Impact of Oyster Farming on Rural Community Sustainability in North Vietnam
This chapter discusses community sustainability in relation to social impact of the implementation by the Vietnamese, Research Institute for Aquaculture No1 and NSW DPI of oyster farming into the Ban Sen Province in the Van Don district in North Vietnam, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). A Photovoice project in which cameras and diaries were given to ten oyster farmers to record their story of impact from oyster farming was conducted in late 2011. Photo data was then coded into a Five Capitals Framework (environmental, human, social, institutional, produced). Results indicate oyster farming has been a largely positive impact on lives of farmers and their commune. Income from oyster farming has enabled diversification into other types of farming, provided jobs, more assets, better life quality, and opportunity for the young to stay in the commune. Social impact was often linked to the new industry with impact across community spirit and quality of life. Some negative impact issues relating to parasites, seed quality, some jobs that were boring and lacking satisfaction and low oyster prices were highlighted. Farmers indicated through photos that the next generation may stay in the area in oyster farming. Photovoice in conjunction with Five Capitals framework is recommended as a means of qualitatively describing the livelihood and community impacts of aid programs which are not captured by the usual economics-focused impact studies.
KeywordsRural Community Sustainability Vietnam Oyster Farming Photovoice Five Capitals
Gratitude is expressed to the many people and organizations who made this study possible. Particular thanks is accorded to the ten oyster farmers who so willingly committed their time to this project and produced both photos and written explanations to tell their story of the impact of oyster farming. The efforts of Nguyen Thi Thanh An, Geoff Morris and Kieu Xuan Hung from ACIAR are warmly acknowledged, as is the assistance of Cao Truong Giang, Cao Van Hanh and Pham Van Nhiem, and Dr Le Xan, from RIA1. Thanks also to Mr Pham Ngoc Chanh (boat driver). The firsthand background information provided from local authorities at the commune and district levels was of great assistance in the conduct of this study.
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