     rice or use the old way of rice husking.
 Household expenditure. The cost for cereal is biggest and also a daily worry of households. The
     spending for education is lowest. In average, it costs a pupil of grade 1 about 60,000-70,000 dong/year
     to buy books. The notebooks and school fees are subsidized. The amount is considered to be very big by




                                                                                                         - 19 -
    Long Toong households (the whole village has only 6 children follow grade 2). The health care is free of
    charge. However, due to low skill of local medicine staffs, if someone suffers from serious sickness and
    should be shifted to the district hospital, the cost will be high (transportation, gifts to hospital staffs etc.).
    After the case, family economy falls in difficulty many years before it is able to recover. The superstition
    is widespread in the area and the wizard is often invited to cure the seriously illness and the cost for his
    visit is as high as 200,000-300,000 dong. The expenditure for customs and social relationship is too high
    (weddings, man recognition ceremony) and it requires household to accumulate for many years.
- Information sources. No one from the interviewed know about the assistance projects (except PAM and
    SCF), not saying of the national upland development policies. They also do not pay much attention to the
    mass organizations of the village and commune. They receive the assistance without any care of from
    where it come and with what objectives. Their sources of information come from the village head,
    traders and neighbors. Their outside contact is very limited.
- Credit. All the surveyed households lack of capital. The better-off need it for expanding production, the
    poor need to buy food, upgrade their houses and partly for production inputs. However, there are the
    households having access to preferential loan but refuses to receive it because of lacking idea of what
    business to carry and whether they are able to return it.
 Thinking of their poverty, each one brings up the different causes, adding them up in order of importance
    as following:
     Life for last 2 years is getting better, nonetheless, the households still think of only how to have
          sufficient food. As a result, there is no place for care for long-term investment, children education
          and other comforts.
     The village are poor because of little cultivated land, no irrigation and poor crop protection from
          damage caused by buffaloes.
     High birth rate
     Poor health that results in inability to go to forest for earning
     Inability to identify what activities to be taken to get off poverty. Thinking of planting cinnamon,
          but uncertain in product marketing possibility
     Lack of cash to buy buffaloes.
3.2.3.2                 Differences           between          Thac        Lao       and        Long        Toong
interviewed households
 Although the literacy level in two villages is not much in difference, but in Thac Lao people are more
    fluent in Kinh (no translation is needed for household interview). The poor in Thac Lao, despite their
    illiteracy, still remember how much of land and trees they have, take better care of the planted crops,
    while in Long Toong the households do not know exactly of their property, take less care of the planted.
 In average, Thac Lao households own the forest land two times more than in Long Toong.
3.2.3.3.            Similarities of the better-off
 As in Dong Lam, they are the village long-time inhabitants inheriting the assets from their parents (house
    and buffaloes) and having the larger areas of good cultivated and forest land, which locate in places
    convenient for agricultural and forestry practicing and material transportation.
 The literacy level is a bit higher than the poor ( or wife or husband or both attended school for 1-4 years).
    They remember well the areas of their land, the date and number of trees planted and show a good care
    of them.
 Having the strong male labors for bamboo extraction
 Haft of the better-off in Long Toong are thank to salary and the other haft have had income from selling
    sandalwood. In Thac Lao, those households in list of the better-off have the cinnamon and sandalwood
    for sale.
3.2.3.4             Similarities of the poor households
The poor households usually have several of the following characteristics:
 One hundred percent of the poor interviewed in both village are illiterate (both of wife and husband).
 Limited land (both agricultural and forest land).




                                                                                                               - 20 -
   Some households have just been separated from their parent and have no support from them as they are
    too poor as well.
   Lack of capital for production investment. Nonetheless, some households have chance to get loan but
    refuses or use ineffectively (raised pigs but they died).
   Leading by women households
   Households that previously had one of its members suffered from a serious illness, consequently, had to
    bear high cost for treatment and felt in debt.

3.3.       LUONG MONG COMMUNE OF BA CHE DISTRICT
3.3.1. Overview of the commune social and economic conditions
Luong Mong is a remotest commune and connected to district town by a tertiary road accessible only to high-
floored cars in dry seasons (map 3).
The commune inhabitants settle in groups which are not far from each other. Thank to that, the involvement
of people into community activities are much easier.
The statistical data of land use and infrastructures such as road, healthcare, schools, communication are
described in annex 1.
There is no telephone line connected the commune to outside areas, consequently, communication is rather
difficult.
According to the commune statistics, the illiteracy has been eradicated and now a new policy issued to make
compulsory general education at grade 2. All commune citizen are fluent in Kinh.
Box 3.3.1: Some statistic of Luong Mong literacy level
At present, the commune has 51 people passed the vocational training, 6 graduates of high school but do not go back to
work for commune. Thirty people originated from commune are working as government staff at district and provincial
levels, some of them hold the important positions. The commune birth rate is below 2%.
The living standard of Luong Mong is highest of Ba Che. The annual cereal production equivalent to rice is
400 kg per head. The commune is not only self-sufficient in rice, but has big surplus of other cereal for
livestock husbandry. As said by the vice-chairman of commune, livestock development is still not adequate
(although much better than other communes of Ba Che) while other cereal such as maize, cassava and sweet
potato have no market. The forest products are very important cash income source of commune. currently,
200 ha of forest land is under cinnamon planted continuously since eighties with major part from 1996. The
pine forest area is 260 ha managed by SFE with annual resin production of 120 ton. Furthermore, households
have other source of cash income from natural products on the forest land allocated to them such as canarium
resin.
The trading with Son Dong district of Bac Giang province is more intensive than with Ba Che. It is one of
few mountainous communes, which have a bazaar working every ten days. Farmers may sell their products
at village or at commune market or even take them to An Chau town of Son Dong. The commune has almost
all services needed for living and these businesses are concentrated mainly in two villages located in
commune center.
Currently Ba Che SFE manages 3,993 ha, while the commune manages 1,094.69 ha which has been
allocated to households.
Luong Mong gets a lot of assistance from the governments at different levels and similar to the other
surveyed communes, the commune has chance to participate only into some projects, but not all (see box
below).
Box 3.3.2: Assistance provided to Luong Mong for last two decades
   For over last ten years, the households receive seedlings and money to plant cinnamon, fruit trees, canarium from
    different projects like 327, AFE, RB etc. If households produce seedlings themselves, they will get reimbursement.
-   Program 135 funded for construction of the main road connecting the villages, of health care station, market, school,
    safe drinking wells and some irrigation systems. Total fund for irrigation systems was 700 million dong. Besides
    these, there are numerous small funding projects.
-   Project 325: many households get loans, 3 million dong per each with total amount of 320 million (>50 % of
    households)




                                                                                                                  - 21 -
The difficulties identified by the commune:
 Very poor road and far distance from cities and towns result in difficulty for marketing products.
 Poor communication
 Difficult to lift up the literacy level as the secondary school locates in Ba Che town 46 km away.
 The cinnamon price declines continuously, while there is no demand for litchi and logan.
Identified strategies :
 So far cinnamon is still an important cash crop, simultaneously the commune CP support farmers to
     plant canarium and conduct the star anise development trial.
 Promotion on livestock husbandry
 Off-farm activity development
Six of eight commune villages are situated on both sides of the main road and only two remainders are not
accessible to cars. Khe Giay and Dong Cau are selected for study by the commune authorities. Khe Giay is
one of 3 villages having highest income, while its infrastructure is poor (located far from the road 5 km) and
its agricultural land is limited. Dong Cau is endowed with the better natural condition and good infrastructure,
but still income of its people is lower.
3.3.2. PRA results of Khe Giay and Dong Cau
3.3.2.1.            Similarities of two villages
- The number of households in two villages are relatively stable for last decade. Some households of Dong
     Cau migrated to the South. In Khe Giay, 2 households also shifted to other places in the difficult period
     of village. Some people working for government come back to village again. there are several families
     desiring to settle in Khe Giay but no permission is provided to any new comers by its inhabitants.
- Similarly to other communes, the agricultural land has been allocated without reserving a common fund.
     The new families emerged after land allocation should depend on their parent sharing. Most of them try
     to expand the cultivation land, however, this land often are suitable for cassava or maize only.
- Except forest land allocated to households, the remainders is said to be of Ba Che SFE. In average, each
     household gets 4-5 ha. The forest area allocated to households is not equal, however, land allocation was
     conducted with participation therefore no complain of injustice from the interviewed is noticed (see table
     and box below).
Table 3.3.1: Development history and land reform in Khe Giay and Dong Cau

                                                       Dong Cau                            Khe Giay
 Date of first settlement                                  1968                              1978,
 Ethnic group                                 Dao Thanh phan, 1-2% of Kinh            Similar to Dong Cau
                                                 and Tay due to marriage
 Current number of households                               28                                21
 Date of joining to Luong Mong cooperative                 1968                              1978
 Date of separating of Luong Mong             1982 separated to Join Bai Lieu    1981 separated to establish the
 cooperative                                           cooperative                     own cooperative
 Disintegration     of    cooperative   and                1994                              1993
 replacement by village head regime
 land allocation by production contract                    1982                              1982
 Permanent agricultural land allocation                    1992                              1989
 Average area of paddy field per head                     310 m2                            220 m2
 Forest land allocation                                    1997                                 1997
 Number of households having no forest land    3 HHs due to set-up after 1997    2 HHs having no land allocated
                                                                                   but still using SFE‟s land to
                                                                                          plant cinnamon.
 Largest area/household                                     7 ha                                12 ha
 smallest area/household                                  3-3,5 ha                               3 ha




                                                                                                            - 22 -
Box 3.3.3: PRA’s opinion on the forest land allocation and land tenure in Luong Mong commune
Khe Giay PRA: the villagers are unaware of how much of forest land the village owns except those allocated to
households. In the past, the forest was rich in high value species. A lot of people from Bac Giang province came to
exploit products. Khe Giay formed a team to protect the areas that it thought to be under its tenure. Since moment people
knew that all forests belong to SFE, the team dispersed and resources of natural forests exhaust fast.
Dong Cau PRA: the district and commune officials came to village for meeting on how to allocate land. An agreement
was reached that land division should be based on plots. However, the topography is very complicate. There are the big
plots and the small ones. The households received land with satisfaction. Later, some of them change land with each
other and just make a note for commitment.
-  Most of forest land are under cinnamon. The seedlings are partly provided by the projects and partly
   produced by farmers themselves. As estimated, one third of forest land of Khe Giay is covered by
   cinnamon. Currently, a number of households are trying to produce star anise and canarium seedlings to
   plant on their land.
Box 3.3.4: PRA’s opinion of assistance approach and its effectiveness
Dong Cau PRA. The government gives seedlings to us to plant as it is afraid that if money is provided we will use for
another purposes. We want the government to support us in raising pigs, chicken and buffaloes. Seedlings given will die
without proper care. The training on how to plant litchi was provided to villagers, but frost often happen in winter that kill
the planted. Furthermore, litchi is used only for self-consumption, there is no market for the product
-  The income source from off-farm activities is very small. In both villages, several households keep a
   small shops to sell the basic needs to households in village.
- People are not aware of national and provincial development policies. They know only that they are not
   obligated to pay agriculture tax.
- The support from all the projects are divided equally to households, regardless the better-off or the poor.
- All farmers have attended the training on planting techniques of litchi, logan, cinnamon and rice. There is
   still no training on livestock raising.
- The households obtain livelihood information from the commune CP, AFE, traders, the relatives
   working as government staffs etc. Some people in Khe Giay go themselves to other places to find market
   information of products, techniques of tree planting (star anise, canarium) and produce the good nurseries
   of these species themselves.
3.3.2.2.          PRA differences between two villages

                              Dong Cau                                                   Khe Giay
Date      of In 1968, 7 households came from Thac                      After retirement, Mr. Ban Hung went to Khe
village      Lao by suggestion of Mr. Ban Hung – a                    Giay to explore the area. In 1977, he
formation    secretary of Ba Che PEC, but then 3                      managed to persuade several families from
             households shifted to other place due to                 Thanh Son to shift to Khe Giay. In 1982,
             much difficulty.                                         number of households increased to twelve.
Income       Agriculture: the cereal is for subsistence               Agriculture: productivity of cereal is
sources      and livestock. In average households are in              increasing. Most of households have surplus
             short of rice 1-2 months/year                            for livestock husbandry. Two households
             Livestock husbandry: each household has                  have some rice shortage but manage to
             1-2 buffaloes, 1-4 pigs. It takes about one              balance by other cereal.
             year for a piglet to reach weight for sale               Livestock husbandry: similar to Dong Cau
             (60-100 kg). No profit obtained from                     Forestry: cinnamon is a main income source
             chicken raising due to regular disease                   as it is planted continuously since eighties. In
             epidemic, so they are mainly for self-                   2001, average, income from cinnamon is 3
             supply.                                                  million dong/household. Although cinnamon
             Forestry: there is 30 ha cinnamon, but only              is sold to Bac Giang but the village still
             5 households have income from the                        collect 4% of income to pay as the land tax to
             product.                                                 the district
             Pine resin tapping: 13 households sign                   Canarium: resin is tapped from naturally



                                                                                                                      - 23 -
              contract to tap resin for Ba Che SFE.           growing trees in the allocated forest. As pine
               Some households have contract to protect       resin, canarium provides regular income
              natural forest for Ba Che SFE with price of     year-round 100,000-200,000 dong/month per
              39,000 dong/ha/year                             household
Product       Price of pine resin paid by SFE is too low
price         (box 3.3.4)
Facilities of 4 motorbikes, 5 television, 5 grinder           11 motorbikes, 5 televisions, 11 grinder
value of the machines, 1 rice-plucking machine                machines, 3 rice-plucking machine. Most of
village                                                       households have small hydroelectric
                                                              generators
Identified problems of village
- Lack of capital                                     -   Very bad road, which is inaccessible to car. In
- Regular chicken disease epidemic                        rainy season, even motorbike can not be used
- Low literacy level                                      despite the villagers have made a lot of effort in
                                                          upgrading it.
- The old rice variety is low-productivity, the
    new one is as costly as 20,000 dong/kg after      -   The forest boundary is not clear (with SFE) and
    the cut off 7000 dong/kg as transportation            the disadvantages is on side of villagers
    subsidy                                           -   There is no safe drinking system
- The improved maize variety is not applicable        -   There is still a lot of difficulty for children
    due to poor investment in fertilizers and             education
    irrigation.                                       -   Price of new rice variety is too high
- Lack of expertise in cultivation practice,          -   Areas of forest land allocated to households are
    limited land, high density of population and          too limited
    underemployment
Identified strategies
No strategy identified. What other villages do        Forestry development with cinnamon and canarium
Dong Cau will follow                                  as the strategic cash crops, simultaneously to conduct
                                                      trial on planting star anise
Recommendations to government
No recommendation                                    - To allocate more forest land to households
                                                     - The support of government is not clear, no
                                                       participation (box 3.3.3). The villagers suggest
                                                       government to allow them to participate in all
                                                       supporting to commune and village projects.
                                                     - District AFE has provided only training on rice
                                                       cultivation. The people want it to assist in livestock
                                                       raising
Criteria of wealth ranking
The better-off: brick-constructed house, good         The better-off:       tile-roofed house, motorbike,
education for children, motorbike or grinder          television, grinder or rice plucking machine, many
machine, > 4 ha cinnamon                              cinnamon fields, > 2 buffaloes.
The average: tile-roofed house, > 1 buffalo, self-    The average: tile-roofed house, grinder machine, 1-2
sufficient in food                                    buffaloes, smaller cinnamon fields
The poor: leave-roofed and soiled-constructed         The poor: leave-roofed house, 1 buffalo, some
wall house, 1 buffalo, some shortage in food.         shortage in food, no other comforts.
Result of wealth ranking
The better-off: 5 HHs, making up 17,8%.               The better-off : 11 HHs, making up 52,4%
All of them are initiative
The average: 13 HHs, making up 46,4 %                 The average: 8 HHs, making up 38%




                                                                                                         - 24 -
 The poor: 10 HHs, making up 37,7% ( one is too The poor : 2 HHs, making up 9,5%, due to having
 old, 8 due to having many children, slowness or too much children and slowness in household
 recent marriage, one is due to husband being in business
 prison
                     28 HHs                                        21 HHs

 Box 3.3.5: PRA’s opinion on the effectiveness of assistance projects
Khe Giay PRA: the villagers have no chance to participate in many assistance projects and most of them are low in
effectiveness. For example, we need the government support us only some fund and a technical expert, for the remainders
such as gravel, sand, labors etc. we are able to manage ourselves. This way enable us to supervise the work quality and to
create job opportunities to the local labor force. The second example is the training on technique of cinnamon planting.
This technique is suitable to the areas with lower slope degree, but not this locality. One more example is of road
construction. The district PC funded 100 million dong to construct 3 km of tertiary road connected the village to the
commune main road. Ba Che SFE was a contractor. The road was completed with very poor quality and used only by
pedestrians. The villagers had to make an another road for bike and motorbike.


