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Moving the Goal Posts: Vietnam’s Evolving Rice Balance and Other Food Security Considerations

Steven Jaffee, Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, Nguyen Ngoc Que, Dao The Anh, Nguyen The Dzung, Nguyen Ngoc Mai, Vu Nguyen and Nguyen Anh Phong

No 290670, 2011 ASAE 7th International Conference, October 13-15, Hanoi, Vietnam from Asian Society of Agricultural Economists (ASAE)

Abstract: Over an extended period, food security in Vietnam has been associated with the availability and supply/demand balance of rice. This paper examines the past, present, and likely future scenario for Vietnam’s ‘rice balance’ and the major policy, investment and other factors contributing to these trends. The focal time period is from 1990 to 2030. With Vietnam moving from a situation of food deficit to food surplus to becoming one of the developing world’s leading exporters of food, the objectives for and modalities to achieve domestic food security policy should now have shifted far beyond the long-standing focus on food availability, generally, and national rice production, specifically. The paper argues Vietnam’s food security challenges now relate more to issues of food affordability (and price volatility), child malnutrition, broader nutritional imbalances, and food safety. While this broader definition of food security has now been embedded in the GoVn’s strategic plans, it has not yet translated over to practice. Major policies and programs continue to place primary emphasis on maintaining or even increasing Vietnam’s rice production (surplus). The paper argues for a more balanced approach, targeting locations and population groups which remain vulnerability to food insecurity, addressing the broader concerns about (mal-)nutrition, and including increased attention to the role which other types of foods and other (non-production centered) instruments can play in meeting the broader objectives associated with food security. Hence, based upon past successes and remaining gaps, it is time to move the goal posts and adjust the on field strategy for realizing food security goals.

Keywords: Crop Production/Industries; Food Security and Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-10-13
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.290670

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