Presentation GAPE Darren Shifting cultivation 29 March 2012


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  • 1-3: Elicit perceptions from audience> “When you hear Slash and Burn what ideas come to mind?” 5: Accurate figures are difficult to gather. Certain that dropping each year. 7: In many shifting cultivation communities, animals provide the income needed to cover rice deficiency and the purchase of market goods. (should be accompanied by regulations and services such as training and vaccination) Mainly rice, but also corn, cassava, sweet potato, etc. Higher agriculture diversity (compared to wet rice)
  • 1: gently sloping land is not available, shifting cultivation or improved fallow systems are probably the best form of arable cropping. 2: Poverty restricts farmers' opportunities to adopt cash cropping because they lack investment capital and are unable to wait for long-term returns. 3: Scarce land available for permanent cropping in shifting cultivation areas Weeding major part of labor for swidden (mostly labor) - Paddy: chemicals (fertilizers), heavy equipment, tillage
  • 2- Permanent cropping leads to permanent deforestion 3: People often talk about land degradation caused by swidden. This is unfair because they’re comparing it to forest rather than agricultural land in general.
  • - Emphasis on hierarchy—one won’t look to pursue higher level needs before satisfying lower levels - Once they are satisfied they will no longer serve to motivate—you must go to the next level - Discuss in terms of needs and barriers to those needs:Reduction and Stabilization Policies Land tenure; Land use planning; Land allocation Promotion of permanent cash cropping Expansion of paddy area Increased animal husbandry Resettlement Increasing population pressure Limited flat land Limited labor Limited paddy technical knowledge
  • Presentation GAPE Darren Shifting cultivation 29 March 2012

    1. 1. Shifting Agriculture and Livelihoods of Upland Communities in Lao PDRDarren J
    2. 2. Terminology and Perceptions Slash and Burn Swidden Fallow Dominant cropping system in the uplands Significant % of population practicing Much more than cropping: livestock, NTFPs, etc.
    3. 3. Two Forms of Shifting Cultivation Rotational shifting cultivation ◦ Most common type in Laos ◦ Villages not moved but cultivated plots shifted according to a crop/fallow cycle Pioneering shifting cultivation ◦ Village settlements moved from one site to another after several years, mainly because the nearby forest has become exhausted.
    4. 4. Swidden Calendar
    5. 5. Inputs and Outputs Average Rice Yield ◦ Paddy land: 2.75 MT per HA  2 harvests per year ◦ Swidden land: 0.75 MT per HA.  1 harvest per plot (fallow cycle) Yield per labor ◦ Paddy land: 1 day’s work = 4.2 kg (rice) ◦ Swidden land: 1 day’s work = 7.9 kg (rice)
    6. 6. Environmental Issues Shifting cultivation causes temporary deforestation during cropping period, but allows for regrowth of secondary forest o Deforestation from swidden primarily reduces secondary forest fallow, not primary forest In most studies shifting cultivation is not recognized as a form of agricultural land use or agroforestry; it is always compared with forest Soil erosion, chemicals, fertility decline
    7. 7. “The [argument] that the present shifting cultivation system condemns rural people to continued poverty is a more compelling reason for developing a diversified and settled form of agriculture than any adverse aspect of natural resource degradation.”-- FAO and ADB, 1998)
    8. 8. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    9. 9. Livelihood Implications