|ชื่อเรื่อง||Towards improving profitability of teak in integrated smallholder farming systems in northern Laos|
|ผู้แต่ง||Midgley, S., Blyth, M., Mounlamai, K., Midgley, D., & Brown, A.|
|บรรณานุกรม||Midgley, S., Blyth, M., Mounlamai, K., Midgley, D., & Brown, A. (2007). Towards improving profitability of teak in integrated smallholder farming systems in northern Laos. Australian Center for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia.|
One of the poorest countries in South-East Asia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), or Laos, is characterised by low population density, high ethnic diversity, poor infrastructure and geographical dispersion of its people. Agriculture employs over 80% of the population and generates 53% of GDP. Forests are a vital economic resource. In rural areas forests provide the basis for one of the few available economic activities and, in forested areas, non-timber forest products contribute more than half of family incomes.
Occurring naturally in Laos, teak is one of the world’s finest timbers. The high sustained demand for teak wood, coupled with significant shortages of supply from natural forests, has stimulated the development of plantations in many tropical countries. There are now over 10,000 hectares of teak around Luang Prabang in northern Laos and, for the farmers who have been involved, the sale of even relatively small logs significantly supplements typically very low annual incomes. Broader adoption of teak planting would confer a higher level of economic robustness to farming communities in this area.
There are two significant impediments to realising the economic potential offered by teak in northern Laos: first, the relatively long wait (at least 15 years) for a financial return; and second, the reluctance of farmers to undertake pre-commercial thinning, which in turn restricts the production of the higher value larger size classes of timber.
This study examines the socioeconomic and technical constraints to the incorporation of teak planting into farming systems in northern Laos. It specifically evaluates the economic prospects for integrated systems involving interplanting of teak with tree species that are used locally for the production of non-timber forest products, in particular paper mulberry. This is based on the premise that harvest of the nontimber component could provide an early return to the farmer, while at the same time allowing the silvicultural release required to optimise value production from the teak.
The study also identifies research challenges relating to increasing the profitability of teak smallholdings in northern Laos. It is hoped that the recommendations will provide a guide to several donor agencies that are active in the Lao PDR.