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Agricultural Change as an Adaptive Process: Adoption of Modern Methods and Responses to Pest Outbreaks by Rice Farmers in Chachoengsao Province, Central Thailand

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Item Summary

Title: Agricultural Change as an Adaptive Process: Adoption of Modern Methods and Responses to Pest Outbreaks by Rice Farmers in Chachoengsao Province, Central Thailand
Authors: Stone, Frederick Doren
Advisor: Street, John M.
Keywords: agriculture
pest control
show 3 morediseases and pests
agricultural innovations
rice farmers

show less
Issue Date: Dec 1983
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 1983]
Abstract: This study, conducted in Chachoengsao Province, Central Thailand, in 1973, concerns agricultural change as an adaptive feedback process. It examines the responses by rice farmers to serious pest outbreaks (rice yellow orange leaf virus and rodents), and their adoption and adjustment of modern technology (new rice varieties, double cropping, fertilizer, pesticides, and tractors). Improved water control due to the Greater Chao Phraya Project set the stage for rapid modernization. Serious crop losses due to YOLV and low rice prices stimulated the farmers to rapidly adopt modern rice varieties, and a second rice crop to attempt to recover their losses. Government credit programs also encouraged the adoption of modern methods. The earliest adopters of modern varieties and insecticides tended to be farmers with above average farm size and good water control, while education levels, religion, observance of traditional ceremonies, and land ownership were not significantly related to early adoption. Farmers mainly relied on direct experience and observation of neighbors for information about new agricultural practices, rather than on mass-media. New methods were adjusted to the local conditions through a trial-and-error process, with the relatively successful innovations diffusing through the region.
In adopting modern rice varieties, farmers used the same strategies as with local varieties; maintaining a diversity of varieties, combining varieties to allow flexibility, and regularly exchanging seed with other farmers. New varieties did not replace local varieties, which continued to be grown, resulting in an increase in varietal diversity in the region. Adoption of the early season rice crop led to rodent outbreaks, and to a resurgence of YOLV, to which the farmers responded by changing area and varieties planted in following seasons.
Pesticide use by the farmers was largely based on individual trial and advice from other farmers, rather than on government or commercial recommendations. Farmers seemed little concerned about safety precautions or about death of non-target organisms, such as fish.
Adaptive processes appeared to have a beneficial effect on the farming system in some cases (such as the selection of rice varieties to suit local conditions), and a detrimental effect in other cases (such as pest outbreaks resulting from adoption of the early season crop, and the ill-effects of improper pesticide use by the farmers).
Description: PhD University of Hawaii at Manoa 1983
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 459–474).
Pages/Duration: xxiv, 474 leaves, bound : illustrations (some color), maps ; 29 cm
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Geography

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