The Price of Rice

Vietnam and Laos

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War decimated the landscape of Vietnam. The drastic economic times that followed drove Vietnam into the globalizing economy at lightning speed — and the country soon became the second largest exporter of rice in the world. After the war, Vietnam catapulted into the global marketplace, fast becoming the second largest producer of rice in the world. But the price of this rice is still being calculated: one out of every seven people in Vietnam goes hungry, for lack of rice, and farmers are spending more on chemical fertilizer than they are earning in profits.

Outer Voices traveled to Vietnam and Laos to see first hand what environmental leader, Tranh Thi Lanh, has done to create a movement for sustainable agriculture in this region. This is a story about farming — the pressures of the global economy on people and land, the deep spiritual relationships that people develop with land, and that they in turn use to preserve it. And underneath that, there’s what it is to build an environmental movement in Vietnam, after agent orange.

For more information about the work of Social Policy Ecological Research Center please visit their website:


  • The Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation
  • Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
  • The LEF Foundation
  • The Lucius and Eva Eastman Foundation
  • And many other generous donors.


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