Climate change and livelihood resilience capacities in the Mekong Delta [...]
Climate change and livelihood resilience capacities in the Mekong Delta: a case study on the transition to rice–shrimp farming in Vietnam’s Kien Giang Province
Thijs Poelma, Mucahid Mustafa Bayrak, Duong Van Nha, and Thong Anh Tran. “Climate change and livelihood resilience capacities in the Mekong Delta: a case study on the transition to rice–shrimp farming in Vietnam’s Kien Giang Province.” Climatic Change 164, 9 (2021).
Responding to changing climatic conditions in the Mekong Delta (MKD), Vietnam’s national and provincial governments have in recent years placed greater emphasis on aquaculture-oriented farming practices, such as shrimp and rice–shrimp farming, instead of rice monoculture. This study assessed whether the transition to rice–shrimp and extensive shrimp farming has enhanced the livelihood resilience of local farmers in Kiên Giang—a coastal province in the MKD—to climate change. A theoretical framework was developed, which combined the resilience capacities framework with the subjective resilience and Resilience Index Measurement Analysis frameworks. Subsequently, the framework was applied to examine three types of agricultural-based livelihoods: (1) monocrop rice farming; (2) rice–shrimp farming; and (3) extensive shrimp farming. A mixed-methods approach was undertaken consisting of both in-depth and semistructured interviews as well as household surveys (n = 120). The findings demonstrated that rice–shrimp farmers’ livelihoods were relatively the most resilient to climate change. On the other hand, rice farmers were generally more able to recover from climate stressors, such as drought and saline intrusion, whereas shrimp farmers, lacking transformative capacity, were the least resilient. This study concluded that the governmental decision to transition Kiên Giang’s agricultural sector towards rice–shrimp farming has been relatively successful.