 Box 3.3.6: PRA’s opinion of SFE’s power in buying the pine resin
 Dong Cau PRA: the price of pine resin paid to the farmers by SFE is only 1900 dong/kg. We do not know how much
 SFE sells to the pine resin processing factory, but we repeatedly request it to increase the buying price. It refuses saying
 that if we do not accept the offered price, the labor from Dinh Lap will be recruited to do the job.


 Table 3.3.2: PRA opinion on the role and effectiveness of village authorities and assistance projects in
 village development .
 Names               Dong Cau                                                        Khe Giay
                                     Activities and effectiveness                          Activities and effectiveness
 Village head        Regular meeting held and all household are informed to          Activities of village head and mass
                     attend. The term of village head is two- year.                  organizations are well coordinated.
 VAB                 Only few members. They hold regular meeting, help each          regular meeting is held with
                     other and have contribution (suggestion) to village             participation of all villagers. The
                     development                                                     households have good sense of
                                                                                     solidarity, help each other in difficult
 NFB                 Regular meeting held to discuss of how to improve
                                                                                     moment. The village has a fund
                     livelihoods, to advice the villagers to unite in poverty
                                                                                     contributed by villagers to help those
                     reduction front.
                                                                                     suffering from serious sickness or
 YUB                 Regular meeting held to discuss of economy                      accidents.
                     development and help village in hard works
 WUB                 Hold meeting two times yearly and discuss only of
                     family planning.
 FAB                  The head of village is also the head of FAB, so it is
                     difficult for people to distinguish the activities of village
                     or of FAB.
 PC                  Only 3 members. As usually, they are leaders and have
                     an important role in making decisions.
 RB project          Supported households in planting cinnamon. Money is             Similar to Dong Cau
                     allocated equally to households, 12,000 dong per each
 Poverty             Provided tiles for house roofing in 1994                        Similar to Dong Cau
 alleviation
 program
  PAM                Supported households to plant cinnamon in 1997-1999.            Similar to Dong Cau
  Program 135        Construction of road, safe drinking water system,               Some irrigation and road. Quality is
                     irrigation. Outsiders did all these works .                     poor and little of use.
 Project 325         Many households get loan with an amount of 3 million            All households get loan, except 4
                     dong.                                                           better-off refusing as having no need




                                                                                                                       - 25 -
AFE               In 1997, AFE provided the litchi seedling sufficient to   In 2002, each household got 10
                  plant haft of hectare per household. In 2002, each        persimmon and 5 logan seedlings
                  household got 10 percinmom and 4 logan seedlings.
Health station    Provided health care free of charge                       Similar to Dong Cau
School grade 1    There is school in each village                           Similar to Dong Cau
      grade 2     One school in the center of commune


3.3.3.           Household economy study in Khe Giay and Dong Cau
Total number of households interviewed is 16, including 5 poor and 4 better-off in Dong Cau, and 4 better-
off and 2 poor and 1 that has just passed poverty line.
3.3.3.1 Similarities of all the interviewed households
Despite the differences in wealth, these households also have many thing in common:
- The literacy level of the interviewed ranges between 1-4 of school years, some cases are illiterate or
     reilliterate (although the statistical data of the commune CP show no illiterate existing in commune). All
     people are fluent in Kinh.
- Birth rate is lower compared to other surveyed communes. Regardless of the better-off or the poor,
     households have 2-5 children, most have 3 and only one case has 5. All the children of school age go to
     school of grade 1 or 2 in commune. The better care is taken for the children education.
- Thank to good irrigation system and sufficient fertilizers, rice productivity has increased considerably
     and allowed the rice self-sufficiency to households (despite of PRA result saying of rice shortage of the
     poor households). There is only one case having little rice shortage but manages to balance by other
     cereals.
- Livestock husbandry. the income from livestock husbandry of the poor and the better-off are similar.
     Each household keeps 1-2 buffaloes mainly to plough field and 1-4 pigs. Thank to cereal surplus, growth
     of pig is better and it takes only less then one year for piglet reaching weight for sale (60-100 kg). As
     other communes, poultry is poorly developed due to regular diseases, as a result, the produce is
     insufficient for the commune demand.
3.3.3.2              Similarities of the better-off of both villages
- They are usually the first village inhabitants and plant cinnamon since 1980 and have cinnamon for sale
     since early nineties. At present, these households own much larger cinnamon fields of different age and
     every year have cash income from this product (box below). Their cinnamon fields are often very close
     to their house and therefore easier to manage.
Box 3.3.7: An example of the better-off household earning income from cinnamon
Two better-off households interviewed in Dong Cau: one harvested 2 ton of cinnamon in 2001 and sold for 9,000
dong/kg, the other sold one ton at the same price. So ,only from cinnamon, they earned 9-18 million dong.
-    In Dong Cau, beside the same amount of forest land allocated to them as the others (this land is far from
     village and it take one hour of walking to reach the place), each better-off has a gardens of 3-5 ha and all
     are planted cinnamon long time back.
- Thank to income from cinnamon, the better-off in both villages are able to invest in long-term business
     (such like hiring labors to plant more cinnamon and canarium), to buy facilities used for agriculture
     practice and improving their living.
- The location in favorable place and good savings have allowed some better-off in Dong Cau to shift
     gradually to secondary activities such as providing services to other villagers in plucking rice, grinding
     floor, transportation and so on.
3.3.3.3            Differences between the poor in two villages
There are many thing different between the poor in Dong Cau and the poor in Khe Giay. The findings from
interviewing six poor households in Dong Cau show that they also have a lot of thing in similar. Putting in
order of similar degree, they are following:
 Fifty percent of the interviewed households have or wife or husband illiterate or reilliterate




                                                                                                          - 26 -
  Having the much smaller area of agricultural and forest land. The forest land is far from their house that
   is not convenient for managing.
 Being sufficient in rice, some of them have surplus for sale and livestock raising.
 Getting equal benefits from support projects such as cinnamon seedlings, money, sufficient litchi
   seedlings to plant 0.5 ha and other crops as mentioned above.
 Their cinnamon fields are still too young to bring income
 The income from pine resin and canarium (from their allocated forest) tapping of each household ranges
   between 100,000 dong to 500,000 dong monthly. It is very important cash income used to cover
   expenditure for daily needs and children education. Currently, 46,5% of households have contract with
   Ba Che SFE to tap pine resin. They are in list of the poor or the average.
 The poor usually work seasonally for the better-off, but employment is scare.
Box 3.3.8: An example of the poor considered by PRA group as a slow
Trieu Duc Minh of Dong Cau. The family has 4 members (wife is illiterate) and owns 900 m2 of paddy field. This
land used to face the drought and provided very unstable and low production. The constructed in 2001 irrigation system
has allowed rice self-sufficiency to household. Beside the agricultural land, it owns 2 ha of forest land, but the area has
been planted with cinnamon by other villager and now he should wait until this cinnamon is harvested. In 2002, he
produced himself 1500 cinnamon seedlings (then he got compensation 200 dong/seedling) to plant on SFE‟s land, but
now the later does not allow anymore. He has not got loan (from the 325) and he wants it very much for upgrading his
house. The poverty cause identified by the couple are incurable sickness of husband. Their all hope is put on the planted
cinnamon
.




                                                                                                                     - 27 -
   Loans provided by the 325: one case has got loan to buy buffalo, two others want to borrow but should
    wait, 3 remainders are afraid of failure to return it. All of these cases intend to use loan for upgrading
    their houses.
 All of them have attended training courses as mentioned above.
 Despite of receiving a lot of assistance, no one know the name or aims of projects, who are beneficiaries.
    They say the government gives and we take. Logan and persimmon have just been planted, hence so far
    no result is clear. Litchi is dying a lot of frost, the survivors have brought fruits, which can not be
    marketed. Now their hope is put on cinnamon.
 Five of six households are poor because of reasons relating to healthcare (serious sickness, difficulty in
    having child). Their expenditure for treatment in the district hospital is high (transportation, gifts to
    hospital‟s staff) but no result so far. Their suggestion to government is somehow to create opportunity for
    them to solve their problems or to have a good medicine doctor in the commune health care station.
The study of two poor that are considered to be slow and lazy and one has just passed poverty line in Khe
Giay shows:
- Only one case is lazy and has no planning in household economy development
- The owners of two remainders are hard-working people (see box below)
Box 3.3.9: The economy status of a man considered to be slow by Khe Giay PRA

Ban Linh, the poor in Khe Giay: A leaf- roofed house with wall made of soil, but it is big and clean, a large cemented
yard, a kitchen and the stable for pigs and buffalo. The household is self-sufficient in food, however, it very economizes
in other expenditures as its five children go schooling. Beside working on their allocated land, the couple often work for
the better-off in village with rate of 20,000 dong per day. The poverty causes identified by him are lack of capital and too
many children.
   The poor in Khe Giay get regular support from village authorities and their neighbors. The advises of
    how to improve income are provided and also their names are always the first of beneficiary list of
    assistance projects.
   Differing from the poor in Dong Cau, Khe Giay poor people have a good knowledge of the assistance
    sources provided to them.

3.4.      HUC DONG COMMUNE OF BINH LIEU DISTRICT
3.4.1. Overview of social and economic condition of commune
Huc Dong is ranked as the poorest of Binh Lieu, despite the fact that it locates in between two communes,
Quang Lam and Hoanh Mo, which specialized in growing cinnamon and star anise and enjoy the high
income from these commodities (see map 3).
The statistical data of land use and infrastructures as road, healthcare, schools, communication are described
in annex 1.
The commune CP has no statistical of literacy level of its people at different ages. Its general opinion is low
literacy level of the adults. At the working age, there are only 15 people having attended the grade 2 and 12
people attended the secondary school.
As mentioned above of Quang Ninh new policy for strengthening commune governing capacity, a new
secretary of PC and a head of commune police are sent to Huc Dong by the district to replace the local ones.
Huc Dong receives much assistance for last four decades (box below) and as the other surveyed, the
commune CP also has no opportunity to participate in some programs such as 135.
Box 3.4.1: The assistance programs implemented or being implemented in Huc Dong commune
-   RB project supported to plant tung oil and so trees in1964-1965 on large scale
-   Program 135 funded for construction of healthcare station, market, school, some irrigation systems. Only in 2001,
    the total fund was 500 million dong and in 2002 – 400 million dong.
-   Project 325 provided 40 million dong in 2002 (loan free of interest)
-   Leaf-roofed house eradication project provided fibrocement tiles to households
-   RB project provided fertilizers in 2002
-   PAM (1996-2001) gave each household the sufficient seedlings and rice to plant one hectare of star anise




                                                                                                                      - 28
                                                                                                                        -
-   Healthcare projects : vaccination for children, prevention of malnutrition, malaria etc.
The development policies for mountainous areas lead to some change in commune services which are mainly
for those living by salary. The number of people having income from government source in Huc Dong is
quite big: 48 teachers, 10 medicine staffs, about 20 people working as commune administrators, that is not
including the project staff and district officials coming on mission. At the gate of commune CP headquarter, a
small restaurant has been established to serve these staffs and it is very busy at all working days in week.
The causes of commune poverty identified by the commune authorities are following:
 Lack of capital for production investment
 Limited cultivated land, furthermore, the soil is very infertile
 Two of seven villages are inaccessible to any type of vehicles. For most of remainders, cars are able to
     reach the villages or close to them only, as households are located very scattered on the mountain slopes
     and they are connected to each other or to the commune center only by the tracks. With this type of
     inhabitation, it is rather difficult for the current life style.
 Lack of cultivation expertise. Many households are poor in economy management. The district AFE
     provides support in advanced techniques and improved crop varieties, but low level literacy has limited
     the achievements.
 Crop productivity is unstable because of lack of good irrigation system, while the area topography is too
     diverse with high rocky slope and numerous gorges resulting in leaking and short durability of the
     constructions.
 Products are not diverse, small in volume and poor in quality
 Under-development of off-farm activities, just several shops selling the basic needs, but working
     irregularly due to too small number of customers. The market was constructed by 135 fund, but has not
     been used yet. In order to obtain big purchase, people have to go to town market 20 km away.
The commune CP identified strategies:
- To plant again edible canna. The crop was planted for sale in the past with annual production of over 100
     tons. However, now the raw material price is too low (300 dong/kg), while the processed one
     (vermicelli) is high (13,000-14,000 dong/kg). The commune authorities are seeking away to support
     farmers in processing product for income and employment generation.
- To develop some promising products such as cardamom, imported bamboo species for shoot, bee
     keeping and goat raising.
Luc Ngu and Khe Mo are selected for study by the commune authorities. In comparing to Luc Ngu, Khe Mo
has a similar natural condition and better road, but lower income.

3.4.2.      PRA results in Luc Ngu and Khe Mo
3.4.2.1 Similarities of Luc Ngu and Khe Mo
As usually, two villages are in one commune with inhabitants of the same ethnic minority group,
consequently, they have many in common
 In the period of resistance war against French colony, Huc Dong was an important rear supporting the
     resistant force to liberate Binh Lieu town in Nov. 1950. In the war with USA, many people of both
     villages went to front and in the border war with China in 1979, Huc Dong was assembly area for
     evacuation and each of its families should host several families of refugees.
 Households in both villages themselves want to migrate to better places but lack of opportunities. The
     number of Luc Ngu households at the date of cooperative establishment was 37 compared to 12 of Khe
     Mo, now this figure reaches about 80 in both villages. Khe Mo has no migration, while 5 families of Luc
     Ngu shifted to other areas. Luc Ngu people also do not allow the new comers because of limited
     agricultural land.
 At the initial stage of collective life, the living of households was improved. The main source of income
     was from water rice cultivation in terrace fields..
 Deferring to other surveyed communes, some agricultural land fund is left and put forth for households
     to bid contract.


                                                            29
Table 3.4.1: Development history and land reform of Luc Ngu and Khe Mo

                                                                 Luc Ngu                   Khe Mo
 History of village formation                             Long time ago, nobody       Similar to Luc Ngu
                                                                remember
 Ethnic group                                                ~ 100% San chi             ~ 100% San chi
 Current number of households                               79 (168 people )            70 (404 people )
 Date of mutual help group formation                           1959-1960                  1959-1960
 Date of cooperative formation                                 1963 - 1964                1963 - 1964
 Land allocation by production contract                            1987                       1987
 Disintegration of cooperative                                     1996                       1996
 Reallocation of agricultural land per head                        1996                       1996
 Average area of paddy field per head                             400m2                      370 m2
 Average area of highland field per head                          200 m2                 no calculation
 Forest land allocation to households                              1996                       1996
 Largest area/household                                            5 ha                      2,5 ha
 smallest area/household                                           1 ha                       1 ha
 Total area of village forest land                            Do not know                    110 ha
 Total area allocated to households                         Has not added up
 Pine forest of Binh Lieu SFE                                    No idea                    No idea
  Forest land was managed by SFE and RB of the district. In 1964, RB provided seedlings and 400 kg of
   rice to farmers for one planted hectare of tung oil and so trees. When trees brought fruits, the district
   bought products for only one year and then stopped. People had to process so oil for self-consumption
   and later, since ninety decade, they gradually chop down trees and now in the whole commune about 34
   ha as estimated is left.
 Life of people in both villages was very hard until agricultural land allocation by production contract in
   1987 and especially has improved for last several years. Despite of that, many households still face food
   shortage and have to balance it by other substitute such like cassava, taro etc. (box below)
Box 3.4.2. PRA assessments of villager life
Khe Mo PRA. Life now is much better. Previously, we should eat cassava gruel, now we have rice porridge. Some
households even have rice for dinner.

