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Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 47–60 | Cite as

Teak (Tectona grandis), fruit trees and other perennials used by hill farmers of northern Laos

  • W. Roder
  • B. Keoboualapha
  • V. Manivanh
Article

Abstract

Hilly topography and inaccessible markets leave limited alternatives for Lao upland farmers who grow rice in slash-and-burn systems. They plant banana, mango, papaya, coconut and other perennials and collect forest products, specially bamboo shoot, banana inflorescence, rattan, cardamom, and benzoin for home consumption and market. Teak is the most important perennial planted on upland fields but farmers having teak are more likely to belong to the lowland ethnic groups and own lowland rice fields. Farmers preferred teak over fruit trees and coffee because of the better market potential and 82% considered cash income or wood for construction and 18% the securing of land tenure as major reasons for planting teak. Insufficient financial resources, non-availability of land, lack of seedlings, lack of labor and lack of experience were regarded as the main reasons for not planting teak by 41, 39, 35, 28 and 13% of non-teak growers, respectively. Plantations are often interplanted with rice for the first 1–3 years. Resource-poor families generally cannot risk the long-term investments and credit or modified systems combining food, livestock, and timber production are necessary to allow them to take part in the potentially lucrative teak production.

Key words

slash-and burn upland rice forest products 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Roder
    • 1
  • B. Keoboualapha
    • 1
  • V. Manivanh
    • 1
  1. 1.LAO-IRRI ProjectLuang PrabangLAO PDR

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