Gendered roles in agrarian transition: a study of lowland rice farming in Lao PDR

Moglia, Magnus, Alexander, Kim S., Larson, Silva, (Giger)-Dray, Anne, Greenhalgh, Garry, Thammavong, Phommath, Thephavanh, Manithaythip, and Case, Peter (2020) Gendered roles in agrarian transition: a study of lowland rice farming in Lao PDR. Sustainability, 12 (13). 5403.

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Traditional lifestyles of lowland rice farmers of the southern provinces of Lao People’s Democratic Republic are rapidly changing, due to two important trends. Firstly, there is a push towards modernization and commercialization of farming. Secondly, though farmers still focus on rice farming as a key activity there is an increasing move towards diversification of livelihoods. The changes have seen the uptake of non-rice crops, livestock husbandry and forest and river utilization; as well as non-farming activities. This has influenced gender relations, impacting household agricultural production decisions and amplified transitional trends To explore the processes, we analyzed data from a study of innovation adoption amongst rice farmers in southern Lao PDR. The study revealed nuances of gender-based differences in the priorities and attitudes towards farming and off-farm activities, as well as differences in behaviour related to the adoption of new practices. Women were more focused on non-farming practices and considered engaging in the modern, non-traditional, economy more than did men. Women also reported experiencing greater challenges when engaging and trading in the agricultural marketplace. The study supports the importance of taking a gendered approach to understanding the inherent complexities within agrarian change.

Item ID: 63670
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2071-1050
Keywords: rice; gender; smallholder farmers; technology adoption; Lao PDR; innovation diffusion; agrarian transition
Copyright Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Projects and Grants: ASEM/2011/052
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2020 22:14
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350706 International business @ 60%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling @ 40%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910406 Technological and Organisational Innovation @ 100%
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