                                                                                                           2
  Although the paddy field per head is not so small, but the productivity is very low (200 kg/1000 m ) as
  the fields is terraced with high slope and erosion, while households are unable to provide the adequate
  inputs. Furthermore, the fields are very rocky therefore the real cultivated area is much smaller that it is
  showed by statistical data. Major part of fields is poorly irrigated to rotate two crops yearly, as
  consequence, there is no stable productivity.
 At the early nineties, some initiative households learned experience from their neighbor communes to
  plant star anise and cinnamon. Their inputs have brought the return since last several years. This
  achievement encourages other households in commune to follow the example. Besides their own
  investment, several assistance projects as mentioned above also support households to develop these
  products, which are now the hope for a better life of Huc Dong people.
 The commune has no statistical data of village income. The income sources provided by PRA group are
  following:
   Crop cultivation: the produce is entirely for subsistence
   Livestock husbandry: in average, each household keeps 1-2 buffaloes for field ploughing and sell
       them only when they too old or when in very acute need. Pig is also unprofitable business and it is
       considered just a type of saving for big things or evens. In average, each household is able sell a pig
       of 50-100 kg annually at price of 9,000 dong/kg. It is clear that profit from this activity is small as
       the piglet cost is about 200,000-250,000 dong, not calculating of other input such as food,
       vaccination etc. As all the other surveyed communes, poultry raising is suffered to much from
       diseases, so income from this husbandry is low. The commune has no veterinary shop providing

                                                     30
        materials for disease treatment. When there is need, people should go to the town. The commune has
        program of vaccinating all buffaloes periodically, but no such thing for pigs.
   Forestry: Pine resin tapping for Binh Lieu SFE..
   Salary and subvention: there are only several households having this type of income as their
        members work for commune or as disabled veterans.
 All households need loan for production investment. Procedure for getting loan from agricultural bank
   is complicate and it requires the collateral. It may take many months and high cost (transportation and
   other fees) to obtain loan. Loan of project 325 is limited and very few have access to it (box 3.4.1).
 Information sources for economy development:
    Television: about 20% of households obtain televisions – the very old black and white ones, but
        there is often no electricity to watch as small hydraulic generators work only when water is
        sufficient.
    Newspaper: heads of village and PC get newspaper one time/month (Agriculture and Rural
        Development Magazine). Any villager like to read it is welcome, but very few of them show their
        interest in reading.
    From village authorities after they attended meetings organized by the commune. The degree of
        exacting information depends too much on their capacity of listening and noting down.
    The sources of information from community, traders, relatives or friends in other areas are most
        important for their livelihood identification.
3.4. 2.2.              Differences in PRA of two villages

                        Luc Ngu                                                Khe Mo
Luc Ngu cooperative made a plan to support all
households in roofing their houses by tiles and 50 %
of plan was fulfilled.
Birth rate in Luc Ngu is lower than in Khe Mo
Village activities are well coordinated by authorities.   20 households signed contract to tap resin for SFE
There is equity on benefit sharing. Example, SFE          since 1992. Each household has about 800-1000 pine
signed contract with a number of households on            trees. The price paid to farmers by Binh Lieu SFE is
tapping pine resin in 1992. Recently, the authorities     2,500 dong/kg.
have had intervention to Binh Lieu SFE so that pine
trees are divided to all households.
                                                    Several very poor Khe Mo households go hunting
                                                    wildlife for Chinese market. Their earning is
                                                    insignificant as resource almost run out
Forestry: about 30% of households have cash income No one has earning from cinnamon and star anise.
from cinnamon and star anise with amount of 5-8
million dong/ year for the last several years
                                                    Just finishing crop harvest, men of many households
                                                    go to different areas such as Binh Lieu town, Quang
                                                    Lam, Hoanh Mo boarder gate to seek for jobs
Facilities of value
10 motorbikes of low cost, 20 grinder machines,     4 motorbikes of low cost, 5 grinder machines, 60% of
over 90% of households have small hydraulic         households have small hydraulic generators
generators
Poverty causes
Lack of capital                                     Lack of capital, but when loan access is available,
Difficulty in selling products due to poor road and people refuse because of fear in failing to return it.
low price offered.                                  Only 20 of 70 households dare to receive loan.



                                                      31
The advanced rice variety is high in cost that the      Low literacy level
poor can not afford despite the transportation          Limited agricultural land
subsidy provided by government.
The supported constructions are poor in quality and     Wedding custom is too costly (~ 10 million )
low in effectiveness due to much corruption
Difficulty in lifting up literacy level and no adequate Training of AFE is ineffective. the trainers are not
attention paid to solve the problem. All the teachers   enthusiastic in helping farmers.
in commune are outsiders and up to now, no one of
commune people attend the pedagogic school.
Previously, the people got healthcare insurance, but    Want to raise buffaloes but lack of capital and
now they have to pay for medicine.                      grazing field.
National policies are applied unequally in different
places. For instance, the assistance funds for disabled
veterans and relatives of martyr and etc. are lower
than compared to other districts.
How to make life better
- Upgrading the irrigation system for improving rice
   production
- Plant cinnamon and star anise trees
- Promotion on livestock husbandry
The suggestion to government
- Provide the preferential loans for livestock development To support households in resettlement inside the
- Allow farmers to directly participate in decision making commune – to go to the remoter villages to plant
   on how to use assistance funds of the 135. The national cinnamon and star anise. The households will
   government also should take good measures in invest labors and capital themselves.
   supervision for against corruption and improve the
   investment effectiveness.
- Better to train farmers on how to produce star anise
   seedlings than just to give them because this way enable
   farmers do it themselves and not dependent any more.
- Apply exactly the national policies for mountainous
   areas.
- It is not fair that San chi culture is not showed on
   television and radio in Hanoi, while the other ethnic
   minority groups have such opportunity. San chi people
   have no chance to contribute their opinions to
   parliament and decisions of national government. Huc
   Dong was once a revolution base, has good contribution
   in war against USA and China, but does not receive the
   adequate attentions .
Criteria of wealth ranking
The better-off: permanent constructed house, The better-off: permanent constructed house,
motorbike, television, grinder machine, > 2 motorbike, television, good furniture, grinder
buffaloes, cinnamon and star anise forest               machine, 3 buffaloes
The average: tile-roofed and soiled-made wall The average: tile-roofed and soiled-made wall
house, 1 or 2 buffaloes, cinnamon and star anise house, has 1-2 buffaloes, self-sufficient in food, has
forest but still young, has some comforts, self- or motorbike or television or grinder
sufficient in food
The poor: leave-roofed house, no buffalo, shortage in The poor: leave-roofed house, no buffalo, shortage in
food.                                                   food.


                                                    32
                                                              The hunger: dilapidated house, short in food year-
                                                              round
Result of wealth ranking
The Better-off: 12 HHs, making up 15,4%                    The Better-off: 11 HHs, making up 15,7%
 thank to salary and subvention: 3 HHs                     thank to salary and subvention: 2 HHs
 Initiative and inherited property: 9 HHs                  Initiative and inherited property: 9 HHs
The Average: 31 HHs, making up 39,6%                       The Average: 23 HHs, making up 31,5%
The poor: 35 HHs, making up 44,9%, causes:                 The poor: 25 HHs, making up 34,25%, causes :
 New separated and lack of capital: 15 HH                  New separated and lack of capital: 10 HHs
 Sickness and oldness: 5 HHs                               Sickness and oldness: 1 HH
 Slow and without initiative: 15 HHs                       Slow and without initiative: 14 HHs
                                                           The hunger: 14 HHs, making up 19,2 %, the causes:
                                                           early orphans, sickness, many children, slow and lazy.
                      78 HHs                                                       73 HHs

Table 3.4.2: PRA’s opinion on the roles of village authorities and effectiveness of assistance projects.
Names         Luc Ngu                                                       Khe Mo
              Activities and effectiveness                                  Activities and effectiveness
Village       Holding regular meetings and all farmers are informed to      Meeting is irregular. The head has been selected
head          participate. The term is two year.                            since 1996 with five- year- term.
VAB           There are 19 members. Regular meetings are organized          There are only two people and no activity
              and good activities coordinated with the other
              organizations for village development.
NFB           It has 5 members with responsibility in supervising the       No activities
              activities of the authorities and implementing the
              instructions of CNF. Activities are evaluated as very
              fruitful.
YUB           To help each other to avoid alcohol addiction and             Week activities, just implement the commune
              gambling, however, its activities are weakening for last      YU instructions
              few years and no regular meetings held.
WUB           Family planning, to help each other in difficult times.       Family planning, birth rate has declined
              Regular quarterly meetings held
FAB           Village head is also the head of FAB. Difficult to            There is no FAB
              distinguish the activities between the both.
PC            There are 16 party members, monthly meeting held, has         There are two people that is not sufficient to
              very important role in all village decision- making           form a Cell. So they have to join the other
                                                                            village members for party activities.
PAM           Supported each household to plant 1 ha of star anise and      Similar to Luc Ngu
              3-4 logan and litchi seedlings. All farmers know of PAM
              and consider the program very efficient.
Program       Funded for construction of healthcare station, market,        Funded for constructing 5 water inlet sluices.
135           school, repairing the irrigation canal of Luc Ngu and Po      After 3 months of their use, one has been
              Dan villages. The cost of each constructions is high, but     seriously damaged. 16 million dong provided to
              poor in quality and low efficient. The commune people         construct an irrigation canal. The villagers
              have no chance to participate in constructions. (box          contributed sand, gravel and labor. Money was
              3.4.3)                                                        used to buy cement. The construction was made
                                                                            under supervision of commune authorities
Project 325   It is called “poverty eradication project” by local people.   Similar to Luc Ngu
              As said by the secretary of PC, due to shortage of fund,
              not all households have access to loan.



                                                           33
Safe          28 households have got support to build safe water tank.     21 households benefited. The process of
drinking      At the first stage, the fund was sufficient to build only    beneficiary selection is similar to Luc Ngu.
water         few tanks and no household intend to give up and lot
project       drawing was used to solve the argument. On the second
              time, the commune CP made intervention with clear
              criteria which give preference to the disabled veterans,
              families of the war martyr and the poor.
AFE           District AFE provides training to the commune every          All the farmers attended one training course for
              year. Only few people have opportunity to attend it. As      haft day on cultivation techniques of new rice
              general opinion, the effectiveness of training is low. The   and maize varieties, but they are not able to
              trainees then do not disseminate the learned knowledge       apply as inputs for the advanced species are too
              to other villagers. The training usually are organized       high.
              without training materials and not all trainees managed
              to take good note.
Healthcare    The commune has good healthcare station, each village        Similar to Luc Ngu
station       has one nurse. Huc Dong people now have to pay for
              medicine.
School        There is school grade 1, but too small and living            There is school grade 1
grade 1       condition for teachers is very poor.
grade 2       At other side of the stream with no bridge connecting to     There is no difficulty for children to go to
              village. The pupil have a lot of difficulty to pass the      school grade 2
              stream in rainy season


Box 3.4.3 : PRA’s comments on quality of construction works funded by the 135 and how beneficiary
group is excluded of participation
Luc Ngu PRA: Only village authorities know of the 135. As said by secretary of PC, most of construction are poor of
quality. The headquarter of commune CP was repaired 3 times, healthcare station - 2 times and irrigation canal - 2 times.
According to the district, if construction cost is higher than 100 million, the outsiders will participate in bidding. The
commune level has chance to involve in when fund of construction is lower than the above limit. However, very few
construction projects are lower than 100 million, so the commune CP has the right only to supervise. The ordinary people
even do not have their voice. Some men were employed for manual work and if they expressed their comments, they got
sack immediately.
There is no good irrigation system for paddy fields. In the past, Luc Ngu and Po Dan villages together constructed an
irrigation canal of 5 km length and the RB supported only some dynamite to drilling the big rocks. This canal was used
for long time and damaged heavily. The issue was repeatedly raised to the district for about 10 years and the district
funded 3 times for amending it. The first time – 50 million, the second time – 160 million and the third one – 190 million
dong. However, durability of construction each time was less than one year and currently it fails to supply sufficient
water to about 200 ha of paddy field. Have we had been permitted to do it ourselves, we would have needed only 100
million dong?
Khe Mo PRA: The village was supported to build 5 water inlet sluices. These sluices were transported to the village. We
had no idea of how much the total cost of work was. Some people in village were hired to work for them for 12,000
dong per day. We estimated that each sluice cost just about 600,000-700,000 dong and one of these has spoiled after 3
months of use.


3.4.3.          Result of household economy study
Total number of households interviewed is 34, including 5 better-off and 10 poor in Luc Ngu, 5 and 14
respectively in Khe Mo.
3.4.3.1          Similarities of the interviewed households in two villages
All the interviewed households have the following points in common:
- Low literacy level of the adults. The people of middle age usually are 1-4 school years. The illiteracy is
      dominant for younger generation of age between 17-30 and reilliteracy is also a very common
      phenomenon. In the family, husband usually decides every thing and that causes a real difficulty for the
      team to conduct interview when the owner- husband of household was not available.



                                                           34
-  It is not exaggerated to say that San chi is a hard working and light-fingered ethnic minority group. Their
    livelihood is mainly subsistence. The households locate scattered on the slopes surrounded by their
    paddy fields and vegetable gardens. Livestock husbandry is partly for self-supplied and partly for
    market. People construct houses themselves, including the modern type of big two-floored brick
    houses. They have to buy only few materials that they are not able to produce themselves like steel and
    cement. They make all the wooden furniture themselves as well from timbers exploited in natural
    forests.
- The community sense of people is high. Whenever some body needs help, the others help by whatever
    they are able such like to building house for each other, lending money free of interest and time frame.
    Often, the loan is in material form and return is also in the same. For example, borrow of the pig will be
    return back by the same animal.
- Although the life is getting better, but in overall, people‟s concern, including the better-off, focuses only
    on how to get sufficient daily food and decent shelters. The main expenditure of households is just for
    buying salt, seasoning, fat, minimum clothing, inputs for production such like fertilizers, insecticide,
    seed and seedlings. Even the better-off are able to afford to buy only 2-3 kg of pork fat monthly. The
    expenditure for education and healthcare is lowest compared to the above mentioned items.
- The wedding ceremony is a costly custom that require the family of bride groom 7-8 million dong in
    average. After marriage, the family have to work hard to return debt for many years.
- Al the households surveyed have received preferential loans 4-5 year back and only few of them have
    returned. The remainders fail to return and from the principal of 2.5 million, the figure now is much
    higher adding up interest every year. Recently, national policy allow to last the loan for a 3 year-term
    and free of interest. The households got loans to invest in the following: livestock raising (pigs and
    buffaloes) and forest planting (cinnamon and star anise). Only few households used borrowed money
    for wedding ceremony and upgrading their house. When they need cash for basic needs or sickness
    expenditure, they usually borrow from their neighbors.
- The households receive loans, but have no ideas of from which source and why they were given loans.
    They were just asked by the village head to write a request and later received money from him.
- All the households have need to get more loan. Most of them intend to use loans for buying buffaloes
    and seedlings to plant forest. However, they do want to have free interest loans and refuse any loan with
    interest because of being afraid of failing to return them.
- Besides star anise seedlings provided by PAM, households buy them themselves in free market to plant
    or intend to plant but have no capital available yet. They choose this species because the neighbor
    communes have good income from them.
- As the general opinion, life is getting better since agricultural allocation and improved considerable for
    last several years with the different assistance projects.
3.4.3.2              Similarities and differences of the better-off in two
villages
 Except few households receiving salary and subvention, most of the better-off inherit the property
   (houses, buffaloes, land etc.) from their parents. Together with hard working and saving for many years,
   they obtain the better living. Their crop productivity is often higher because of better inputs in seeds and
   fertilizer.
 Considering the total wealth, Luc Ngu better-off are wealthier than Khe Mo ones as the formers have
   earned the cash income from cinnamon and star anise for last several years. Four richest households in
   Luc Ngu have constructed the modern two-floored houses by cash income from planted forest and good
   livestock husbandry.
3.4.3.3           Similarities of the poor in two villages
 They attend all the village meetings if being informed and like to participate in all village and commune
   activities. However, they usually keep quiet and only listen at meetings. Some of them have voice only
   when things are relating to them.
 As usual, most of the poor in both villages are considered as slow or lazy. The findings from survey
   show that general opinion is not always correct (see box below).


                                                      35
Box 3.4.4: The poor considered to be slow thinks of his problems
Tran Hoang B, Khe Mo village: I do not know the reasons of my poverty. I try to do as the others but often fail. I never
have the chance to attend any training. My life for last several year is not better as the expenditure for schooling of my
four children is too high.
   To different extent, every household identify their causes of poverty. The caused determined by them are
    not all the same, however, put them in order of similarity as following:
     Limited agricultural and forest land
     Infertile and poorly-irrigated agricultural land
     Lack of capital to invest in cultivation, livestock husbandry and forest planting
     Lack of expertise and access to livestock training.
     Some households think that their life is not better because of having too many children at school age,
         as a result the expenditure for them is too high.
     Forest land allocated is too far from houses that cause difficulty in protecting the planted from
         buffalo damages.

3.5.     QUANG LAM COMMUNE OF DAM HA DISTRICT
3.5.1. Overview of social and economic condition of Quang Lam
Quang Lam is one of two mountainous communes of Dam Ha and borders with Huc Dong by one mountain.
The statistical data of land use and infrastructures as road, healthcare, schools, communication are described
in annex 1.
Similar to other surveyed communes, Quang Lam commune CP has no literacy statistic of its people,
however, the survey show that it has the same level with its neighbor Huc Dong.
It seems that Quang Lam receive less outside assistance than the other studied communes. The same situation
happen to Quang Lam that participation is accessible to the local authorities only in some assistance projects
as PAM, SCF, 325. For the remainders, the works are handed over to the commune when they are completed
(see the box below).
Box 3.3.1: Projects implemented in Quang Lam since 1980

-   RB supported people to plant cinnamon in 1982
-   In 1993-1994, SCF provided rice and seedlings to households to plant 20 ha cinnamon
-   In 1995-1996, RB provided seedlings and money to households to plant cinnamon. Total fund was unknown to
    everybody
-   PAM in 1992 supported to plant small area of eucalyptus and in 2000-2001, provided seedlings and rice to grow 17
    ha cinnamon and 28 ha of Acacia mangium
-   Program 135 funded for construction of market, commune CP headquarter, schools, healthcare station
-   Project 325 previously provided loans to a number of households, currently, a plan to give more loans to households
    has just been made
-   The tertiary road program fund 250 million dong. One company contractor is constructing it now.


