Integrating gender and social inclusion into agricultural value chain research in Myanmar and Vietnam
Farming systems and agricultural supply chains throughout southeast Asia are undergoing rapid change, including increased levels of commercialisation and market integration, feminisation of agriculture, and migration of youth in response to non-farm work opportunities.
These processes are not only shaping rural landscapes, communities and value chains, but are challenging traditional gender roles and relationships. They are also impacting differently on the many ethnic minority communities living in these regions.
In response, this project sought to understand the underlying social processes in order to develop technical and policy innovations that are equitable for women and men and contribute to the empowerment of women. This includes the development of more productive, sustainable and profitable farming systems and agricultural value chains.
The project aimed to support a more informed integration of gender analysis and social inclusion concepts into agricultural value chain research by:
- integrating research on gendered social relations across a range of selected agricultural value chains, ethnic and cultural, and geographic contexts in Vietnam in existing projects (a gender transformative research approach);
- developing the capacity of researchers to collaborate with social scientists to deliver transdisciplinary gender-transformative agricultural research and interventions (a gender awareness approach); and
- establishing a vibrant, active gender network and knowledge hub in Vietnam and southeast Asia.
Expected scientific results
- Strengthened knowledge and skills of researchers to conduct transdisciplinary research with social scientists to integrate gender and social inclusion research methods and approaches into agricultural household and value chain research.
- Created a vibrant, supportive and innovative gender network and knowledge hub in Vietnam linked to Myanmar and reaching out to other southeast Asian countries in active collaboration with DFAT and ACIAR.
- Developed publications on gender-integrated approaches in agriculture and value-chain in the context of southeast Asia.
Gender research: A strategic gender research study was conducted in a Hmong village in the Dien Bien province. Findings provide practical recommendations to ACIAR for socially-inclusive research for agricultural development. A gender-integrated research study was conducted in collaboration with FST/2016/152, which contributed to improving intervention strategies for supporting Hmong women’s significant involvement in agroforestry management. A guide for gender- integrated participatory research approaches was published, which can be used in other ACIAR projects.
Capacity development: 58 people from local ACIAR partners participated in the gender trainings in Vietnam, and 43 people attended the gender workshop in Myanmar. After the trainings and the workshop, five projects in Vietnam, and two projects in Myanmar, they reviewed their project frameworks and developed gender-responsive research or intervention designs. These collaboration cases provide model cases as to how gender can be integrated into specific scientific topics, such as livestock, vegetable crops, and agroforestry.
Networking: The gender and agriculture platform has been formed. Information and experiences are shared through monthly gender seminars and the project website. Gender researchers who met in this platform plan to develop a special issue in a journal with a focus on gender and agriculture in Vietnam.