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Beneficiary status and level of access to social security policies by farmers in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam

Tran, Thi Thu Nguyet (2022) Beneficiary status and level of access to social security policies by farmers in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Although Viet Nam's Mekong Delta farmers are the primary labour force and contribute 33.5% to the country's agricultural GDP, they are vulnerable to economic, health, and environmental shocks. Research of Viet Nam's farmers' well-being has been previously conducted, but none has focussed specifically on the effective implementation of social security policies in the Mekong Delta. Some studies only focus on analysing the role of social security on farmers, while others mainly focus on social security for other social groups as women, children, disabilities, but lack of specific research on social security for farmers in Viet Nam's Mekong Delta. Three months fieldwork undertaken in the three Delta provinces of Soc Trang, An Giang, and Can Tho in 2018 provides primary qualitative and quantitative data from focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, household surveys and informal observations with 180 farming households. A mixed-method approach enables a comprehensive comparison and cross-evaluation of farmers' level of access to and beneficiary status of health insurance, voluntary social insurance, emergency assistance, and poverty reduction programs. Gender, occupation, lifestyle, economic, ecological and cultural factors impact Mekong Delta farmers' social security status. The research reveals that these farmers pay more attention to health issues than finding sustainable solutions to adequately support and manage their lives after retirement because they have a better understanding of health insurance policy than voluntary social insurance. Ensuring farmers' social security is one of the solutions that the Vietnamese government is taking to improve Mekong Delta farmers' quality of life under rapid economic and socio-ecological change. The life risks that the farmers face and the limited coping mechanisms they presently adopt underpin the proposed recommendations regarding the importance of raising farmers' personal understanding of the policies, uses and assessment of government social security services.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Asia Research Centre
Supervisor(s): Reid, Anja, Warren, Carol and Trees, Kathryn
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