Sumernet

Precarity and Vulnerability Under Expansion of Rubber Plantation in Northern Laos and Northern Shan State

In northern Laos and Northern Shan State in Myanmar, there is a rapid expansion of rubber plantation, both by large economic concession and by small holder farmers themselves. The impact of the introduction of rubber is different from place to place. This paper analyzed the situation before and after the introduction of rubber in two villages in Northern Shan State, and two in Luang Namtha province, Lao PDR. We followed Rigg et al (2016) in differentiating vulnerability and precarity while assessing the changes that women and men experienced, which allowed us to problematize the long-term vulnerability of seemingly well-adapted farming households. We have also linked the analysis of vulnerability and precarity to changes in gender relations in the household. An increase in household cash income, increased precarity as well as external support have nuanced impact on gender relations.