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Water Engineering, Agricultural Development and Socio-Economic Trends in the Mekong Delta

During the last decades, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam was one of the most productive and fastest growing agricultural areas in the world and even today, growth in agriculture still lasts. This paper illustrates the evolution and changes of agriculture closely linked to the development in water engineering in the Mekong Delta. It becomes apparent that the massive growth in agriculture during the last decades is not just the result of economic reforms in Vietnam but also depends significantly on contemporary and historical development in water engineering.

 

Furthermore, this paper sketches recent socio-economic trends as industrialization, urbanization, poverty and migration, which shaped patterns that are partly linkable to water aspects in the Mekong Delta. For example, it could be detected, that the spatial proximity to the Mekong River main channels seems to be an advantageous factor for socio-economic development.

 

Last but not least, this paper also shows that comprehensive and coherent analysis of secondary statistical data in Vietnam is only possible to a limited degree, since data from various data sources and different administrative levels do not always offer coherence and thus do not often allow comparative statistical analysis.

 

Klaus Vormoor

 

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