The impact of row seeder technology on women labor: a case study in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

by Paris T and Truong Thi Ngoc Chi (2005). Gender and Technology Development Vol 9.No.2, Sage Publications, New Delhi, India

The promotion of plastic row/drum seeder technology is on the increase in Vietnam, particularly in the southern part of the country, and in other Southeast Asian countries due to its advantages over the traditional transplanting or broadcast method of rice production. Realizing a need to understand the factors contributing to its adoption, and its impact on rice farming households and on different categories of women, a study was conducted in the Thoi Lai commune of Cantho Province in the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam with higher adoption rate of row seeders. Seventy–eight and 41 couples from adopter and non–adopter farming households were interviewed separately. Focused interviews were carried out with three categories of women: landless, poor and better–off. Progressive farmers who had more frequent contact with extension workers, who had better–educated wives and who used low seed rates were more likely to adopt row seeders. More than half of the poor women from farming households who worked as wage laborers in hand–weeding and gap–filling were displaced by this new technology. The poor and landless women fare the worst due to lack of alternative job opportunities and increases in debts. In order to mitigate the anticipated negative impact of row seeders on poor women, extension agencies and non–governmental organizations should facilitate the formation of women’s groups and cooperatives, thereby enabling them to have access to and control of this equipment, and provide custom services to other farmers.

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About taongtanglaw

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