One of the poorest areas of Vietnam, the Northern Mountainous Region (NMR) is largely populated by ethnic minorities. Women in these communities produce heritage breeds of pork on a smaller scale, providing them with opportunities and agency. This production also brings alternative sources of revenue outside of the cultivation of rice and corn, maintains genetic diversity, and continues indigenous knowledge systems of livestock management that have contributed to the resiliency of local communities for generations. Drawing on fieldwork in eight villages in Bac Kan and Lao Cai provinces, each populated differently by Hmong, Nung, San Chi, and Tay peoples, this article focuses on new forms of vulnerability brought on by African swine fever. With fieldwork conducted at different stages of the pandemic, African swine fever was found to be not only devastating local pigs but also strongly impacting the sustainable future of smaller-scale farming and the very livelihoods of many ethnic minority populations across the NMR. Overall, this article draws on this moment of crisis to provide strong evidence in support of nuanced policymaking that considers the complex and multi-scale interactions between geography, marginalization, ethnicity, and culture.
How to Cite
Social vulnerability, Heritage pigs, African swine fever, Gender, Vietnam
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