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Urbanisation and Rural Development in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta: revisiting livelihood transformations in three fruit-growing settlements, 2006-2015

Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation have had multiple impacts on rural Vietnam since economic reform in the mid-1980s. In 2006, the authors conducted a study of the social and economic transformations in three rural settlements in the area often described as Vietnam’s rice bowl and where livelihoods and the nature of the local economic base, including farming, had changed radically. All could be described as success stories, especially when compared to other rural areas in the Mekong Delta region. Almost a decade later, this paper revisits the same settlements and describes their social and economic evolutions and the key factors that help decipher three distinct but similar trajectories.

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Urbanisation drives profound transformations in rural areas and in food systems, presenting both challenges and opportunities for poverty reduction, rural development and food security. Policies at the local, national, regional and global scales are of critical importance in shaping rural-urban linkages and the political economy of food systems.

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Urbanisation, rural-urban transformations and food systems