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 Global Summary
Events of global incidence such as climate change, market disruptions and transnational policy changes exert exogenous pressure on rice-based systems and are generally considered as drivers of change. However, the changes of these social-ecological systems are not solely determined by such exogenous pressures, since system-inherent determinants (such as farmers’ economic and socio-cultural attributes) might also strongly influence the system transformation dynamics. Thus, the interaction between exogenous pressures and endogenous drivers results in a specific “responsiveness” which defines the direction and intensity of changes in rice-based systems. With two interdisciplinary workshops and data collection, RICH-3P will fill the present knowledge gap in the of field transformation dynamics in major rice production systems of Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines. For this purpose three main tasks shall be accomplished: 1) elaboration of rice-production typologies, 2) implementation of system transformation models, 3) assessment of likely future perspectives of rice systems and their implications for well-being at the farm and food security at the regional scale. The work builds on long-standing contacts and collaborations in an established and evolving network of German and Asian rice scientists.

 Workplan summary
In a first step, an expert workshop will identify recent change trends (baseline 2000 vs. 2015) and representative exogenous pressures and endogenous drivers for these changes in major lowland rice-based systems of the target countries. After a diachronic analysis, prototypic change patterns will be defined. The resulting typology will be used to refine the selection of specific case study regions (2 in each country – 6 in total). At each study site, academic field assistants will assess past and current attributes of production systems based on samples of 100-200 farms/households in view of documenting pathways of change and identifying likely risks or opportunities associated with observed transformations. In a second workshop, the collected and systematized data (and of additional external case studies conducted in Thailand and Indonesia) will be presented and discussed. A meta-analysis of these studies and an interdisciplinary scenario analysis will infer likely future trends in representative probable future rice-based systems and estimate the implications of such transformations for household or community welfare but also for regional production and food security.

 Theoretical background and methodological development
The development pathway of rice-based systems has been apparently driven by forces emanating from outside of the farm or household. Such exogenous pressures have included population dynamics (demographic growth and structure, migration, etc.), policies (provision of irrigation infrastructure, pricing and trade, investments in research and extension, etc.), technical innovations (genotypes, agro-chemicals, machinery, ITC, etc.), markets (immergence, types, access, etc.), and global climate change (drought, flood, changing seasonality) (Trébuil, 2012). The overarching character of such exogenous pressures as drivers of agricultural systems change has also been confirmed in other regions of the world, where socio-ecological divergences of farmers have been as pronounced as in Asia (Niedertscheider and Erb, 2014). On the other hand, the extent by which exogenous pressures affect and shape production systems depends on system- or farm-immanent attributes. These endogenous drivers play also an important role in determining the responsiveness (degree and direction of change) of social-ecological systems. Thus, it has been shown that location factors and farm/famer characteristics interact differentially with economic, technological, demographic, institutional and sociocultural change processes and shape the transformation of production systems (van Vliet et al., 2015). Specifically in rice, the source of seeds, amounts of fertilizers and pesticides applied, labour use strategies, harvest methods, and post-harvest operations vary between farms and depend on farmer’s endowment with resources (land, labour, capital, and access to knowledge) and interact with socio-cultural characteristics such as farmers’ aspirations and motivation (rice as a cultural fact, place attachment, mobility, believes, education, etc. –Appadurai, 2013) and alternative income sources (remittances, non-farm employment, etc. - Becker, 2008). These interactions undeniably influence the direction and extend of changes in rice production systems.
Responses to change
Both the pressures and the speed of socio-ecological systems transformation are increasing global phenomena. Fast and sudden transformation kinetics lead to “surprises” (unexpected outcomes of responses) and uncertainty, and consequently to difficulties in managing risk (Fernández-Llamazares et al., 2015). In response to risks and uncertainties, recent trends across Asia indicate a growing divergence in the development rice-based systems. Emerging strategies (even within the same production region or irrigation scheme) include diversification (i.e. upland crops during the dry season, System of Rice Intensification - SRI), intensification (i.e. land size increases, agro-industrial production), and specialization (i.e. sticky, pigmented or perfumed rice, organic farming, etc.), but also a shift out of rice (i.e. upland production, perennial crops, sale of farmland for non-agricultural – real estate – uses, etc.) (e.g. Gurung et al., 2016). The relative importance of exogenous pressures and endogenous attributes in shaping transformative changes in rice production systems is unknown. A conceptualization of possible patterns, pathways and perspectives is presented in the analytical framework (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Schematic representation of a modified DPSIR framework for analysing the responsiveness1 of rice production systems in Asia based on exogenous pressures and endogenous drivers of change

1 Responsiveness refers to the kinetic balance and the direction of evolutionary pathways, given be the share of exogenous pressures and endogenous drivers modifying the social-ecological system.