Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 353–372 | Cite as

Assessing Wa-u Agroforestry in the Course of Swidden Transformation: A Case Study in Southern Chin State, Myanmar

  • Nyein ChanEmail author
  • Shinya Takeda
Original Research


Swidden cultivation has been gradually transformed into other types of land-uses because of economic, political and social changes. In southern Chin State, Myanmar, the traditional swidden agriculture is being replaced by Wa-u (Amorphophallus bulbifer) cultivation in the fallows due to the increasing abandonment of swidden fallows and recent development of Wa-u market access. Also, the government of Myanmar promoted community participation in commercialized agriculture and forestry activities through community-based agroforestry systems. This study was carried out in two villages in southern Chin State, Myanmar to fill the research gap about the different Wa-u cultivation methods commonly applied in swidden cultivated fallows in term of cost-benefit and biomass analysis, socio-economically and environmentally contributing to community-based agroforestry systems in the region. The cost-benefit analysis showed that a modified traditional taungya method (mTTM) produced the best profit (228,571 Kyats per acre) among the cultivation methods. Also, the biomass analysis of tree vegetation showed that the Wa-u cultivated sites by mTTM has significantly higher basal area (21.1 ± 3.57 m2ha−1) and biomass accumulation (65.4 ± 11.17 Mgha−1) than other methods. As a result, Wa-u cultivation with maintenance of the tree stands could be promoted not only for socio-economic development but also for environmental conservation. This study suggests that Wa-u is promising as an intercrop species in agroforestry systems, and can be effectively incorporated into community-based agroforestry systems.


Amorphophallus bulbifer Community-based agroforestry system Cost-benefit analysis Southern Chin State Swidden agriculture 


Supplementary material

11842_2019_9422_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Forestry and Environmental ScienceNay Pyi TawMyanmar
  2. 2.Graduate School of Asian and African Area StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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