Quang Lam commune CP also has a comment of the constructions funded by 135 as low efficient and high
in cost (see box below).
Box 3.3..2: The commune CP comment on construction works

The people in commune work for the contractor. With such amount of money, people would have done much better.
The commune CP is not able to intervene as the district decides every thing and the selected company construct the road
without consulting the commune authorities.
-   Forest land. The forest land in the top of mountain is not allocated to households. Quang Lam people do
    not gather products in natural forest, but only people from other areas. Three years back, the fee collected
    from selling cinnamon was used to form a protection team. Now this team is replaced by the commune
    FI. Total commune forest land area is 6700 ha of which 3400 ha have been allocated to households. The
    remainder is very difficult to protect as it is too far from villages.

                                                           36
-   Income sources of households: the cereal equivalent to rice is estimated at 2 billion annually. The
    commune has over 800 buffaloes and 850 pigs and other animal such like chicken, duck etc. The income
    from cinnamon source was higher than agriculture 5-7 years back, but now this ratio is declining
    compared to agricultural crop and livestock husbandry as the cinnamon price goes down, while the
    produce of the later increase.
- The market constructed by fund of 135 has been used since Sept. 2002. At present, 35 households have
    got license to carry the business activities such as pubs, sundry goods shops, entertainment, tailors and
    etc. In order to promote diverse services to satisfy the need and income generation for people, the
    commune CP has not collected fees from the shop keepers.
The strategies identified by the commune are to promotion on forest planting with cinnamon in mix with star
anise. Canarium is also a promising tree as it is multi-purpose and its products always have good the
demand.
Two villages selected for study are Li Say and Binh Ho 2 for their relative similarity in natural resources,
however, the former enjoys a better infrastructure but earn lower income than the later.

3.5.2.            PRA results in Li Say and Binh Ho 2
3.5.2.1.                                Similarities of two villages
 People in both villages are DaoThanh y. In 1977, when the conflict between Vietnam and China
     happened, Hoa* ethnic minority group left Li Say. The district persuaded people from Binh Ho 2 and Se
     Long Min villages to shift to Li Say. As a result, in 1979, the new village formed with 40 households. In
     Binh Ho 2, the households often were separated into several with one staying and another shifting to the
     new village. For that reason, the relationship between villages are very close and the custom are the
     same.
Table 3.5.1: Development history and land reform in Li Say and Binh Ho 2

                                                    Li Say                             Binh Ho 2
History of village formation                      1977-1979                       Nobody remember
Ethnic groups                                ~ 100% Dao Thanh y                  ~ 100% Dao Thanh y
Current number of households                          78                                   28
Date of cooperative formation                                                         1960 - 1961
Land allocation by production contract               1979                  1981-1982, in fact it is permanent
                                                                         allocation to households with 600 m2
                                                                                        per head
Agricultural land allocation to households        1984-1986
Disintegration of cooperative                       1994                                1994
Reallocation of agricultural land                   1994                                1994
Total agricultural land area                        39,2 ha                 Nobody remember the figure
Forest land allocation to households                 1996                             1996
- Largest area/household                             10 ha                            10 ha
- smallest area/household                            3 ha                              2 ha
Number of households having no forest                  1                                0
land
Total area of village forest land                   300 ha                       Unknown by people
Total area allocated to households                  ~50%
    In the old village, households joined the cooperative in 1961-1962 and when 40 these households shifted
     to a new village they took over agricultural and infrastructures of Hoa people and also formed a new
     cooperative.
    The land reform started early in both of villages compared to other surveyed communes. Li Say
     conducted production contract in 1979 and in 1984 allocated land permanently to households. Binh Ho 2

*
    Hoa ethnic minority group is originated as Chinese

                                                     37
   had land reform later two years, but allocated land permanently to its households. In 1994, Li Say had
   some adjust in agricultural land, but just by taking land of the households migrated to other areas and
   common land fund (10%) to supplement to those having too little of land. In 1997, the red book
   (agricultural certificate) was provided to households. This way of land allocation had resulted to inequity
   in land ownership. Some households own a lot of land, while the other have little areas.
Box 3.5.3: How agricultural land was allocated to the households in Quang Lam

Li Say PRA: The land allocation was conducted in 1986 by following way: a main labor was considered as one unit,
two assistant labors is one and three dependants – one. Ten percent of total land was used as the common fund and later
in 1994, reallocated to households in the land allocation amendment

  Forest land was allocated to households and green book was provided. The same way of allocation as in
   other communes was conducted which led to different land tenure of households.
Box 3.5.4: PRA’s comment on shortcomings of the authorities in forest land allocation
Li Say PRA: Due to some mistake of the district FI officials, one household has no forest land. The village authorities
has sent complain to the commune CP, but still no response. The reason is not clear why the higher level did wrong thing
and does not correct it.
  The forest land of households is mainly under cinnamon and star anise. Cinnamon is a traditional product
   of Dao people in Quang Lam. Many households living now in Li Say but still having cinnamon fields in
   Binh Ho 2, despite of fact that this land is under tenure of the other household.
 Commune regulation forbids to sell land to others, but in reality, land is sold to each other when some
   family shifts to other place.
 The population in both villages varies a bit. About 20 households of Li Say moved to the South or lower
   land areas, but later 5 households returned. They still keep land in village maintained for them by their
   relatives. Binh Ho 2 has 6 families migrated to the South and only one of these came back.
 The cooperative management board existed for period of 1981-1994 with function only to buy fertilizers
   and some other inputs for agricultural crops. The households paid some fees for maintaining the board‟s
   activities.
 In 1994, this board was replaced by the head regime which selected by voting with two-year term (see
   the box below). After that, the cooperative management board changed its function and name as
   “business cooperative” with less members. At the initial stage, the board did well, but later its activities
   were getting weakening and now almost stops functioning.
Box 3.5.5. PRA’s opinion of how the village head is selected

 Li Say PRA: The village head is selected by confidential voting. The commune CP supervises and the villagers
 nominate. If the nominee is a right personality of commune CP, thing is okay. In the case, wrong people is nominated, it
 will appoint itself. It has never happened that the selected by villagers approved by the commune CP. Li Say people do
 not know the responsibilities of the head. It is seen that the head informs households to contribute to donation, organizes
 meetings to implement the commune CP„s instructions, to fulfill all of its assignment, but not all the information are
 reported to villagers.
   Crops cultivated are the common ones for self-supply with some surplus for sale or livestock raising.
    Cinnamon is a traditional cash product. In the last decade, star anise has been introduced by planting in
    mix with cinnamon as its high price attracts attention of farmers. However, cinnamon is still considered
    to be the most important cash crop. The livestock husbandry is more diverse with buffaloes, pigs,
    poultry, duck, different varieties of geese. Some households are conducting the trials on aquaculture
    raising.
   Income sources of both villages are crop cultivation, livestock husbandry and cinnamon. As estimated by
    PRA, 40% of Binh Ho 2 income derives from cinnamon.
     Crop cultivation produces sufficient cereal with some surplus for sale to buy agricultural inputs and
         other items. There are still some households suffered from food shortage between-crop period. There
         is no statistical data of cereal volume sold. For example it is estimated that Li Say sells about 5-10
         ton of rice annually.


                                                            38
       Livestock husbandry. The number of buffaloes declines as many households now use machine to
        plough fields. Furthermore, the grazing field is limited and commune CP has a regulation on strict
        forbidding to keep buffaloes free and destroy crops. Most of households raise 1-3 head pigs in
        average. The pig growth is much higher than in the surveyed communes because of proper inputs
        (breeds and industrial food). It takes only 6 months for a piglet to reach the selling weight (60-90
        kg). Livestock husbandry in Li Say is better than in Binh Ho 2 as the investment is higher and
        mainly for commercial purpose, while the latter‟s aim is haft for sale and haft for subsistence.
        Poultry is also a cash income source. A number of households keep up to 60 female ducks for eggs.
        As common situation, the diseases often cause high risks to poultry business and the district AFE
        still has no measure to help farmers.
     Forestry: cinnamon is a most important income source of households. All the better-off obtained the
        good houses and facilities by selling cinnamon. The saving from cinnamon source helps households
        to input more in agriculture and livestock husbandry. Star anise has brought some income for last
        few years to a small number of households, but the ratio is small compared to the described above
        source.
     Off-farm income sources:
         Seasonal labor. The poor often work for the better-off or for construction works funded by
              assistance projects. The wage for weeding cinnamon is 15,000 dong, excluding lunch, if
              including the later, figure is 12,000 dong per day. The cost for cinnamon harvest is 500
              dong/kg. In this case, a strong labor may earn 20,000-25,000 dong/day. Besides the poor in the
              locality, people from other areas also come for earning in Quang Lam. The labor with some skill
              used for works such as modern house construction usually is recruited from low land areas like
              Hung Yen province.
         Services. Prior to the market opening, the services in both villages were very poor with several
              small shops in each and monthly profit ranged between 100,000 dong. Since the market
              opening, Li Say has 12 households keeping shops there and 5 households maintaining shops at
              home (market is in Li Say village), even its head keeps a restaurant in the market. Binh Ho 2 has
              only few households keeping shops in village.
         Salary and pension. Number of people get pension and salary in both villages are small. Only
              some households having the member that work as the commune staff receive salary range
              between 80,000 to 380,000 dong depending on their position.
   Similar to other surveyed communes, people in Li Say and Binh Ho 2 are not aware of most of assistance
    projects, except few village leaders (table 3.5.2).
   The source of livelihood information :
     District AFE provide information and training on advanced crop varieties to a limited number of
        people. If these people apply the new techniques successful, the other will follow example.
     Listening to radio, watching television and learn from each other in community
     To go to friend s or relatives living in other areas to learn and draw experiences.
     Looking at the better-off to see and learn their experiences
     From discussion with the traders coming to village or in Dam Ha market to find out of product price
        and what crop to grow or what animal to raise.
-   Usually, rice, pig and cinnamon are sold at home, while other products at market, previously in Dam Ha
    and now in the commune market. As estimated, the number of times going to Dam Ha market declines
    60%.
-   The reason of life improvement is income from cinnamon. All the things households obtain now is from
    cinnamon selling. The rich are those having a lot of cinnamon fields.
-   Difficulties of village:
     There are households own a lot of land, while some others have no or little area. The new established
        families often face problem of too limited land.
     Households are forbidden now to clear land allocated to them to plant forest trees without clear
        explanation from the higher level.

                                                     39
       Land and labor are available, but lack of capital and expertise. For example, the water surface in
        commune is large. It is a good potential for raising fish, but people lack expertise on aquarculture.
    The procedure for getting loans from agriculture bank is too complicate and amount permitted is too
        small for demand (only 50% of collateral is provided).
    Lack of market information therefore people have difficulty in identifying promising products for
        development.
    Poor skill on livestock husbandry and district AFE is short in help.
    The cinnamon price is declining while its reason is unknown to people.
- The poverty causes of the poor households identified by PRAs are:
         low level of literacy
         lack of experience and capital
         laziness
         lack of courage in doing thing with high risks
         drink too much alcohol.
         recent separation from old family
- Only some poor households have got the preferential loans. Besides this, both the villages have not done
   any thing to support them. The YU has no activities to help the new couples. As PRA participant
   opinion, for many of these poor, the commune should help them in getting loan and train them how to
   use it efficiently.
3.5.2.2.            Differences in PRA of two villages

                        Li Say                                                    Binh Ho 2
 The income sources are more diverse. The ratio of          Despite of lack of income statistical data, earning
 income from agriculture and secondary activities are       of households is higher than in Li Say. Most of
 much higher than from cinnamon.                            households have large areas of cinnamon forests
 Market economy is more obvious in Li Say                   planted many years back. The income from
                                                            selling cinnamon in period of 1992-1997 helped
                                                            them to construct modern style houses and buy
                                                            different facilities.
 The households took over the infrastructures of Hoa        The agricultural and livestock productions are
 people to upgrade them gradually. As a result, two         mainly for subsistence. Community sense of
 crops yearly are able to obtained from agriculture land.   people is still high. Villagers help each other such
 Livestock husbandry is more developed for commercial       as lending money or materials (pig, chicken, rice
 purposes. The private money lenders give loan with         etc.) without interest and term fixed.
 high interest (2% monthly).                                Binh Ho 2 difficulty is poor irrigation system and
                                                            more fund is needed to upgrade it. Furthermore,
                                                            the road is poor and separated by creeks that
                                                            causes problem to children going to school in
                                                            rainy season
 Wealth ranking criteria
 The better-off: permanent constructed house,               The better-off: big modern house, motorbikes,
 motorbikes, television, grinder and rice-plucking          television, good furniture, grinder and rice-
 machines, many buffaloes or ploughing machine and          plucking or ploughing machines, large area of
 other comforts.                                            cinnamon fields.
 The average: tile-roofed house, television, food self-     The average: tile-roofed and brick-constructed
 sufficient, manage to cover expenditure on basic needs     house, food self-sufficient, bikes or motorbike,
 and schooling for children                                 less area of cinnamon field
 The poor: leave-roofed house, no buffalo, no comforts,     The poor: leave-roofed house, shortage in food in
 food shortage in between crop period,             very     between crops period, 1-2 ha of young cinnamon.
 economically in expenditure and afford meat or fish
 only several time yearly

                                                     40
  Result of wealth ranking
  The better-off: 14 HHs, making up 17,9%              The better-off: 9 HHs, making up 32,2%
   thank to salary and subvention - 4 HHs              thank to salary and subvention - 1 HH
   Initiative - 10 HHs                                 Initiative - 8 HHs
  The average: 33 HHs, making up 39,7%                 The average: 13 HHs, making up 46,4%
  The poor: 33 HHs, making up 42,3%                    The poor: 6 HHs, making up 21,4%. Causes
  The causes are slowness or having recently separated Due to slowness or recently separated from their
  from their parent                                    parent 5 HHs
                                                       Due to sickness - 1 HH
                           78                                                 28

Table 3.5.2: PRA comments on the roles and effectiveness of village authorities and assistance
projects.
   Names         Li Say                                                      Binh Ho 2
                              Activities and effectiveness                             Activities and effectiveness
Village head     The term of village head is two year. No regular            Similar to Li Say
                 meetings held and it happens only when there is need
                 to inform or implement some instructions of the
                 commune
VAB              Monthly meeting held to help each other in economy          Role is not clear
                 development and its poor members.
NFB              Previously had some activities, but no more now.            The village head holds NFB‟s head and there is
                                                                             no regular meeting. In overall no impact on
                                                                             village development is clear.
YUB              For last several years no considerable activities are       Participating in different village construction
                 conducted, although the membership fee is collected.        work, campaigning for avoiding the before age
                                                                             marriage. Week activities and poor impact
WUB               Family planning, good care of children, visit to the       Similar to Li Say
                 sick members. The birth rate has declined.
FAB              Village head hold FAA‟s head. No activity is clear.         Similar to Li Say
PC                There are 7 members and monthly meeting held. Has          There are 4 people, conducting activities in
                 very important role in decision making of village           coordination with other mass organizations.
RB project       In 1982, provided money to some households to plant         Similar to Li Say
                 cinnamon (600 dong/ha)
SCF               Provided the seedlings and money to commune to             The amount was too small, therefore village
                 plant 20 ha cinnamon. The commune divided equally           selected only few households to receive the
                 to villages and village divided the same way to             grant
                 households
 PAM                                                                         Supported rice and cinnamon seedlings to 3
                                                                             villages to plant 17 ha cinnamon. The village
                                                                             divided the received equally to households.
Program 135      Funded for construction of market, school and
                 healthcare station
Project 325      About 60 % households getting loan with an amount           5 households received loans
                 of 3 million per each.
AFE              Provided training on IPM, fruit tree planting and           Similar to Li Say
                 livestock raising (box 3.5.6)
Healthcare       Besides staff in healthcare station, each village has one   Similar to Li Say
station          nurse. Quang Lam people should pay for medicine.
School grade 1   School grade 1 available                                    Similar to Li Say


                                                            41
      grade 2     School grade 2 available                                     No school grade 2


Box 3.5.6: PRA’s comment on AFE’s training
Li Say PRA: The commune directly selects people to attend training and even the village head is not aware of that. The
trainee later retells what he learns of how to cultivate rice, fruit trees and livestock raising. The training at commune level
provides the training materials, but there is no such thing at village one. Pig raising technique is not applicable as the
input is too high.


