The paper documents how the implementation of the land tenure policy of the Vietnamese government has affected the agricultural system, livelihood strategies and food self-sufficiency of Thai farmers in a remote upland village, Que, in Nghe An Province, North Central Vietnam. It is shown that the enforcement of restrictions on the area under swidden agriculture has resulted in a strong reduction of swidden agriculture production and shortened fallow periods, not compensated for by the slow increase in paddy rice production. It is suggested that while the changes imposed on land use certainly lead to an increase in forest cover, it is likely that the shortened fallow cycle on the land allocated to swiddening will lead to declining yields and replacement of forest fallow by bush and grass fallow, and thus to decreases in labour productivity. It is discussed whether there are options open to farmers for changing their portfolio of income generating activities in order to maintain and improve food self-sufficiency, income and living conditions. Finally, new trends in Vietnamese land tenure policy are outlined, and their possible implications discussed.
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