From Shifting Cultivation to Rubber Tree Plantation, Effects of a Reduction in Home-produced Foods on Household Income in Northern Laos

By Duangmany Luangmany and Shinji Kaneko.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 24, 2014 $US5.00

Subsistence economy enables rural households to live with lower amount of cash but this economic regime may promote less efficient utilizing of land and forest resources because of ambiguous legal status of land ownership. Granting land ownership to the farmers to promote cash crop production would lead to a reduction in food crops production. This study assumed that in a transitional process from subsistence economy to commercial rubber tree cultivation in Northern Laos, greater amount of cash obtains from rubber would be accompanied by greater amount of cash spent on foods at the market as a result of a reduction in food crops production. This may further degrade the real amount of income from rubber. Ratio of the non-food expenditure of the household in rubber tree planting village to the household in the subsistence village employs as an indicator to indicate livelihood changes as a consequence rubber tree cultivation. The results confirm that higher income do accompany by greater amount of cash spent on foods. However, the greater amount of food expenditure only slightly degrades household income in the rubber tree planting village. In conclusion, shift to rubber tree plantation would improve livelihoods of smallholder after rubber trees became productive.

Keywords: Subsistence Shifting Cultivation, Rubber Tree Plantation, Household Food Expenditure, Non-food Expenditure, Northern Laos

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp.53-67. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 24, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 844.510KB)).

Duangmany Luangmany

PhD Student, Development Policy, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan

I work for the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment of Laos. I finished my Master in 2011 at the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC), Hiroshima University, Japan. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Development Policy program at the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC), Hiroshima University, Japan. My research interest is on the decisions of small holder rubber production on food security and forest use in northen Laos.

Prof. Shinji Kaneko

Professor, Vice Dean, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan

Dr. Kaneko’s researches broadly cover empirical analyses of energy, natural resources and environmental issues in developing countries. Dr. Kaneko has publications in Energy Policy, Ecological Economics, Energy Economics, Environment and Development Economics, Energy for Sustainable Development, Journal of Environmental Management, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Journal of Cleaner Production, etc.