Despite its limited amount of arable land, Vietnam's agricultural economy has demonstrated impressive success, particularly in the 15 years since the introduction of doi moi. The shift to the use of market mechanisms and price incentives contributed significantly to this success. Vietnam has not only achieved self-sufficiency in rice production, but is now a major global food exporter and is the world's third leading exporter of rice, competing actively with Thailand and the United States in this global market. Between 1988 and 1997, total food production in Vietnam increased 50 percent. This extraordinary agricultural success not only contributed positively to Vietnam's foreign exchange earnings, but also contributed to a reduction in the incidence of poverty.
In addition to rice, Vietnam has had success with other agricultural cash crops . In recent years Vietnam has become a major exporter of both groundnuts and cashew nuts. The export of cashew nuts in 1997 brought in US$125 million. Also, Vietnam has become Asia's second largest producer of robusta coffee, and coffee is now Vietnam's second leading agricultural export. Other important export crops are rubber and tea.