Smallholder teak and agrarian change in Northern Laos

Newby, Jonathan C., Cramb, R. A., Sakanphet, Somphanh and McNamara, Sean (2012) Smallholder teak and agrarian change in Northern Laos. Small-Scale Forestry, 11 1: 27-46. doi:10.1007/s11842-011-9167-x

Author Newby, Jonathan C.
Cramb, R. A.
Sakanphet, Somphanh
McNamara, Sean
Title Smallholder teak and agrarian change in Northern Laos
Journal name Small-Scale Forestry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-7617
Publication date 2012-03-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11842-011-9167-x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Start page 27
End page 46
Total pages 20
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Smallholder teak (Tectona grandis) plantations have become increasingly prominent in the landscape of Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR. While the global market for teak-wood is attractive, investment has been driven by a range of factors, including changes to land legislation, land-use planning, taxation incentives, and government and non-government programs and promotions. The establishment of teak stands provides a labour-saving land use for households, potentially freeing up household resources for other farm and non-farm opportunities. However, the degree to which households can participate in the industry varies within and between villages. This paper reviews some of the underlying incentives for the expansion of teak plantations, examines the livelihood activities of both teak and non-teak producers in five case study villages in Luang Prabang, and explores the differential outcomes emerging from the expansion of smallholder teak production. The survey revealed that teak planting has been more extensive among households with a longer history of settlement, where the household head is older and better educated, where household members have off-farm sources of income, and where the household has access to paddy land and is thus more likely to be self-sufficient in rice. Households that depend on shifting cultivation for their livelihoods, without access to alternative productive land or income sources, will continue to have difficulty planting teak or holding on to the land they do manage to plant. The paper concludes that the establishment and improvement of teak plantations, like other apparently technical interventions aimed at providing a ‘pathway out of poverty’, need to be seen in the context of wider processes of agrarian change and differentiation to appreciate the resultant impacts on livelihood trajectories.
Keyword Upland farming systems
Shifting cultivation
Tree farming
Land-use policy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 13 April 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 17 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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