Tuesday, 29 May

13.45-15.30: Tools for Responsible Investment in Agriculture in the Mekong


Nguyễn Anh Phong phong.nguyen@ipsard.gov.vn

Organization: Agroinfo, IPSARD VietNam

Land fragmentation is a barrier to the development of agriculture production and rural economy. Recognizing the situation, the Vietnamese Government has developed important policies to encourage large - scale land based investments and promote land accumulation. There are a number of incentives for investors/enterprises, however there is a lack of a legislative requirements that attaches responsibility of enterprises in land based investments.
The Code of Conduct (CoC) of responsible investment had been developed and piloted in the tea sector, which is one of key income sources of smallholders and ethnic minority farmers in the mountainous areas of Vietnam. The CoC had been developed in active collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), includes of 28 principles grouped in 3 sub-section of (1) ensuring inclusive economic development based on principles of mutual benefit sharing; (2) ensuring recognition of land users rights and environmental protection for sustainable development and (3) respecting cultural - social aspects and traditional values.
The CoC had been introduced and disseminated to the tea enterprises via the Vietnam Tea Association. Applying the CoC, tea enterprises improved their reputation and prestige with customers; local community, particularly women and ethnic minority farmers, improved land tenure and benefit from socially responsible land related investments such as gender-equitability, information transparency, non-coercive negotiations between investors and governments, and being inclusive in commodity value chain, which finally led to the improvement of their wellbeing. The paper also propose policy recommendations of (1) responsible investment would be considered as necessary part in template of contract farming, (2) giving priority to enterprises which has linkages with farmers following responsible investment principles to access support policies (e.g. credit or taxes support); (3) amending related policies to allow local authorities to play an important role in monitoring and reconciling the commitment of enterprises and smallholder and ethnic minority farmers following the RLAI principles and CoC; and (4) propose a scale up plan for the application of the CoC for other agriculture commodities.

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