High and low value fish chains in the Mekong Delta: challenges for livelihoods and governance

Vo Thi Thanh Loc, S.R. Bush, Le Xuan Sinh, Nguyen Tri Khiem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the structure, function and wealth distribution within the Pangasius hypophthalmus and Henicorhynchus spp./Labiobarbus spp. value chains in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. The analysis is driven by key questions relating to the form and function of value chains, their contribution to the livelihoods of farmers and fishers, the effectiveness of government policy and the potential for value chain governance mechanisms, such as contracts and certification, to steer towards sustainable production. The results indicate that actors in the high value Pangasius hypopthalmus export chain have a higher potential income, but face considerably higher economic vulnerability from global markets. Alternatively, Henichorhychus/Labiobarbus spp. fishers are severely constrained in their ability to negotiate higher prices for their fish but appear to be less vulnerable to economic and environmental change. The paper concludes that for value chain governance to improve the livelihoods of fishers and farmers in both high and low value chains, new arrangements are needed that better accommodate customary institutions and informal market relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-908
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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