3.5.3. Result of household economy study
Total number of interviewed households is 26, including 5 better-off and 11 poor of Li Say , and 6 better-off
and 4 poor of Binh Ho 2.
3.5.3.1           Similarity of the all surveyed households
- Literacy level of people is similar to those of Huc Dong. The people of middle age often pass 2-4 years
     of evening schooling. Most of the people of younger generation of age between 18-30 are illiterate. Some
     of them are not fluent at Kinh. The women suffer from illiteracy more than men, furthermore, they have
     little opportunity in contact with the outsiders, consequently many of them are not able to speak Kinh. In
     their households, usually their husbands decide everything. They even do not know how much
     agricultural and forest land they own. There are few families with Kinh wife that are better in literacy and
     actively involved in decision making on livelihood. Most of households still do not see the urgent need of
     sending their children to school. A number of better-off have made their children to leave school to work
     at farm, including the staff of the commune with the reason of labor shortage. However, the trend of
     investment in children education is obviously increasing. Some of the better-off afford their children to
     attend the better schools in Ha Coi or Dam Ha towns with expenditure of millions dong yearly.
- As the common phenomenon, people are not aware of national development policies for upland areas,
     the sources of funds of construction works in commune, who is executive agencies. They receive thing
     given to them and try to divide equally so that every body benefit from gifts (see table 3.5.2).
- Despite of the price declining, cinnamon is still considered to be the most important cash crop. Some
     initiative households plant cinnamon in mix with star anise, thinking that after harvest the former, the
     later will provide regular income for a period of 5-6 decades. The productivity of star anise harvested for
     last several year is low compared to Binh Lieu, but sufficient to encourage other households to follow
     example. They pay themselves for star anise seedling in free market at 1000 dong/seedling, while the
     survival rate is not high because of poor seedling quality. Even the poor also try to get loan to plant star
     anise.
- Households get economy information from more diverse sources such like AFE, inside community,
     friends and relatives in neighbor areas, radio and television (for the Kinh fluent people). The good
     transportation means (motorbikes and bikes) allow them to obtain market information faster.
- However, most of households choose the way for their own economy development by following or
     learning from each other. If some body is successful in his business, the other will follow if they are able
     to. In this mob, there are few people always seeking their own way of living (see box below).
Box 3.5.7: An example of how a man with innovation chooses his livelihood
Tang Tang Phuc, Li Say village: cinnamon price declines continuously and currently is only 7,000 dong/kg. The star
anise price fluctuates much, but still profitable for Binh Lieu. According to my forefather, star anise in Quang Lam bears
poor fruit. Households plant a lot of star anise because of its increasing price. I told to my children not to plant this crop as
we should think of its market, other way losses are unavoidable. I advice them to plant canarium as it is a multi-purposed
species and its products have good demand. I have produced myself a good canarium nursery.
-    Despite of high income from agriculture, livestock and forestry, over 90% surveyed households need
     capital for expanding their business. Number of households getting loan from the 325 is limited and the
     amount is considered to be too small for production investment. Some households have tried to get loans
     from agriculture bank, but the procedure is too complicate, time-consuming and high negative fee for
     bank staff and others. As a result, only those people having the good social knowledge and contact
     manage to borrow loans. The remainders usually borrow money from their relatives or money lenders


                                                              42
   with high interest rate (see the box below). This occupation has recently developed. The lenders are the
   government staff working in commune as teachers or in the healthcare sector and having idle money.
Box 3.5.8: The difficulties faced by the poor farmers in getting loans from agriculture bank in Dam
Ha
Chiu A Ba, 25 year old and illiterate in Li Say: I am not able to borrow money from the agriculture bank because of
having no identification card. I sent application for obtaining the card since 1995. The commune police has taken my
picture three times without any success, while I should pay for each time. In the commune, there are many similar cases.
Currently, I borrow money from private lender with interest rate of 2% per month. Recently I sold some of my young
cinnamon area to return loan.
Chiu Tac Hong: it is rather difficult to get loan from the agriculture bank. In order to have an amount of 5 million, it is
necessary to pay 500,000 dong as fee. Besides this, it takes a lot of time to go to commune for certificate and invite the
bank staff to come to asses your property for collateral. Total time spent is estimated over ten days.
-   Differing to other studied communes, loans are used for very diverse purposes such like planting forest,
    pig and poultry raising, shop keeping, buying young cinnamon field, hiring labor for cinnamon planting
    and harvesting and etc. the amount of loans needed by households is much bigger compared to other
    communes. For example, Li Say head borrowed 25 million dong from the agriculture bank to carry on
    his restaurant business.
- Being a commune with better livestock development, still the efficiency of the business is not adequate.
    Many households consider that they do not get profit from pig and poultry raising, as the risk from
    diseases is very high.
- The AFE support is very limited. Only few people in each village have opportunity to attend the training
    on IPM and pig raising. These people then report back what they have learned. However, most of
    households fail to apply the new technique because of various reasons such as inability to grasp the
    reported back information or high inputs in food, breeds and stable and so on
3.5.3.2             Similarities of the better-off in two villages
- They are households living long time in Binh Ho 2 and although some of them migrated to Li Say, but
    still keep their cinnamon forest in their first home village. They all have large areas of both agricultural
    and forest land, and as a result, they usually hire labors to work for their farms. Though the PRAs of two
    villages say that the largest area of forest land per household is 10 ha, the survey reveals that some people
    own up to 14-20 ha. The major part have 5-10 ha. The agricultural land of the better-off vary between
    4,000-11,000 m2 with majority range 6,000 – 7,000 m2. Their agricultural land are well irrigated, hence,
    they are able to rotate two crops yearly. They are surplus in cereal and use it mainly for livestock raising,
    Only few of them sell for cash.
- The fooding of households are good. They afford to have meat and fish regularly, in average, 10 kg of
    pork/month. Li Say people buy meat in market. Binh Ho 2 is far from market, so its people solve the
    problem by borrowing/lending system, which means that each household kills a pig for self-
    consumption, the surplus is giving to others and get return later.
- All the better-off earn high cash income from cinnamon. Their cinnamon fields have been planted
    continuously long time ago. At the early nineties, when market was just liberalized, the cinnamon price
    increased drastically. The circumstance allowed them to obtain a good earning and they used to construct
    the big houses, to buy comforts and facilities for agricultural development as well as healthcare and
    children education.
- The cost for social relationship of the better-off is higher. At the same time, the discrimination between
    the better-off and the authorities and the poor seems to be more obvious. For example, money given as
    gift to wedding of ordinary people is 20,000 dong compared to 50,000- 150,000 of the leader‟s children
    ones.
The opinion of the better-off of poverty causes of the poor are following:
                 Lack of capital and little of land
                 Lack of expertise in farming
                 Cinnamon is still too young for earning
                 Slow, lazy, alcohol addiction


                                                           43
3.5.3.3          Similarities of the poor of two villages
- The poor own less agricultural and forest land, especially in Li Say, where paddy field of poor
   households vary between 2000 m2-3000 m2 and forest land 0,5 ha-2 ha, only few of them own 3-4 ha of
   forest land. Part of this land is under cinnamon planted since 1996. Some of households just starting to
   plant cinnamon and are stopped now by FI. For that reason, most of these households have no earning
   from forestry.
- Only few households are poor because of their slowness or too much drinking as PRA identified. These
   households mainly settle in Binh Ho 2. The poor in Binh Ho 2 are illiterate, do not remember how much
   of land under their tenure and are not able to learn the advanced cultivation technique. In opposite, the
   poor in Li Say are hard working and very economize in expenditure. They manage to obtain a high rice
   production on their small paddy area. Had some of them been self-sufficient in rice if they would have
   not had to sell it for covering other needs and inputs in cinnamon and star anise planting.
- The poor, excepting few of them receive the preferential loans, do not get any support from the local
   authorities, not saying of chances to attain AFE‟s training. Some of the poor have feeling that they are
   ignored (box below).
Box 3.5.9: The feelings of the poor about how other people think of their poverty
Chiu Di On, age of 62, illiterate, Li Say: I do not join FAB. No body from any organization comes to help my family.
We should manage ourselves. May be, they think we are too poor to support ( pay attention) .
Chiu Di Qui, illiterate, Li Say: my life is not better because of six children going to school. The commune authorities is
not fair. I should pay 20,000 dong for birth certificate. I am not invited to wedding as people think I am too poor.
-  Two cases surveyed in Li Say are considered to be slow by PRA‟s participants, but in fact, they are even
   more dynamic than the better-off (box below).
Box 3.5.10: How the poor think of their problems and solutions
Tang Van Sung of Li Say, 5 school years with Kinh wife: My agricultural land is 500 m2 per head and only haft of
this is suitable to rotate two crops yearly. My family is sufficient in rice. I got only 0.5 ha of forest land from my parent
and this area is under cinnamon planted in 1996. When market in commune start to operate, my wife got license to open
a shop selling clothing and shoes and manages to earn about 250,000 dong monthly. We intend to shift to other
commodities, but much more capital is needed, while the agriculture bank allow to borrow only 50% of collateral.
Chiu Siu Senh ranked as poor because of having many children and slowness. I have 4 children and an adopted. All
of them go to school. I myself passed 5 school years. I spent my own money to travel from the North to the South of
country to see how people live and learn experiences. I think that most of assistance projects are poorly implemented
with low effectiveness and heavy corruption. I am still poor as my paddy field is too infertile and small, while my family
is often in capital shortage. I need at least 10 million dong for production investment.
Ten households of Li Say identified their causes of poverty which are putting in order of similarity as
following:
- Little agricultural land
- Very limited forest land area, while the planted cinnamon is still young
- Lack of capital to invest in production. It is to difficult to get loan from agriculture bank. Their relatives
     are also too poor to help. The loan from money-lenders is high interest rate therefore they usually borrow
     only for short duration to satisfy the acute needs.
- Too many children at age of schooling
- Loss of parent at early age, consequently have no opportunity to attend school and inheriting their
     property (house and buffaloes).
- Wedding custom is still too costly (7-10 million dong) that it takes the new couples many years to return
     loans.

4.       ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
4.1       Overview of important historic evens and land reform
In order to understand the characteristic of an economics, to find out the causes of its slowness or fastness
compared to other ones, it is essential to look back its policies in the natural resource utilization and human
resource development. For that reasons, an brief overview of social and economic policies of each period
and livelihoods of each community is needed. It is a very complicate issue. For this case study, the overview

                                                            44
frame is within last six decades. It is a period of big social changes and five studied communes are not
beyond the influences.
The ethnic minority groups predominant in these communes are Dao and San chi. Dao people had long
tradition of shifting cultivation on high top of mountains and started the permanent settling life 5-6 decades
back (annex 1). They began to lean experience of water rice cultivation. Forests are the source of some basic
needs and also commodities for exchange with Kinh people for production instruments, salt and others. In
overall, their livelihood was self-supplied style.
The planned economy had its start in sixties, beginning by mutual help groups (Huc Dong) and slowly
converted into agriculture cooperatives which reached highest level in form of high grade cooperative (as
usually called). Land reform was conducted simultaneously with collectivization. The agricultural land and
means of production (buffaloes and ploughs) became a common property. The period of high grade
cooperative existence was short (2-4 years) and following by its disintegration back to the former one. In
some areas, its name existed, but it had no more function. The whole process lasts for about 4 decades, up to
the end of nineties (1998 in Dong Lam), depending on policies applied by each community.
The collectivization was conducted simultaneously with illiteracy eradication. Children of school age went to
day classes and the adults attended the evening ones. As a result, most of the adults and children of school
age in this period have literacy level varying between 1-4 school years. Women have less chance to attend
school therefore the illiteracy among them is higher. At the declining period of cooperatives, for many
reasons, including the consequence of long lasting war against USA, most of children during this period had
no opportunity to attend school. That explains the high ratio of illiteracy among people at age between 17-30.
The command economy started on the basis of low literacy level and poor skill of agricultural practice with
subsistence direction. The forest land was considered as common property and managed mainly by SFEs.
Trading of all the high-economic value forest products used to export for hard currency was put under entire
control of few state owned companies. During this period, the economy of all surveyed communes was in the
same difficult situation and people concern was only on how to get sufficient foodstuffs. There was very little
difference in income earning between households in the same community .
The renovation policy comprises a series of changes in the land tenure and liberalized market for
agroforestry products. Firstly, the agricultural land was allocated by “production contract”, and then
permanently (with red book certificate) to households. In fact, “production contract” is an intermediate stage
of handing over the land tenure to households. In some areas, the local authorities added up these two stages
in one (Binh Ho 2). The agricultural land reform had brought a vitality to household economy. The food
security of farmers was improved considerably and that is clearly recognized by people in all the surveyed
villages. However, the limited agricultural land and poor cultivation skill on the basis of low production
investment and high rate of population growth has hindered most of households to reach the food security
level.
The forest land reform followed the change in agricultural land. Although the national forest land allocation
policy was issued in 1986, it was put in reality in the surveyed communes only in nineties, earliest in Dong
Lam (1992) and latest in Luong Mong (1997). The renovation in forest land is a big change to people in
upland areas as from their ancestors, they used to think of forest resources as a common one. Being at fault in
receiving the allocated land with little interest at the starting stage, now they have realized the value of
allocated to them plot and make a lot of effort to invest in it, seeking the ways how to use land more
efficiently and sustainable. Nonetheless, the shortcomings in process of forest land allocation was obvious in
the most surveyed communes. The reasons of these constraints are diverse such as inadequate policy
dissemination, lack of participation, lack of experience of FI staff together with their poor responsibility
sense, while the local authorities were not free of self-interest (boxes 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.1.7, 3.2.2, 3.5.4). The
consequence of these is inequity in forest land tenure and a number of households, especially, the poor own
little or even no land.
Land reform has been conducted simultaneously with the development of numerous assistance programs
such as 327, 661, 135, 325 etc., which relating to all the aspects such as effective land use, infrastructure
improvement, literacy increase and so on. The overall aim of these programs is to lift up the living standard
and to narrow the gap in income between the low land and highland areas. This assistance has had a clear
impact on life of people in highland. Most of the interviewed have a general comment that their life is
improved considerable for last several years. However, they also show the shortcomings in program

                                                      45
implementation that result in considerable low effectiveness of these assistance programs. The most general
constraints are lack of participation, poor study of social-economic conditions of localities, lack of product
market survey, misuse of aid fund and etc. The unavoidable consequences are high mortality or slow growth
of the planted crops, soil degraded and unmarked products (box 4.1). The way of the district AFE in
supporting farmers to lift up their technical knowledge is to provide training and model demonstration, but
without any training need assessment and evaluation of activity effectiveness. The models established for
demonstration often are complicate and high in investment that might be suitable for only the better-off with
good literacy. Among the development assistance programs, the 135 is biggest in funding , but evaluated as
low in effectiveness and heavily corrupted. The comments are made by the commune authorities, but not the
ordinary farmers who are not aware of the program. This issue is also repeatedly raised by newspapers,
television and in the sessions of national assembly. Despite of the facts, no much change is noticed up to this
moment.
Box 4.1: Comment of Hoanh Bo workshop on effectiveness of some forestry assistance projects
Hoanh Bo workshop participants on promotion for marketing upland products: The projects supported farmers to
plant trees without proper survey on climate and soil condition. Furthermore, the seedlings provided to them were often
poor in quality. For example, Hoanh Bo district provided a cinnamon variety, product of which is sticky and we are
unable to sell, even with very low price.
The wealth differentiation in surveyed communes has developed since implementation of renovation
policies. It was budding in agricultural land allocation, especially in forest land one. The implementation of
the assistance development projects has contributed to deepen this differentiation which will be looked at in
more detail in part 4.3. The following section is analysis of causes leading to differences in earning of
different communes in the same areas.

