Professors Gordon Betcherman and Melissa Marschke and PhD candidate Iftekharul Haque have just published the article "Exploring livelihood transitions in the Mekong delta " in the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography

Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2019

Professors Gordon Betcherman and Melissa Marschke and PhD candidate, Iftekharul Haque, have just published an article "Exploring livelihood transitions in the Mekong delta " in the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.


Important environmental and economic changes are transforming livelihoods in coastal communes throughout the Mekong delta. In the process, the historical reliance on rice farming and fishing has become less viable and sustainable, forcing households to construct more complex livelihood strategies. To document these livelihood transformations, we have analyzed primary survey data from 346 households across eight coastal communes in Ca Mau Province, located in the southern tip of Vietnam's Mekong delta. We find that there was a great deal of change in the livelihoods of survey respondents over the decade covered by the survey with over 40 per cent of all households reporting a change in their primary source of income. For the most part, these changing livelihood patterns describe a successful adjustment process whereby many households partly or completely left activities that did not offer high returns for other activities that offer more, or were able to combine livelihood activities to successfully adjust. However, we argue that not all fisheries‐based households have the financial or human capital to take advantage of the opportunities arising from Vietnam's seafood boom or economic development more generally. Poverty remains prevalent for those locked into extensive aquaculture and especially farming.


The article is available at



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