Rethinking Rural Livelihoods and Food Security in Myanmar with Assistant Professor Mark Vicol

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After decades of economic and political isolation, Myanmar’s rural economy is rapidly shifting from a narrow reliance on low-productivity agriculture, to a more diverse array of farm and non-farm activities. This transition poses urgent policy and scholarly questions for the analysis of inequality, livelihood patterns and food security among the country's rural population. Despite some gains, poverty, landlessness, access to non-farm job opportunities, and food insecurity remain significant challenges for rural Myanmar.

Assistant Professor Mark Vicol caught up with Dr Thushara Dibley to discuss his work investigating the changing relationships between livelihood patterns, land, poverty and food security in Myanmar, arguing that in order to create impactful change, we need to rethink food and nutrition security and adapt to the local context.

Mark Vicol is Assistant Professor in the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University, and an honorary associate of the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. Mark is a human geographer by training and his research focuses on the intersections between rural livelihoods, smallholder agriculture and patterns of agrarian change in South and Southeast Asia.

You can follow Mark on Twitter @markvicol.

For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: sydney.edu.au/sseac.

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