Friday, 09 February 2018 00:00

Rice is Life

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What do you think about when you think of South East Asia? You probably think bustling cities with crazy traffic and even crazier driving, with the smells of smoke, pollution and exotic foods mingling in the air. Or maybe you imagine something more peaceful like the endless rice paddies, made up of many farms, only separated by the rough dirt tracks and stilted bamboo shacks that many locals call home. There are iconic features that are widely recognisable throughout this rapidly growing part of the world, in countries such as Laos. These features, shared by these neighbouring countries, define not…
Friday, 12 January 2018 00:00

Motoring ahead in Myanmar

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By Romana Roschinsky Recently I was on my first field research trip to Myanmar. What I knew before about this fascinating country was little: Golden pagodas, an oppressive regime ruling for a long time, the struggle of Aung Sang Su Kyi, and the recent humanitarian crisis. I was excited to plunge into research on rural women’s empowerment for the ACIAR funded MyLife project. Image 1. Pagodas galore: On our way to do interviews in Tha Pyay Pin village we passed this beautiful complex. Buddhism plas an important role in the daily life of rural Myanmar (image: Romana Roschinsky) MyLife project,…
Saturday, 16 December 2017 00:00

Deck the halls with a blog or two

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2017 is coming to end with the “silly season” pretty much here! I am sure many of you are looking forward to enjoying some spare time to catch up on the blogs you missed out on in the year. Also, I am sure you are dying to hear who the winners of the blog competition are! Don’t worry, you have come to the right place. Not only will you find out who the winners are but you all also see some supplementary blogs to get you through the agonising time off in the coming weeks. RAID Competition RAID ran a…
Friday, 01 December 2017 00:00

Exploring forage options with farmers in southern Laos

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By Joshua Philp (The University of Adelaide) In the centre of a dense patch of dry dead weeds, a single tussock of vibrant green grass stands tall under the merciless Laotian sun. None of us could say for sure how this solitary Panicum maximum (Guinea grass) plant found its way into a secluded area of Mr Deang’s farm, but its survival where other species had withered and died was clear demonstration of how perennial forage grasses could benefit farmers in the dry season. This is what Mr Deang has led us to see, and it is why he is interested…
Friday, 17 November 2017 00:00

Empowering rural women

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Last month was International Day of Rural Women – a day that pays tribute to the invaluable role that women play in their homes, local communities, income generation, and overall family wellbeing. Yet, around the world, rural women and girls suffer disproportionately when it comes to poverty and hunger. Often, they struggle to gain access to land, credit, agricultural inputs and markets. Structural barriers and discriminatory social norms continue to constrain women’s decision-making power, and prevent them from having the same political and social participation as their male counterparts. With tightening farm profit margins, the out-migration of men to towns…
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