Exploring Marketing Options for Smallholder Farmers in Transitional Context of the Vietnamese Shrimp Sector

Q. Ta Minh, P.T.M. Ingenbleek, Tru Cong Le, J.C.M. van Trijp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


On global scale, agricultural systems are under pressure to increase productivity to meet the growing demand for food. This particularly also holds for smallholder-based systems in emerging markets, which are faced with the challenge to transition to a system that can substantially increase productivity and quality. Inevitably, this also impacts the marketing options for smallholder farmers in transitional markets. This study explores the smallholder marketing in the rapidly transitioning context of Vietnamese shrimp farming. Drawing on among others institutional and value chain literatures, the study collects qualitative data from in-depth interviews. We find that next to the traditional marketing systems, smallholder farmers can find new marketing opportunities for their shrimps through new business models such as vertical integration and cooperatives. The new opportunities, however, also seem to bring smallholder farmers in a dilemma, where, on the one hand, they want to stay in the traditional farming model because of their social commitment to the middlemen and, on the other hand, they want to join new business models because of opportunities to change for export production. We recommend that policy makers and companies ease the transition process for farmers by adapting business models to consider smallholder farmers’ social relations when developing policies to increase quality and productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-64
JournalVietnam's Socio-Economic Development: A Social Science Review
Issue number114
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


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