Diagram 1: Land reform and the general trend of people living in five studied communes for the last five
decades

 Living




 1960                                                1980                                                   2000
Collectiviz             Cooperati              High                 Cooperative
ation                   ves                  grade                  disintegration
                                                                  Agricultural land
                                                                  allocation
                                                                                Forest land
                                                                                allocation



4.2.     What are the causes of the commune poverty or prosperity?
In order to make it easier for analyze, five surveyed communes are divided into 3 types: Dong Lam and
Thanh Son; Huc Dong; Luong Mong and Quang Lam. Huc Dong is as poor as the first two communes, but it


                                                          46
has the particular characteristics therefore it is analyzed separately. Though five communes locate in four
districts, they have some in common which comprise:
- Same administration set-up and mass organizations. In reality, the heads of mass organizations are
     considered as authorities by farmers, and as usual, they are party members (so when a phrase “local
     authorities is used, it encompasses all the heads of commune or village mass organizations). The same
     policies from provincial government are applied in communes (three of these communes have the
     officials assigned by the districts to replace the local ones for capacity strengthening purpose according to
     new province policy).
- The renovation policies are applied in all the communes, but time and approaches used are a bit different,
     depending on local governments, executing staff and supervision.
- All the communes receive supports from national and provincial governments and international
     organizations though the number of projects and their scale are not the same.
So what are the reasons leading to different income and living between these communes?
4.2.1 Dong Lam and Thanh Son
Two communes locate in two district but have many things in common.
- Geographically, two communes are very close to each other and their inhabitants are mainly Dao Thanh
     phan.
- Large areas of forest land, in average 4.9 and 5.8 ha per head respectively, while the agricultural land is
     very limited with an average of 437 and 631 m2 per head
- The income of people is based on two main sources : agriculture and forest extraction
- Same way of forest management in the past which were based on more exploitation than development.
     The vegetation forest cover in two communes were similar in species structures. The over-exploitation
     had led to biodiversity losses and depletion of forest resources in both communes, but Thanh Son suffers
     much more than Dong Lam. In the former, the low value bamboo species have replaced the old
     vegetative cover and forest land become degraded. The causes of over-exploitation are easy way of
     product transportation which is created by Ba Che river and loose management of Ba Che authorities
     (box 4.2.1). Dong Lam is more lucky as its roads are more difficult. Currently, Dong Lam forest cover
     is still relatively rich in biodiversity, despite that the resource of very high value timbers has ran out. The
     forest product extraction is an important income source of households, including the better-off of Dong
     Lam.
Box 4.2: History of unsustainable forest management in Thanh Son and its causes of poverty
Thac Lao PRA : At the first stage of cooperative, our main source of income was logging for Ba Che SFE. Men logged
timbers, women and children practiced agriculture. The high value timber (lim) was in abundance. One cubic meter was
exchanged to SFE for 50 kg of rice. This timber disappeared since 1990. Before 1979, timbers were sold only to SFE.
Later, the private traders came to buy as well. In period between the late eighties and early nineties, a lot of people from
other areas came for logging. They owned the good instruments and it was estimated that 80% of timbers harvested by
them and the local managed to log just about 20%. We had raised this issue to the commune and district, but no
intervention was made, while in Hoanh Bo the outsiders were forbidden to come for logging. The logging ban policy has
been applied since 1995, but currently, the trucks transporting the timbers of poor quality and residues from previous
logging are still seen every day at 4 o‟clock afternoon. They are permitted to log, but the local are forbidden.
Head of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Ba Che district: Thanh Son is poor because in the past
people earned their living mainly by logging. This resource ran out and people‟s main income source is over.
-   Both communes have no market, the people are passive in marketing their commodities. They still have
    not coped with the market economy.
- Living level of two communes is low, even the households considered as better-off with income based
    on agroforestry have only a decent property (see criteria of wealth ranking).
The authorities of these communes fail to identify the own way for commune economy development and just
wait for top-down plan, follow exactly the district instructions.
Despite of a lot of similarities, Dong Lam and Thanh Son also have some differences as two communes are
under government of two districts.
- Besides the richer natural forest resources, Dong Lam enjoys more favorable location such as proximity
    to the big cities and towns therefore it commodities are easier marketed at higher price.

                                                            47
   The policy in trading forest products of Hoanh Bo is more free than Ba Che, where SFE is delegated
    power to control the forest product trade . This policy also contributes to better price of the same product
    compared to Thanh Son one. For instance, in Cai village, farmers are able to sell paper bamboo for 100-
    130 dong/kg, while Long Toong farmers are offered only 70 dong/kg. Hoanh Bo SFE has right to control
    only products from forest land under its management.
   Most of Thanh Son forest land are under management of Ba Che SFE and total area allocated to
    households is much smaller than the cooperative managed in the past (see box 3.2.2).
   The income of Dong Lam households from natural forest is higher as the forest resource is richer as well.
   The labor cost in Dong Lam is almost two time higher than in Thanh Son because of many reasons such
    like higher price of commodities, high value and diverse products for harvest and more sources of
    employment.

Diagram 2: Simplified main causes of Thanh Son poverty



                                                                       Exhaustion of
                                                                       natural forest
                                                                            resource


                                                                   Youn
                                                                   g
                                 Poor                              planted
                                 cash                              fore
                               income                              st
                                                                       Poor
                                                                    develope
                                                                        d
                     Low                                            livestock
                                                 Low and
                    inputs
                                                 unstable
                                                productivi
                                                    ty

                Limited                                                               Top-down
                                                   Food                               approaches
               agricultura                       insecurit
                 l land                                                                and poor
                                                     y                                capacity of
                                                                                       managers

             No
         secondary                               Dominant
                                                                                            Lack of
          activities                              poverty
                                                                                           marketing
                                                                                          initiative of
                                                                                            farmers


                    Poor
                 infrastruct
                                                                 Low                         Controlled
                     ure
                                                                forest                       market of
                                                      48       product                         forest
                                                                price                         products
All these factors create conditions for higher income of Dong Lam people compared to Thanh Son.‟s.
In brief, the poverty reasons of these two communes are limited agricultural land and unsustainable forest
management which expressed in over-exploitation without concern of development for alternative income.
Thanh Son is poorest as except the depleted forest resources, controlled trade of forest commodities
contribute to reduction of household income and poverty of commune in overall.

4.2.2. Huc Dong
Almost 100% of Huc Dong population is San chi. It is an ethnic minority group with longer tradition of
water-paddy practice on slope terrace fields compared to Dao. They are also the hard working and light
fingered people. While Quang Lam people have to hire labor from lowland to construct house for them, Huc
Dong citizen build the same themselves with very low cost. Huc Dong was the resistant basis and its people
involved in all three wars, as a result, have better chances to contact and to learn experiences in livelihoods.
However, currently 50% of households are still suffered from food shortage. What the causes of it lag behind
with its neighbors Quang Lam and Hoanh Mo which enjoy a high living standard (compared to upland
communities) ?. Why the commune is poor, while its natural condition is similar to its better-off neighbors?
Firstly, the right or wrong strategy in economy development is an essential issue leading to its fast or slow
growth. It is completely a big mistake when people inhabit in the area where the forest land is predominant
to the agricultural (the cultivation land is also converted from forest land with high rocky slope), but their
livelihoods rely only on agriculture and the forest land does not provide income, except few products for
subsistence. It takes Huc Dong people almost 3 decades to realize their mistake and correct it by learning
from their neighbors. Three decades are sufficient to make an economics to be left behind
Why this happened to Huc Dong?. The answer might be sought in heavy subsidy and top-down approach in
assistance. The support provided to the commune by RB in growing the thousands hectares of tung oil and so
tree without any market study became fruitless. The heavy subsidy (free seedlings and 400 kg rice per one
hectare planted) in the context of acute food shortage was so attractive to the farmers that they received it
happily without any concern of the longer future. It is fair to say that the assistance with heavy subsidy
without inside force development strategy might bring harm more than usefulness as it eats up the feeling of
self-help.
Huc Dong people have recognized the mistakes and are actively in reidentifying economic strategy. While
the commune authorities still are pondering in seeking way to alleviate poverty, many farmers have planted
cinnamon and star anise since the early nineties and have earned income from these products for last several
years (30% Luc Ngu households). This result encourages the other people to follow example without waiting
for support from the outsider. The self-dependent sense of Huc Dong people is high and it is certainly that
they will find the way to improve successfully their life.

4.2.3              Luong Mong and Quang Lam
These are two communes where people have much better life thank to their traditional products, despite of
the fact that their social economic conditions are the same or even worse (Luong Mong case) compared to
Dong Lam and Thanh Son.
Two communes are under administration of two districts, but they also have some similarities:
 They become the better off thank to cinnamon. Prior to the market
    economy, they were in the same difficult condition as the others (Luong
    Mong was even worse). Quang Lam had some cash from selling cinnamon to
    the trade state-owned company with low price called as “dead price” by
    people. Luong Mong has planted cinnamon since eighties. When the market
    became free, the cinnamon price increased drastically as more traders
    while forest areas under cinnamon were limited. High cash income from
    cinnamon allowed households to upgrade their houses, to invest more in
    agriculture and livestock and secondary activities. In return, these
    investments bring more income and households are food self-sufficient
    with surplus available for livestock development and for sale as well.


                                                      49
Diagram 3: Simplified main causes of Luong Mong and Quang Lam improved living




                                 Natural forest


                             Income from
                             planted forest




                                                                             Facilities
                                                       Livestock
         House                 Adequate                                         for
                                                      husbandry
                              agricultur                                    knowledge
       upgrading                                      investment
                                  al                                        improveme
                              investmen                                          nt
                                   t
                                           High crop
                                           productivit
                                               y                           More
   Better care
                                                                         informati
       for
                                                                            on
   education
                                                                          sources
      and
   healthcare                              Improved
                                            living

                                                                             Off-farm
                                                                             activities
                                                                            developme
                                                                                 nt

                                         Better
                                        product                        Commun
                                         price                         e market



                                  Upgraded                   Program
                                  infrastruct                  135
                                      ure




                                                50
    Despite of the cinnamon-declining price, which is only haft of that of 5-7 years back, it is still
     much more profitable than other crops. On other hand, cinnamon planting does not require high
     input, especially,
 when the farmers has got good skill in seedling production (it is a main input), while the other three
     communes have no such advantage.
 The high productivity of agricultural crops allow households to invest in livestock and the income from
     this source has increasing trend as it is intensive rather extensive as people in the poor communes.
 The expenditures for fooding, healthcare and education also increase considerably. For example, a
     better-off Quang Lam household consumes 10 kg of meat monthly compared to 1-2 kg of pork fat Huc
     Dong families are able to afford.
The trade monopoly policy of Ba Che district has no impact on marketing the cinnamon product of Luong
Mong as the commune boarders Son Dong district where the marketing activities of forest products are very
active, while distance from Luong Mong to Son Dong town is much closer to Ba Che town.
Luong Mong seems to receive more assistance than the others (whether that thank to its numerous people
working now for district and provincial administration, see box 3.3.1). The farmers produce cinnamon
seedling themselves (they could have done this even without compensation) then the return for their labor is
provided. This assistance fund should have been used for other purpose such as livestock raising as PRA
comment ( box 3.3.4) or for other more difficult communes and households.
In brief, the correct or wrong forest resource utilization in the past and market policy are deciding factors
leading to poverty or wealth of these five communes. For Dong Lam and Thanh Son, unsustainable forest
management basing on exploitation without replacement has depleted the living sources and lag behind in
earning capacity of households. Poverty of Huc Dong originated from growing the wrong products which
were impossible to market. The communes of third type are more lucky in term of identifying right product
for commercial purpose. That means they have succeeded in using the forest land potential in an efficient
way.

 4.3.     Intra-village differences and the causes
For better understanding of how wealth differentiation process happens in a community, it is essential to
analyze the inside and outside forces at different levels such as social economy development policies, their
implementation by local governments and inside force of people in this community. That means, the
consideration should be on how and what the authorities at different levels and poverty alleviation programs
have done for the commune economy development, especially, in supporting the poor and how the poor
think of their problem and their solutions.

4.2.1 . Dong Lam commune
As mentioned before that life of people in Cai and Dong Quang villages is getting much better for last several
years, but still about haft of them are under poverty line (34,95 % households in Dong Quang and 57,74% in
Cai).
The commune authorities know well the poverty causes of households, but they are not able to do any
things, except waiting for instructions and supports from the higher level. Many national mountainous
development policies are still unknown to them. They are not satisfied with poor participation
approach of assistance projects, but similar to the other local authorities, they prefer to keep quiet (the
135). The commune and villages see clearly that the low literacy is one cause of poverty, however, no
activity is taken to eradicate illiteracy for the numerous labor forces at vigorous age.
The village authorities (PRA) have identified the causes of village poverty. There are the objective and
subjective causes, but also no solutions for the determined problems. They just follow the commune
instructions. The mass organizations are set-up to support the village head in economy and culture
development, particular to assist the poor in their fighting with poverty and hunger. However, except the WU,
these bodies are very weak or without any activities. The heads of these organizations usually are not aware
of its functions and what activities to be conducted for village improvement. The leading positions often are
occupied by the people of close lineage. The role of village head is most important such as to disseminate the


                                                     51
commune policies to households and to manage all the administration cases within the village as well as to
maintain dialogue with the commune level. Nonetheless, these responsibilities are not well fulfilled in both
villages (see box 3.1.7, 3.1.8, 3.1.4).
Allocation of all agricultural land to households without leaving a common fund is a mistaken step resulted in
landless of some households in Dong Quang. For these households, natural forest extraction and seasonal
employment are the major source of income.
Forest land allocation conducted in the context of poor awareness preparation about the new tenure type for
farmers is another mistake leading to inequity and wealth differentiation. The information provided to
farmers about government conditions of forest land tenure such as sufficient capacity to input in forest
planting in certain fixed term, other way the land will be taken back, has hold back many households,
particularly the poor one, to receive more land. Those households having better information or opportunity to
situation analysis have obtained much larger area of forest land (box 3.1.3). Realizing the shortcomings
completed, several adjustment in forest land allocation were conducted later, but still a number of households
in both surveyed villages have no land (table 3.1.1). This is a result of poor responsibility sense and weak
capacity of FI officials, while the commune and village authorities do nothing to protect the right of these
poor households, not saying of their self-interest in the process (box 3.1.1, 3.1.2 and 3.1.7).
The assistance projects implemented in the commune have some positive influences on the commune
economy development, but to some extent, they also contribute to speed up the wealth differentiation. All of
the projects implemented in commune still use the same top-down approaches. Few farmers are aware of
what are going on in the village and just receive those “grant” provided to them. The common way of project
activity implementation is to contact with village leaders to request them to select a number of households
with certain criteria to involve into projects. FAO project is evaluated by PRA group as more effective than
other ones and has paid much attention on lifting up the technical knowledge to farmers and women in
particular. However, its partner is the district AFE with the old approach mentioned above. The better-off
with capacity to adopt new techniques are selected and provided inputs for model establishment, visiting to
good models in other areas and so on. The methodology is applied without considering the economic
conditions, the local services in providing needed materials, the market for products and literacy of farmers
(box 4.3.1). All these lead to low effectiveness of assistance because very few people are benefited and those
participated also have not learned much (box 3.1.6). RB project provided the cinnamon seedlings to
households without any planning. No advance information to households, no criteria for selection of
beneficiaries and naturally, no training on how to plant and take care of trees were made. It seems that the
project considered to be successful if the money is disbursed in time (box 3.1.5). The 325 has clear criteria for
beneficiary selection and careful procedure to choose the right ones at commune level was made. However,
the government staff working in poverty eradication sectors from all the levels such as provincial, district,
commune and village have little attention on support the poor to use the provided loans in an effective way
and at which time the loan to be given so that the loanees are able to use it (box 4.3.2)
Box 4.3. An example of how a model for demonstration is set-up
Li Thi Hai, assistant of NFB head, the better-off in Cai. Her household was selected by FAO project to establish
industrial chicken raising model. The training and 60 small industrial chicken together with other inputs for initial stage
were provided to the beneficiary. However, she failed to continue this type of poultry as it was impossible to buy
industrial chicken food in locality, furthermore, the daily input is too high for her to afford.
Box 4.4: An example of how loan provided by the 325 is used
Li Tai Bao, an illiterate at 24 age in Cai. I am ranked as the poor and permitted to get a loan of 2.5 million dong. I
have not used the money yet because the season for tree planting is over, so I should wait until March of the next year to
buy acacia seedlings.
All households are short in capital for production investment, however, they have no knowledge of
possibility to get it in the agriculture bank. The poor just expect loan from the 325. This situation discloses
the weak role of authorities at both commune and village level in assisting households economy
development.
One of difficulties identified by PRAs is lack of market information for farmers to choose the right product
for development . As a result, people just learn from each other in their community or follow the authority
instructions. All people intent to get loan to invest in buffaloes and Acacia production. The question is
whether in period of 5-7 years later the demand for Acacia of coal mine market will be the same, when most

