The cluster panacea?: Questioning the role of cooperative shrimp aquaculture in Vietnam

Ha Tran Thi Thu Ha, S.R. Bush, H. van Dijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses the role of ‘clustering’ as a form of cooperative production to improve the environmental performance of shrimp farmers and facilitating them to upgrade their position in the global value chain. Comparing intensive and extensive shrimp farmer clusters in Ca Mau province, Vietnam, we explore how this form of cooperative production can enable small-holders to upgrade both functional and relational dimensions of production to meet new requirements for participation in the global shrimp value chain. The results show that by facilitating horizontal coordination between producers clusters can improve the management capacity of both intensive and extensive producers for meeting international production standards. However, the success of clusters also depends on the type and strength of vertical coordination with other actors along the value chain for both the provision of inputs and marketing of outputs. The paper concludes that for improved extensive shrimp farmer clusters to take further advantage of production-oriented quality standards the Vietnamese government needs to play a greater role in the development of production infrastructure and create a legal framework for private sector-led cluster formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • global value chains
  • commodity chain
  • collective action
  • smallholders
  • poverty
  • certification
  • governance
  • impacts
  • kenya
  • trade

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