Burning Questions
Fellowship Award Winners

Aaron Kingsbury, Ho Ngoc Son, Ha Thi Hoa, Kieu Thi Thu Huong

Location: United States (Kingsbury), Vietnam (Ho, Ha, Kieu)
Academic field: Human geography (Kingsbury), Environment (Ho), Agriculture (Ha), Rural development (Kieu)
Award category: PhD Team

Guidance Memo

  • Title: “An analysis of value-chains and market development to support the smaller-scale production of pork by ethnic minority women in the Northern Mountainous Region of Vietnam”
  • Keywords: Vietnam. Pigs. Small-scale producers. Women producers.
  • DOI: 10.15868/socialsector.36570
  • What We Learned From It:
    • Socially and economically-marginalized women in Vietnam’s Northern Mountainous Region (NMR) raise local or heritage pigs on small-scales to supplement their family income.
    • These women farmers are greatly affected by recent growth of industrial pork production in Vietnam.
    • There is clear evidence that small-scale pork production in NMR is viable and is good socially, economically, environmentally, and for animal welfare.
    • But small-scale producers need to be supported. A number of concrete, practical ways to do so are explained in the Guidance Memo. They range from providing training in pig breeding to simple steps like teaching the small producers how to use Facebook to attract customers. (Urban customers are willing to pay more for meat from local/heritage pigs, and mobile phone use is not uncommon in NMR.)
    • The African Swine Fever crisis in northern Vietnam in mid/late 2019 threatens to put an end to raising local/heritage breeds on small scales in NMR.


Some of the Things We Really Liked when We Read the Application

  • The involvement of academic researchers in Vietnam as team members.
  • The research work is to be informed directly by the opinions of small-scale farmers (specifically rural marginalized ethnic minority women farmers).
  • The Guidance Memo will give its readers a real-life illustration of the interrelationship between small and industrial producers, of how far one can go with the strategy of limiting industrial production by supporting small local producers.

What the Kingsbury team says about the award:
“As a team, we care about how changes in animal production affect both the animals and members of rural communities. As academics, we aim to use our positions to make progressive changes in the world. The firsthand data we gather and the results it produces will provide needed voices for more marginalized communities globally as part of a larger effort to limit the spread of industrial livestock production. We aim to have a meaningful impact on the lives of members in local communities, on the efforts of advocates, and on the decisions of policy makers.” (Aaron Kingsbury, Ho Ngoc Son, Ha Thi Hoa, Kieu Thi Thu Huong)

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