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Determinants of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in the Northwest Mountains, Vietnam

Tran Quang, Tuyen (2014): Determinants of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in the Northwest Mountains, Vietnam.

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This study is the first to analyze the intensity of nonfarm participation and its correlates among ethnic minority households in the Northwest Mountains - the poorest region of Vietnam. We found that ethnic minority households depend heavily on agriculture for subsistence and their access to nonfarm employment is very limited. Households that participated in nonfarm activities have a much higher level of education, income, assets and a lower level of poverty than those without nonfarm participation. Factors affecting the level of nonfarm participation were examined by using a fractional logit model. The results show that education, notably among other factors, has a strongly increasing effect on the intensity of nonfarm participation. Having more annual crop land and water surface for aquaculture reduces the intensity of participation in nonfarm activities. In addition, some commune characteristics were found to be closely linked to the extent of nonfarm participation. A commune with nonfarm job opportunities and paved roads increases the intensity of nonfarm participation for households living in that commune. From the findings what policy implication can be drawn is that any poverty alleviation policies should aim at improving the access of ethnic minorities to education and nonfarm job opportunities.

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