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Gendered Roles in Agrarian Transition: A Study of Lowland Rice Farming in Lao PDR
Open AccessArticle

A Game-Based Approach to Exploring Gender Differences in Smallholder Decisions to Change Farming Practices: White Rice Production in Laos

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School of Science and Engineering, University of Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD 4556, Australia
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Forest Management and Development Group (ForDev), Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, ETH Zürich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems (ITES), ETH Zürich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5064, Australia
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National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Nongviengkham Village, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital P.O. Box 7170, Laos
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Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Laos, Nabong Campus, Pakxap-Mai Village, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital P.O. Box 7322, Laos
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Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office, Thameung Village 13000, Kaysone Phomvihane District, Savannakhet Province, Laos
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College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University, Douglas, QLD 4811, Australia
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Center for Urban Transitions, Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia
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Bristol Business School, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
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SMART Infrastructure Facility, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Av, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6594; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166594
Received: 7 July 2020 / Revised: 7 August 2020 / Accepted: 8 August 2020 / Published: 14 August 2020
What influences farmers’ decisions to adopt agricultural technologies is an important question for international agricultural research projects. There are often interpersonal differences between women and men that influence the adoption of decisions and behaviours, but few studies in the literature focus on these factors. We describe a game-based approach to explore decision-making processes underpinning the adoption of new farming technologies and practices in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Sowing a different rice variety is the tailored technology. The game explored adoption behaviours influencing decisions on transitioning from growing glutinous rice, a traditional variety preferred for consumption, to “white” rice for commercial export to international markets. We conducted separate game-workshops with 36 women and 36 men in 4 villages of southern Laos that were transitioning from subsistence to commercial smallholder production. The gaming exposed various possible behaviours and decisions that women and men considered. Access to resources, both assets and information, was equal for all players, yet women were found to adopt new rice varieties more readily than men and to engage in cooperative behaviours in the game situation. The study highlighted the need for further gender-sensitive research into cooperation among women in the agricultural context—an understanding beneficial for countries and regions undergoing agricultural transition. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender; rural development; role-playing game; Laos; adoption; agrarian transition: Companion Modelling gender; rural development; role-playing game; Laos; adoption; agrarian transition: Companion Modelling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Larson, S.; -Dray, A.; Cornioley, T.; Thephavanh, M.; Thammavong, P.; Vorlasan, S.; Connell, J.G.; Moglia, M.; Case, P.; Alexander, K.S.; Perez, P. A Game-Based Approach to Exploring Gender Differences in Smallholder Decisions to Change Farming Practices: White Rice Production in Laos. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6594. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166594

AMA Style

Larson S, -Dray A, Cornioley T, Thephavanh M, Thammavong P, Vorlasan S, Connell JG, Moglia M, Case P, Alexander KS, Perez P. A Game-Based Approach to Exploring Gender Differences in Smallholder Decisions to Change Farming Practices: White Rice Production in Laos. Sustainability. 2020; 12(16):6594. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166594

Chicago/Turabian Style

Larson, Silva; -Dray, Anne; Cornioley, Tina; Thephavanh, Manithaythip; Thammavong, Phomma; Vorlasan, Sisavan; Connell, John G.; Moglia, Magnus; Case, Peter; Alexander, Kim S.; Perez, Pascal. 2020. "A Game-Based Approach to Exploring Gender Differences in Smallholder Decisions to Change Farming Practices: White Rice Production in Laos" Sustainability 12, no. 16: 6594. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166594

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