Smallholder rubber plantation expansion and its impact on local livelihoods, land use and agrobiodiversity, a case study from Daka, Xishuangbanna, southwestern China

Yongneng Fu, Harold Brookfield, Huijun Guo, Jin Chen, Aiguo Chen, Jingyun Cui

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Crop inventory, botanical surveys, and questionnaire investigations of 60% of households in Daka from 1998 to 2004 (a Hani nationality village in the mountainous region of Xishuangbanna) were undertaken. We focused on virtual extinction of agrobiodiversity in smallholder rubber plantations, which have improved smallholder livelihoods but have affected land-use strategies. Income per capita has increased from US$128.3 in 1998 to US$561.7 in 2004 because of an increase of income from rubber from US$75.8 in 1998 to US$451.4 in 2004. The number of cultivated upland rice varieties decreased from seven in 2001 to one in 2004 because of a sharp increase in rubber price after 2002. Rubber plantations increased from 17.7ha in 1998 to 82.2ha in 2004, while swidden fields decreased from 20.4ha in 1998 to 12.7ha in 2004. It appears that traditional upland rice production and number of varieties is being seriously eroded by encroachment from rubber plantation. Stabilization of agrobiodiversity loss is necessity while still improving the rural economy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)22-29
    JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
    Volume16
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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