This paper describes how the social capital of rice farmers of the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, as manifested in the tradition of collective farming practice, has changed. Collective rice farming persisted for decades, irrespective of critical events that challenged its continuation, due to two key factors: the high need for collective farming to ensure subsistence, and the availability of a closely knit social network that facilitated the exchange of labor. Despite its longevity, the practice of collective farming, particularly in terms of labor exchange and mutual aid in farming activities, has not been maintained under current agrarian reforms. Land reform, increased mechanization, and shortened crop cycles leading to labor shortages have all resulted in individualized rice farming, making mobilization for spontaneous collective action at the community level challenging.
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