                                                           52
of planted forests are under Acacia , while iron props are being replaced the timber ones for their better
durability. Quang Ninh DARDR is supporting Hoanh Bo SFE in erecting a MDF factory to process Acacia
timber, but currently, an MDF factory in Tay Nguyen has to restrict its production because of low demand for
the commodity.
The village and commune authorities have not taken any measure to support the poor. As the PRA‟s result,
most of the poor are considered to be slow. Nonetheless, household study reveals that this fact is correct only
for very few cases. Some of these poor are even too initiative and dynamic. The lack of information is a
main cause of their failure in finding a right way to get of poverty situation. The exaggeration of newspaper
and radio on successful models has partly contributed to their confusion in identifying their appropriate
livelihoods (box 3.1.9).
The role of local authorities are very important in community economy development and social and
economic equities in benefiting from assistance projects . In Dong Lam, lack of information relating to
policies of benefit sharing is a common characteristic for most of the poor. The households located far from
village head‟s house often are not always informed to participate into assistance projects (boxes 3.1.7 and
3.1.8). However, they are always invited to make donation to various charitable funds such as Cuba‟s fund,
disaster‟s fund, affection house construction fund, learning encouragement‟s and etc. It is said as the
volunteer funds, but in fact all people are obligated to contribute, regardless their wealth degrees. No
household is forgotten to be reported for participation. So, the remote location is not a truly obstacle for
information dissemination and deprivation of opportunity for these poor to involve in various community
activities. It is not so difficult to understand this situation when most of assistance funds are limited.
Monopoly in buying the paper bamboo of several traders assisted by paper factory of Hoanh Bo SFE partly
contributes to income reduction of the poor. On the same road with distant difference of only 2 km, but
bamboo price difference is 30 dong/kg ( 100 dong in hamlet 3 instead of 130 dong in hamlet 1 in Cai).
The farmers themselves are very passive in marketing their products, identifying the suitable crops for
commodity diversification to satisfy the demand of the close-by cities. Exactly, as PRAs identified, the
cooperative disintegrated too late (1998) and people have not adapted themselves yet to the new context.
They feel very shy in going to market to sell their products (box 3.1.4).
All the described above reasons hinder Dong Lam economy development, which should have been the best
among the studied communes, and increase the wealth differentiation. The forest land, as a main natural and
income resource of commune, belong to a small group, while the remainders have limited or no land. A big
group marginalised has been formed to work seasonally for the former one which manages to grasp the
major part of natural resource. This trend is obvious and increasing fast in future if no adequate measure to
be taken to prevent.
Dong Quang is considered to be the best in term of commune economy development. The ratio of the better-
off is higher because many of them have income from salary and subvention (these are mainly working for
the commune). The village receives more development investment from the 135, RB projects and where the
school grade 2 and healthcare station locate. These are an important factors stimulating its better secondary
activity development. However, the poverty in both villages is completely the same and defers only in
income sources. The Dong Quang poor have more opportunities to get employment for the rich in their
village and in nearby communes, while the poor in Cai are more dependant on forest as this resource still
more abundant compared to the first (annex 3).
4.3.2.               Thanh Son commune
As mentioned above, the average forest land area per head of Thanh Son is highest, furthermore, its
agricultural land is also larger compared to some other surveyed communes. Together with proximity and
good road connected to Ba Che town, Thanh Son should have enjoyed a better life. The wealth
differentiation has showed but much less obvious than in Dong Lam, especially in Long Toong, where even
the better-off also have a very decent house with limited facilities and total value of their assets is estimated
less than 10 million dong. The survey of 19 households, including the poor and the better-off in two villages
reveals that only two of these are able to be self-sufficient in rice when favorable weather happens and good
rice crops obtained. In order to understand Thanh Son poverty degree, it needs to compare the expenditures
of Thac Lao and Long Toong people on fooding, housing, production investment facilities, education and
healthcare to other surveyed villages (see box 3.2.2, 3.3.2, 3.4.2, 3.5.2, 3.1.2 and some pictures of Long
Toong poverty)

                                                       53
What reasons leading to commune poverty and what the commune and village authorities and people
themselves do to get off these situation. The poverty causes have been identified by people at all the levels
(box below).
Box 4.5: Poverty causes identified by authorities and farmers of Thanh Son commune
Commune level: Low literacy, poor transportation condition, difficulty in selling products because of district
complicate procedure in providing the buying permission to traders, limited agricultural land, poor irrigation, shortage of
capital and inefficiency of loan use, exhaustion of forest resources, lack of leadership at the initial stage of cooperative
disintegration, the district guidelines on changing the crop mix focus only on new rice varieties.
Village level: Lack of irrigation system, low literacy, lack of capital for production investment, difficult in selling
products and no bargaining power, damage of planted crops by buffaloes, high birth rate.
The poor: Too limited agricultural land, poor irrigation, too many children, poor health to go to forest for cash income
and lastly, lack of money to buy buffaloes.
There are a lot of similarities in poverty causes identified at three levels, however, all of them have
not found the solutions for these problems. The commune has an idea to support farmers in market
investigation to identify the promising crops and than produce themselves. It is very good idea, but it
has not been realized because of insufficient confidence in success. Thinking a lot of doing this or
that, but no idea becomes reality because of unovercome obstacles. In such way, the commune just
seat to wait for the district guidelines and instructions. Thac Lao authorities intend to plant canarium
and raise buffaloes (canarium is good fodder for buffaloes), but lack of capital and fear of loosing
capacity in returning loan hold them back. Long Toong is worried too much of daily needs, therefore
is not able to think of longer future. Household way for better life is buffaloes raising and all of them
want to have loan for obtaining buffaloes. It is really a controversy as the planted forest are damaged
by buffaloes and most of Long Toong households fail to protect their planted crops (box 3.2.6). It is
not surprising about identified by farmer‟s solutions because lack of cash and illiteracy hinder their
contact with the outside world. All their time is spent in vicious circle of high birth rate, low literacy
and poverty.
The commune authorities, including the assigned by the district official have not made any effort to
ameliorate the situation. There are things in their competence to solve, but they do nothing (or may be they
have no idea of that). For example, to make planning on the grazing field and regulations on crop protection
as the other communes do or to mitigate level of illiteracy and etc.
Injustice in forest land tenure is also a cause of poverty which is slight now, but deepening in future. While a
number of households have still no forest land or very little areas which locate far from their house and
cause difficulty for their management, some district officials have been allocated the good forest plots
adjacent to villages to establish farm for their visits on weekend. Some of these areas even are under
cinnamon planted by farmers, but they are obligated to hand over to these officials and get some
compensation for their inputs in labor and seedlings (box 3.2.2). The thing seems to be unbelievable, but it is
a fact.
From the district to commune, there are sufficient organizational set-ups to implement the assistance
projects. However, the same with Dong Lam support approaches are applied that lead to the same results.
The beneficiary have no opportunities to participate, to understand of policies and their rights. AFE provides
training several time yearly and always blames the slowness and laziness of people for their failure in
adoption of new techniques (box 3.2.5).
Ba Che SFE manages most of commune forest land. All the forest products, regardless it is planted or
extracted from natural forests are put under its trade control. The fees paid by traders to SFE and FI and the
district police (box 3.2.4) together contribute to the low price of commodities and the increase of household
poverty.
Thac Lao living is better than Long Toong one thank to income from the planted forest. The PRA result show
the strong leadership of Thac Lao compared to Long Toong. That might explain why the village get more
assistance and forest land which is almost 3 times compared to the later.
In summary, despite the much effort of national government in upland economy development, the local
authorities from district to community levels have not done much in helping the poor in their fighting with
poverty. The development policies of district exposes a range of constraints which are used as lee way for
corruption and bribery and it is the farmers to bear all the consequences. The commune staff are weak in

                                                            54
administration capacity and innovation. The farmers themselves lack of initiative and sufficient literacy. All
their efforts focus only on how to satisfy their daily needs. All their hope for life improvement is put on the
cinnamon areas of 2-3 year old. The future of life with food security is still far for Thanh Son people if Ba
Che district does not change its policies to take a more effective poverty reduction measures.

4.3.3 Luong Mong commune
Luong Mong is a commune with the relatively equitable economy development. All of its households have
reached level of food security (food shortage is still showed in statistical data). Even the poorest households
are self-sufficient in food or surplus for livestock raising and obtain some minimum comforts and mean of
transportation such as bike, radio and etc. Differing from the other surveyed communes, the poor of Luong
Mong want to get loans not for production investment, but mainly for house upgrading.
The wealth differentiation is inevitable in market economy, nonetheless, during the household survey, no
one complains of inequity in benefit sharing in community such as in land tenure and assistance projects.
The literacy level of commune people is highest compared to the surveyed communes. Despite of a few
cases of illiteracy, all the people are fluent in Kinh and show better skill in household economy management.
In overall, the local authorities are more efficient in administration and make effort in helping the poor. At
each level, people identify their own problems and have solution for each of identified and also have
suggestions to the higher levels for improvement as well.
The commune has a clear plan such as to universalize the education up to grade 2, promotion on forestry,
livestock and secondary activities for speeding up the commune economy development .
Khe Giay has a good leadership with high innovation and community sense. They are the next generation of
the first explorers and inhabitants of the village. After serving in army or as a staff of government, many of its
people come back to village. As a result, they have accumulated the rich knowledge of livelihoods and good
social contacts with people at the higher levels. The village keeps a fund contributed voluntarily for helping
households in their difficult time. They assess the problems and potentials of their village and determine
forest land as a most important cash income source for lifting up their living. Most of village households
have realized this strategy such like enriching the allocated forest by semi-domesticating canarium, planting
cinnamon, experimenting in planting star anise. Village PRA quotes the inefficiency of some assistance
projects and propose the suggestions for their improvement (box 3.3.5). The poor of Khe Giay also clearly
identify their causes of poverty and with support of their community they are getting off the poverty line in
very close future.
In difference to Khe Giay, Dong Cau authorities are passive. Though they are able to identify the village
problems, but fail to find the measure for overcoming and just wait for support from the commune or outside.
Nonetheless, they keep the equity in benefit sharing and all the households of village enjoy the same
opportunity to attend the training and receive the grant from the assistance projects.
Despite that Dong Cau is poorer than Khe Giay, but it get less support from the 325. While all the households
in Khe Giay, including the better-off (some of them refuse because of having no need), have access to loan,
the poor in Dong Cau have to queue for the support. This is a clear evidence of partialness and localism that
is very common in many areas and happens at all levels from the top to bottom.
Similar to the other communes, the assistance projects have been implemented without farmer participation
and need assessment to identify what problems people are facing and how assistance should be provided. As
the prevalent, the 135 is considered to be most corrupted and low efficient (box 3.3.4 and 3.3.5 ).
In brief, Luong Mong has taken advantage of forest land potential to develop the cash products and
sustainable use of natural forest allocated to households for regular income. The authorities have clear
strategies for economy development, upgrade living standard for people, maintain the equity in benefit
sharing and take measure to support the poor in poverty fighting. Besides the strengths, the commune also
expose the weaknesses in supporting all the villages in equitable economy development, promotion on
livestock raising and secondary activities as underemployment have increasing tendency in the commune as
well. Despite of the fact that people at all levels understand the shortcomings of assistance projects and other
matters such like forest land, pine resin price, the whole community in under the district administration, as a
result, these out of their competence to solve the problems (box 3.3.4, 3.3.5,3.3.6, 3.3.7, 3.3.3).


                                                       55
4.3.4              Huc Dong commune
Although Huc Dong is not as poor as Thanh Son, but still about 50% of its households are in food shortage
at different extent. The authorities realize the commune problems and have made efforts to overcome in their
frame of competence. Commune leaders have ideas to introduce some new crops and secondary activities to
commune for cash income and job opportunity generation (cardamom, edible canna, goat raising and bee
keeping and etc. ). However, these ideas seem to be unfeasible because of insufficient knowledge about the
ecological characteristics and market information of the products they intend to develop. In administration,
the commune has made efforts in equitable benefit sharing, with participation approach. The safe drinking
water project is an example. The issue of benefit sharing is decided by farmers themselves at first stage and
only when the commune see the unreasonable way of share, it takes intervention by providing the advice on
criteria for beneficiary selection. To lift up level of literacy, the commune has applied a strong measures as
children of school age are obligated to attend school and those interrupted in middle should go back or attend
a supplement course, other way the economy fine will be applied.
Besides the strength, the commune also shows many weaknesses in their administration. It has no regulations
in crop protection that resulted in severe crop damages by buffaloes, while most of households like or expect
to get loans to buy more buffaloes. Despite of its poverty, the costly customs such as wedding, funeral
ceremony etc. are maintained and the commune authorities have no measures to mitigate the problems. The
diversification of off-farm activities has not come to their mind. They forgets to consider their available hard-
working labor source. Instead of seeking the funds for introduction of high risk crops, they might have
thought about the vocational training (that is much easier) to provide service for neighbor communes as
Quang Lam, so that no more labor with better skill from low land is needed. A restaurant in the commune
CP building gate is very busy and every morning its owner should cover 20 km to buy foodstuffs, while each
Huc Dong household keeps a vegetable garden just for subsistence and pigs and chicken are sold to traders
came from Binh Lieu town. That is also a consequence of long existence of the command economy that
even the authority level has not coped with the change to fulfill its leading function in commune economy
development. Furthermore, Huc Dong is endowed with a beautiful nature and special culture of San chi
ethnic minority group which is a great potential for the ecological tourism.
In differing to Khe Mo, Luc Ngu has a good leadership. Many people in Luc Ngu are veteran or in the past
joined the resistant forces. The community sense of Luc Ngu people is high. The village leaders always
seeks the measure to create job opportunity to villagers, especially to the poor. Their livelihood identification
and suggestion to national government are very practical and reasonable that the commune is unable to do.
While the commune still in confusion of seeking the way out off poverty, Luc Ngu people decide to follow
the step of neighboring communes to plan cinnamon and star anise since early nineties and 30 % of its
households now enjoys a good income from the planted. Their identified strategies are very clear such as to
upgrade the irrigation canal for improving rice production for food security, while continuing to plant forest
trees and promotion on livestock for cash income. Their suggestion to government is also clear and feasible
such as participatory approach to be applied in implementation of the 135, a good measure to be taken in
monitoring and supervision to prevent corruption etc.
Khe Mo authorities show their administration quality poorer compared to Luc Ngu. A number of interviewed
households complain of the poor dignity of village head. The mass organizations are weak in activities.
Despite of all that, they also identified the village problems and have quite feasible solutions. Their
suggestion is just to permit them to resettle inside the commune, so that they are able to have more forest land
in remotest areas to plant cinnamon and star anise. They will have inputs themselves. That means they do not
ask for the “grants” in cash or in material forms, but only an enabling policy to overcome their problems.
The poor want to get loans to buy buffaloes and plant star anise. Their solution is a common one as they just
follow the majority, however, it also show their effort to overcome the poverty by themselves.
Huc Dong people have a very high community sense and it is expressed by daily helps such as in
constructing houses for each other, loans in cash or material free of interest and unfixed term. Thank to that,
households construct houses with low cost as most of building materials are produced by the villagers.
Most of assistance projects are assessed by farmers as low effective and without participation. That is not
beyond the common situation. PAM is considered to the best in term of providing the seedlings up to their
liking and rice for their labor. However, the same top down approach is applied. What the people want most
is the training on how to produce seedling so that they are able to do themselves in future (Luc Ngu PRA)

                                                       56
and had the farmers had a chance to contribute their voice the project effectiveness could have been
considerably improved (box 4.6).
Box 4.6: The comment on support of a project considered to be the most effective
Khe Mo PRA: PAM provided the star anise seedlings two times. In the first time, the seedlings were given to
households without pot, which resulted in very high mortality rate. Mr. Tran Van Li got 1000 seedlings and only less
than 200 survived. The similar situation happened to all households. In the second time, the seedling were handed with
pot and the survival rate was almost 100 %.


In brief, Huc Dong is still a poor commune and the wealth differentiation has emerged but the gap is small.
The authorities at commune and village level manage to keep equity in benefit sharing from land allocation,
assistance projects and etc. At the same time, they also take measure to promote commune development.
Huc Dong people are hardworking and active with innovation. What they suggest to the higher levels is an
enabling policies so that they are able to improve their capacity and to overcome the poverty themselves.

