Impact Assessment

Poverty Reduction in the Industrial Bamboo Value Chain, Prosperity Initiative, 2009

    In Northern Viet Nam and across the border into Lao PDR, an industrial bamboo cluster with high potential for poverty reduction is emerging. Luong (Dendrocalamus barbatus), a premium bamboo species used for industrial processing, is one of the five major commercial species groups supplying the emerging cluster. 'Key Findings from the Second Thanh Hoa Bamboo Survey: Second Prosperity Initiative Impact Assessment Report' examines the contribution of the luong value chain to poverty reduction, focusing on three upland districts in Thanh Hoa.

    Summary of results
    Between 2006 and 2008, poverty fell by 8 percentage points among households engaged in cultivating, processing or trading luong bamboo but remained unchanged for households without luong incomes. Matched difference-in-difference estimates show that household incomes were approximately $231 an annum higher among households with luong than without incomes from luong.

    If luong yields increase to 13 tons per hectare from their 2008 level of around 6 tons/ha while prices increase to half of the Chinese moso bamboo prices ($50/ton), the percentage of people living on less than $1.25/day will fall from 49% in 2008 to 33% in 2015. This translates into just over 62,000 people leaving extreme poverty or almost $4 million more in the hands of poor people. Projected reductions in poverty due to luong incomes are even more dramatic if the higher international poverty line of $2/day is used.

    The results indicate further potential for growth within the Thanh Hoa luong sector. Among the farmers surveyed, median yields of 286 luong culms per hectare are well below the estimated sustainable yield of 600 culms per hectare. In addition, currently less than a quarter of the luong sold is processed into higher value products.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Market Assessment
    »The Prosperity Initiative (research), 2007-
    Programme Design
    »The Prosperity Initiative (design), 2007-