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Highland agriculture in northern

Thailand is undergoing rapid changes, some for better, some for worse. These changes affect the livelihood of highland minority peoples as well as the livelihood of large rural and urban lowland Thai communities. They also affect the ecological balance of the rich but fragile mountain environment. Sustainable highland development is therefore an urgent but very delicate and complicated issue. It requires the acceptance of equal rights for people of different ethnic origins, as well as the need for environmental conservation. It should also try to reconcile age-old traditional farming wisdom with contemporary scientific knowledge. Concerted efforts by highland farmers, extension workers, policy makers and academics are needed to guarantee the future well-being of both the highland peoples and the environment in which they live.

Why this book has been written

The Soil Fertility Conservation (SFC) project was a development-oriented research project that focused on soil issues relative to highland farming under land pressure. The results of 7 years of research have been disseminated to fellow-scientists by means of scientific reports, papers and oral presentations at conferences. The ultimate goal of the research, however, was that the results should reach and benefit the farmers. In the long run, development-oriented research should indeed lead to the implementation of productive, farmer- and eco-friendly agricultural systems and to policy regulations that encourage agricultural production while conserving natural resources.

This book has been written to satisfy the explicit demand for a somewhat easier, more practical presentation of (our) research results. Our major intention is therefore to summarise scientific findings in a less-technical, more understandable manner. Thereby we will introduce elementary background theory and highlight key-issues to facilitate interpretation. Furthermore we will raise questions about several controversial issues in order to provoke critical reflection. Finally, we will also provide some practical tips and sources of further information.

Publication Details

  • Published: 1998
  • Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
  • ECHO Asia Library: SB.025