4.3.5               Quang Lam commune
As estimated (and by observation as well) Quang Lam has in general the better income than Luong Mong.
The market economy of commune develops fast and wealth differentiation is rather obvious with increasing
gap between the better-off and the poor.
The commune implement policy on production contract and then allocated agricultural land to households
much earlier than other surveyed communes (1979-1981). The forest land allocation was conducted a bit later
(1996), but most of this land have been under cinnamon already. The land tenure is considered by PRA and
by interviewed households as unfair though there was some adjustment in agricultural land. A number of
households owns a lot of agricultural and forest land, while the other have very small areas. It is a main
reason of the big difference in households income. Despite of the commune regulation on forbidding to sell
land, in reality, the pass of land ownership to each other happen. It is clear that the wealth differentiation
started its development in process of land allocation.
The community sense in helping each other is declining simultaneously with market economy development
and income differentiation. In difficulties, people seek for support only from their close relatives. In
commune, a number of households gradually shift to off-farm activities such as sale in market, buy the young
cinnamon fields from households which fall in the acute need of cash. The occupation of high interest rate
lending also has emerged. The discrimination in treating the poor and the rich in community become
noticeable. The poor have feeling that they are ignored by the rich. (box 3.5.8).
In this context, what have the local authorities done for commune economy development, to ensure the equity
and to support the poor?. The commune has taken a range of measures for income promotion such as
encouraging households to plant cinnamon in mix with star anise and canarium, diversifying the off-farm
activities (the exempted tax policy is applies for initial stage to households carrying the secondary activities).
In order to protect the planted crops, a strict regulation on forbidding the free buffalo keeping has been issued.
It is a thing that other communes are not able to do. Thank to this measure, no household complains of crop
damage by buffaloes. The commune also encourages the school children interrupting their schooling to
continue it again, however, no strong measure has been taken as in Huc Dong. Except the listed above
measure, the commune has no policies for supporting the poor in their struggle for survival. Most of
households need capital for production expansion, while the loans provided by the 325 are limited, but the
commune makes no effort to help them to solve their problem by improving accessibility to the agriculture
bank source. Furthermore, some of commune staff deliberately cause the trouble to the disadvantaged people
for their self-interest (box 3.5.7). A little attention is taken in disseminating information to the farmers or
more exactly, the top-down approach is preferred to participatory one. For example, the households are
forbidden to clear the forest for planting cinnamon on their allocated land without any explanation to them.
The democracy is not really in the place and that is expressed by the village head selection (box 3.5.5). Many
of village authorities are too busy in their secondary activities that forget of their responsibilities to
community, not saying of their self-interest. For example, Li Say head keeps a restaurant in the new market
and Binh Ho 2 head has completely no notebook keeping. He even has no list of village household names



                                                         57
or any statistical data of village, however, he has his own business in buying the young cinnamon forest of
the people falling in acute cash need.
As described above, the activities of village authorities in overall are weak and community sense is also
weakening. Binh Ho 2 is more remote and far from market and, consequently, less influenced by market
economy. In the village, people still help each other by different ways such as lending cash or materials free
of interest and unfixed term. The poverty of the poor is identified by PRA such as low literacy, lack of
capital, slowness, laziness or recent separation from the parent. Despite of that, no measure is taken to help
them to get off their poor situation. The small number of seedlings and money given by the assistance
projects were divided equally to all households. The 325 has clear criteria and some of the poor benefit from
that, but Quang Lam receives less supports from assistance programs (box 3.5.1) therefore the number of
the poor households getting loan is limited. Except the 135 with big financing, all the other projects are small
in funding and scale of implementation (few villages involved). As a result, very few households benefit
from the assistance.
The poor household survey (mostly those considered to be too slow or lazy) reveals that only few of them
(mainly in Binh Ho 2 ) have a poor skill in farming business management. The poor in Li Say identify their
poverty causes clearly. Some of them are very active with innovation and good in experiences (box 3.5.9).
Despite of lack of support from the authorities, they try very hard to overcome their difficult situation to get
off the poverty line and some of them have been successful. All of the poor interviewed want to have loans
not for obtaining comforts or upgrading house, but for investment in crop production and secondary
activities. It is a good basis to say that they will success in efficiently using loans.
The role of AFE is very important in circumstances of low literacy level, lack of cultivation skill and market
information. However, the district AFE provides very limited support to Quang Lam people to solve their
problems in their effort for economy development (table 3.5.2).
In summary, Quang Lam has developed an earlier market economy, and living of households is higher
than the other studied communes, despite of fact that it receives less supports from the poverty alleviation
programs. However, the wealth differentiation in commune is rather intensive, as a result, a number of
households become rich while the others still face food shortage. The cause of differentiation originated from
inequitable land allocation. The authorities at all levels has no measure taken to support the poor and stop the
action of some poor conduct commune staff causing trouble to the disadvantaged. In the commune, a class of
the poor has been formed to work for the rich with much “better business management skill “ than in Dong
Lam (wage for weeding cinnamon field is 15,000 dong/day without lunch, but if with lunch the earning is
reduced to 12,000 dong/day) (see annex 3). With the current policies of communes, the wealth differentiation
will develop faster and the gap between the poor and the better-off is widening with the accelerating speed.

5.       CONCLUSION AN RECOMMENDATIONS
The following conclusions are drawn from the above findings and analysis
a). General conclusions
1. How to identify the promising products, which are marketable, is a general worry of people in all
    studied communes. Lack of market information is so common that people develop products just
    by following the upper level instructions (assistance projects) or learning from each other in
    community
2. Poor access to development policies issued by provincial and national governments is another general
    characteristic or in other word, the upland development policies are poorly disseminated to the
    grassroots level, particularly the poor who are majority of the illiterate
3. Early cooperative disintegration and land allocation to households is a driving force for farmers to invest
    better in their land and that is a reason of food security and income improvement .

b). The causes of inter-commune differences
1. The unsustainable utilization of natural resources basing on exploitation without concern of its
    replacement has resulted in resource depletion and exhausting the living base of the local people. This is
    a main cause of poverty of the whole community, where the area of agricultural land is very limited and



                                                      58
     livelihoods are based on forest extraction. The responsibilities for unsustainable forest resource
     utilization belong to poor management of the district and SFEs.
2. The policy of forest product trade control with complicate procedure has created the lee ways for bribery
     and corruption and depriving the bargaining power of the producers. This also contributes to low
     production development, income reduction of community and deepening their poverty.
3. Development of products for the commercial purpose (especially the long-term crops) on large scale
     with top-down planning and heavy subsidy without any appropriate market investigation has resulted in
     failing to market the commodities. It is also a major cause of poverty for whole community such as Huc
     Dong because the main natural resources fail to supply income, while limited agricultural land is unable
     to provide food security to households.
c) Intra-village differences in each community and roles of the assistance programs
1. In differing to most of the low land areas where some common land is reserved for village management,
     four of five surveyed communes have allocated all agricultural land to households. This situation
     deprives the opportunity for earning income from agricultural practice of the families formed after the
     agricultural land allocation. This is one of poverty reasons of a number of households.
2. A range of shortcomings in forest land allocation such as insufficient information provided to target
     group, bureaucracy as well as poor capacity of FI officials and also the self-interest of local authorities
     have resulted in inequity in forest land tenure. A number of households owns a large area of land, while
     the others are landless or have the much smaller plots. This is another cause of household poverty which
     is slight now but will be serious in the close future.
3. The leadership of commune and village authorities is most important in maintaining the equity and
     supporting the poor as well as in the community economy development. In all the villages and
     communes surveyed, where the authorities have a better administration skill, the economy situation of
     the whole community is noticeable better. The veterans and retired government staffs are a human
     resource with good management skill contributing a crucial role to improving the rural life.
4. Most of the farmers are very passive in receiving grant, marketing products, whilst the assistance
     provided on heavy subsidy basis with top-down approach is, on one hand, unsustainable development,
     and on other hand, stimulating the passivity of the beneficiaries. At the same time, subsidy is a fertile
     ground for corruption and a huge obstacle for introduction of participatory approaches.
5. While the major part of the poor are considered by local authorities and AFE as slow and lazy, the
     household study has identified their causes of poverty in low literacy level and too limited land tenure,
     remotest and isolation settlement resulting in poor access to information, less support received from the
     local authorities and assistance programs.
6. The wealth differentiation has taken its budding since land allocation process and develop fast in market
     economy. Unfair in land tenure, especially forest land and inequity in benefiting from assistance projects
     contribute to widening the income gap between poor and the rich (Quang Lam and Dong Lam). A
     group of the poor working seasonally for the high income households has been formed.
7. Low literacy level is an important cause of weaknesses in applying advanced techniques and upgrading
     cultivation skills. Except Luong Mong, the illiterate or reilliteracy rate of the adults is high, especially, of
     the labor force at most vigorous ages. Huc Dong has taken some effort in illiterate eradication, while the
     remainders have done nothing or just halfway measure, not considering it as an important solution for
     poverty alleviation.
8. Most of assistance projects are assessed as low effective and poor in participation. All the authorities at
     commune and village levels complain of construction works funded by the 135 such as poor quality, low
     efficiency, too much corruption and no participation of the target groups. The 325 is for the poor, but
     loans are provided without any supporting them in how to use fund efficiently. The international
     assistance projects have targeted to women and the poor, to equity in benefit sharing, and are considered
     by the beneficiary groups as the most effective in term of community development. Nonetheless, these
     projects still have not applied a fully participatory approach and that affected the good effectiveness as it
     could be expected. There are still no projects really focussing on capacity strengthening and driving on
     inside force for target group.


                                                         59
9. The AFE is evaluated as weak in activities and low in training efficiency in all the five communes. It
    activities are focussing mainly on advanced rice varieties and several fruit trees without any farmer need
    assessment and training effectiveness evaluation to draw lessons for training improvement. The
    approaches applied are top-down, with very few people having chances to participate, especially the
    poor.
10. Luong Mong commune with Khe Giay village is a model of good community development. The first
    comers of Khe Giay had taken a sustainable forest land use strategy, which combine the short-term and
    long-term crops, and considers forest resources as a main income source for long future. Overcoming
    all the geographical obstacles and poor infrastructure, they have succeeded in developing a united
    community with a good sense of self-dependant without waiting for help from outsiders for life
    improvement.
11. In all five communes, a general recognition is considerable life improvement for last several years. The
    question is whether this improvement is based on the effort of people together with assistance from
    poverty alleviation programs, or in other word, whether this improvement is sustainable when the
    “grant” some time higher than the asset of the beneficiaries many times and too little is done on
    strengthening self-help capacity.
12. SFEs in some districts, Ba Che in particular, control a large areas of natural forests and fail to protect
    them or manage in a sustainable way, while the local people have not sufficient land for forest planting
    for their living improvement. The households in two studied communes express the same desire that the
    higher level should support them by allocating more forest land to households, especially, those owning
    no land or very small land.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1. The districts and province should review the land tenure, especially, the forest land, to enable the
   households to have sufficient land for planting production forests for income generation. It is an
   important measure for poverty reduction and efficient improvement of forest land use.
2. The commune and village still having the forest land areas available should review the issue to allocate
   more land to those households with too limited land tenure. In the case that forest is too far from villages,
   it is crucial to consider the measures for efficient protection. For example, the forestry cooperatives might
   be established with participation approach as some localities have succeeded.
3. Lifting up literacy level is an urgent need in the poverty alleviation effort, for that reason, the authorities
   at all levels should have the clear regulations and fund reserved for illiteracy eradication. On other hand,
   a committee to be set-up at provincial and district levels to maintain the regular assessment and
   evaluation to ensure the campaign effectiveness
4. It is very important to study the efficient measures to ensure the accessibility to upland development
   policies for the people or in other word, the method to be found so that the issued by national and
   provincial governments policies are well disseminated to the target groups.
5. The assistance programs should change the supporting approaches by participatory, with as less subsidy
   as much as possible and more focus on self-help capacity building, hence, all the assistance should take
   inside force development strategy as a core. Slight subsidy is possible, but should be driven on self-help
   direction of beneficiaries.
6. It is important to strengthen the management capacity to the local authorities and simultaneously to apply
   the democracy in the voting process.
7. All five communes are facing a same problem of how to identify a promising products. That‟s why,
   building the marketing capacity for farmers and diversification of products to mitigate the production
   risks is an urgent need. It is also an inside force development measure for upland people. For that
   reason, the methodology of marketing analysis and development (MA&D) should be introduced to the
   mountainous assistance projects as it encompasses the participation, self-help capacity building,
   improvement of marketing initiative, business management, seeking the technical and financial support
   and etc.
8. Diversification of income sources is an issue to be taken into consideration, especially, for the
   community as Huc Dong, where underemployment of the poor is prevalent. That‟s why, beside the

                                                       60
      assistance in efficient land use, the support in development of secondary activities is needed,
      particularly in the vocational training for the labor force so that they are able to get jobs in the same
      localities.
9.    It is necessary to upgrade the training skill of AFE staffs and their approaches to farmers. At the same
      time, a measure for close supervision and regular activity evaluation for efficiency improvement as well
      as responsibility sense of the AFE staff in particular and Agriculture & Rural Development in general.
10.   The review on investment approach of the 135 should be made at national level. On one hand, the policy
      with clear regulations should be disseminated to target group, and on other hand, an independent
      inspection committee to be formed to supervise, evaluate or deal with the claims on the implementation
      of construction works.
11.   The national and provincial governments should conduct the evaluation on the impacts and effectiveness
      of all the assistance programs implemented by different organizations on the upland livelihoods and on
      the social and resource sustainability to draw the lessons for further improvement.
12.   Ba Che should change the policy in trading control for forest products, to remove the complicate
      procedure in providing license for traders. The intervention from district also to be made so that the SFE
      increases the price of pine resin (at least at the same level with Binh Lieu) to create condition for income
      improvement to Ba Che households. It is also necessary for the district authorities to review the forest
      land tenure problems raised by PRA participants of all the surveyed villages in Luong Mong and Thanh
      Son.




                                                        61
   Annex 1: Social and economic statistical data of surveyed communes
                               Dong Lam               Thanh Son             Luong Mong             Quang Lam             Huc Dong
Total natural area (ha)        10,462                 8,520.00              6,454.00               8,911                 4,718
Agricultural land (ha)
- Paddy field                  79.6                   92.97                 59.55                  214                   217.6
- Cultivation highland         66
Land covered by forest (ha)    7,867.5                4,578.20              1,277.80               5,076.1               2,646
   - natural forest            7,451.5                4,044.00              593.00                 3,851.4               2,646
   - planted forest            416.4                  683.80                534.20                 1,500 (cinnamon)      1,000
Allocated to households                                                     1094.69
Population                     2,147                  1,473                 1,117                  2,350                 2,148
Number of households           435                    253                   225                    377                   401
Ethnic groups                  Dao Thanh phan         Dao Thanh phan,       Dao Thanh phan         Dao Thanh y           San chi, Dao, Tay
                               make up 99%            San chi, Cao lan,     Kinh and Tay           make up 79,1% ,       and Kinh
                                                      Tay, Kinh and                                San riu, Hoa,
                                                      Hoa                                          Kinh, Cao lan
Distance to district town      12                     8                     46                     10                    20
(km)
Infrastructure                 Tertiary road to       Good road to          Tertiary road and       Tertiary      road   Recently
                               communes and its       commune but 4         inaccessible      in   accessible to car     constructed road to
                               villages               villages are not      rainy time, one        4 villages are not    commune center.
                                                      accessible    to      village is not         accessible to car.    Most of villages
                                                      vehicle               accessible to car                            are not accessible
                                                                                                                         to car.
Market                         No market              No market             There is market        There is market       No market
Facilities   of considerable                                                3 domestic made        7 domestic made       56 plucking rice,
value                                                                       trucks, 1 ward car*,   trucks, machines      63 husking rice 3
                                                                            8 plucking rice        (30 plucking rice,    domestic      made
                                                                            machines, many         40 husking, 5         trucks
                                                                            rice        husking    grinding, 20
                                                                            grinding,     water    ploughing, many
                                                                            pumping            ,   water pumps) etc.
                                                                            generators,
                                                                            satellites      and
                                                                            televisions
School                         Each village has 1     Similar               Similar                Similar               Similar
                               school grade 1.
                               Whole commune
                               has one school
                               grade 2
Healthcare station             A station for whole    Similar               Similar                Similar               Similar
                               commune and one
                               local nurse with 4-
                               7 school year level
                               for each village
Communication                   There is phone line   There is phone line   No phone line          There is phone        There is phone line
                                                                                                   line




                                                                    62
Annex 2: Diagram of the organizational set-ups at commune and village levels




                                   CPEC



                                                                       WU
              FA
                                  Commune
                                    CP                     NF

                  VA

                                      YU                     OPU




                                 Village                     PC
                                  head


                                                                       WUB
               FAB

                                                            NFB

                   VAB
                                                              OPUB
                                      YUB




                                              63
 Annex 3: Some figures of the labor cost in the studied communes

Type of jobs                                 Labor cost per day (1,000 dong)
                    Dong Lam        Thanh Son        Luong Mong        Huc Dong          Quang Lam
                    Man     Woman   Man      Woman      Man    Woman   Man       Woman   Man     Woman
Tree planting       20      20      13                  20     20                        15      15
Weeding             20      20                          20     20                        15      15
Cinnamon                                                20                               20-25
harvesting
Illegal logging     40-50
Bamboo                      15      10-15
extraction
NTFPs gathering             5-15             5-10
Hunting wildlife    0-200           little                             little
For 135 and other                                                      12                25
constructions

 Annex 4: Some names of products mentioned in the report


         Vietnamese name                     Scientific name                     English name
 So                                 Thea sasanqua Pierre
 Trau                               aleurites montana                  Tung oil tree
 Lim                                Erythrophloeum fordii Oliv
 Dong rieng                         Canna edulis Ker                   Edible canna
 Thao qua                           Amomum aromaticum Roxb             Tsao ko
 Tram                               Canarium Sp                        Canarium
 Keo tai tuong                      Acacia mangium                     Acacia
 Que                                Cassia cinnamomum                  Cinnamon
 Bach dan                           Eucalyptus Sp.                     Eucalyptus
 Tre giay                           All species of bamboo families     Paper bamboo
 Luong                              A big diameter bamboo species




                                                     64
Map 1:   VIETNAM




                                     CHINA
                     Lang Son

                    Bac Giang
            Hanoi
                                Quang Ninh




                                65
        Map 2:                  QUANG NINH PROVINCE



                              Mong Cai



                             Hai Ha




                                      Dam Ha




China
                 Binh Lieu
                                             National road 18   Cam Pha
                                  Tien Yen

                                                                            Ha Long


                                          Ba Che
                 Lang Son



                                                            Hoanh Bo


                                         Bac Giang

                                                                  Uong Bi




                                                      66
Map 3:        SURVEYED COMMUNES IN FOUR DISTRICTS


               China



                           Hoanh mo

                                           Quang Lam
                                Huc Dong
                                                       Dam Ha town
               Binh Lieu town




 Lang Son

                                   Ba Che town
                          Thanh Son




            Luong Mong


  Bac Giang

                         Dong Lam




                                  Hoanh Bo town




                                           67

				
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