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Voices from the Forest: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Into Sustainable Upland Farming

Voices from the Forest: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Into Sustainable Upland Farming

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by Malcolm Cairns

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ISBN-10: 1891853910

ISBN-13: 9781891853913

Pub. Date: 11/30/2005

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

This handbook of locally based agricultural practices brings together the best of science and farmer experimentation, vividly illustrating the enormous diversity of shifting cultivation systems as well as the power of human ingenuity. Environmentalists have tended to disparage shifting cultivation (sometimes called 'swidden cultivation' or 'slash-and-burn


This handbook of locally based agricultural practices brings together the best of science and farmer experimentation, vividly illustrating the enormous diversity of shifting cultivation systems as well as the power of human ingenuity. Environmentalists have tended to disparage shifting cultivation (sometimes called 'swidden cultivation' or 'slash-and-burn agriculture') as unsustainable due to its supposed role in deforestation and land degradation. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that such indigenous practices, as they have evolved over time, can be highly adaptive to land and ecology. In contrast, 'scientific' agricultural solutions imposed from outside can be far more damaging to the environment. Moreover, these external solutions often fail to recognize the extent to which an agricultural system supports a way of life along with a society's food needs. They do not recognize the degree to which the sustainability of a culture is intimately associated with the sustainability and continuity of its agricultural system. Unprecedented in ambition and scope, Voices from the Forest focuses on successful agricultural strategies of upland farmers. More than 100 scholars from 19 countries—including agricultural economists, ecologists, and anthropologists—collaborated in the analysis of different fallow management typologies, working in conjunction with hundreds of indigenous farmers of different cultures and a broad range of climates, crops, and soil conditions. By sharing this knowledge—and combining it with new scientific and technical advances—the authors hope to make indigenous practices and experience more widely accessible and better understood, not only by researchers and development practitioners, but by other communities of farmers around the world.

Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
RFF Press Ser.
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.80(d)

Table of Contents

Map of Case Studies
Part I: Introduction
1. Challenges for Research and Development on Improving Shifting Cultivation Systems
2. Working with and for Plants: Indigenous Fallow Management in Perspective
3. Conceptualizing Indigenous Approaches to Fallow Management: A Road Map to this Volume
Part II: Retention or Promotion of Volunteer Species with Economic or Ecological Value
4. Relict Emergents in Swidden Fallows of the Lawa in Northern Thailand: Ecology and Economic Potential
5. Successional Forest Development in Swidden Fallows of Different Ethnic Groups in Northern Thailand
6. Kammu Fallow Management in Lao P.D.R., with Emphasis on Bamboo Use .
7. The Potential of Wild Vegetables as Permanent Crops or to Improve Fallows in Sarawak, Malaysia
8. Commercialization of Fallow Species by Bidayuh Shifting Cultivators in Sarawak, Malaysia
9. Wild Food Plants as Alternative Fallow Species in the Cordillera Region, the Philippines
10. Farmer-Developed Forage Management Strategies for Stabilization of Shifting Cultivation Systems
11. Managing Imperata Grasslands in Indonesia and Laos
12. Natural Forest Regeneration from an Imperata Fallow: The Case of Pakhasukjai
13. When Shifting Cultivators Migrate to the Cities, How Can the Forest be Rehabilitated?
Part III: Shrub-based Accelerated Fallows
14. Fallow Improvement with Chromolaena odorata in Upland Rice Systems of Northern Laos
15. Management of Fallows Based on Austroeupatorium inulaefolium by Minangkabau Farmers in Sumatra, Indonesia
16. Piper aduncum Fallows in the Lowlands of Papua New Guinea
17. Management of Tecoma stans Fallows in Semi-arid Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia
18. Improved Fallows Using a Spiny Legume, Mimosa invisa Martius ex Colla, in Western Leyte, the Philippines
19. Management of Mimosa diplotricha var. inermis as a Simultaneous Fallow in Northern Thailand
Part IV: Herbaceous Legume Fallows
20. Growing Ya Zhou Hyacinth Beans in the Dry Season on Hainan Island, China
21. Indigenous Fallow Management Based on Flemingia vestita in Northeast India
22. Benefits of Phaseolus calcaratus in Upland Farming in Northern Vietnam
23. Viny Legumes as Accelerated Seasonal Fallows: Intensifying Shifting Cultivation in Northern Thailand
Part V: Dispersed Tree-based Fallows
24. The Role of Leucaena in Swidden Cropping and Livestock Production in Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia
25. Use of Leucaena leucocephala to Intensify Indigenous Fallow Rotations in Sulawesi, Indonesia
26. Upland Rice Response to Leucaena leucocephala Fallows on Mindoro, the Philippines
27. The Naalad Improved Fallow System in the Philippines and its Implications for Global Warming
28. Farmers' Use of Sesbania grandiflora to Intensify Swidden Agriculture in North Central Timor, Indonesia
29. Alnus nepalensis-Based Agroforestry Systems in Yunnan, Southwest China
30. Shifting Forests in Northeast India: Management of Alnus nepalensis as an Improved Fallow in Nagaland
31. Managing the Species Composition of Fallows in Papua New Guinea by Planting Trees
32. Multipurpose Trees as an Improved Fallow: An Economic Assessment
33. Pruned-Tree Hedgerow Fallow Systems in Mindanao, the Philippines
Part VI: Perennial—Annual Crop Rotations
34. Teak Production by Shifting Cultivators in Northern Lao P.D.R.
35. Fallow Management in the Borderlands of Southwest China: The Case of Cunninghamia lanceolata
36. Indigenous Fallow Management with Melia azedarach Linn. in Northern Vietnam
37. Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Gmelina Hedgerow Improved Fallow System in Northern Mindanao, the Philippines
38. Innovations in Swidden-Based Rattan Cultivation by Benuaq-Dayak Farmers in East Kalimantan, Indonesia
39. Bamboo as a Fallow Crop on Timor Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia
Part VII: Agroforests
40. Indigenous Management of Paper Mulberry in Swidden Rice Fields and Fallows in Northern Lao P.D.R.
41. The Complex Agroforests of the Iban in West Kalimantan and their Possible Role in Fallow Management and Forest Regeneration
42. Does Tree Diversity Affect Soil Fertility? Findings from Fallow Systems in West Kalimantan
43. Forest Management and Classification of Fallows by Bidayuh Farmers in West Kalimantan
44. Indigenous Fallow Management on Yap Island
45. The Damar Agroforests of Krui, Indonesia: Justice for Forest Farmers
46. Upland Fallow Management with Styrax tonkinensis for Benzoin Production in Northern Lao P.D.R.
47. The Lemo System of Lacquer Agroforestry in Yunnan, China
48. From Shifting Cultivation to Sustainable Jungle Rubber: A History of Innovations in Indonesia
49. Rubber Plantations as an Alternative to Shifting Cultivation in Yunnan, China
50. Ma Kwaen: A Jungle Spice Used in Swidden Intensification in Northern Thailand
51. Alnus-Cardamom Agroforestry: Its Potential for Stabilizing Shifting Cultivation in the Eastern Himalayas
52. The Sagui Gru System: Karen Fallow Management Practices to Intensify Land Use in Western Thailand
53. Sandiu Farmers' Improvement of Fallows on Barren Hills in Northern Vietnam
Part VIII: Across Systems and Typologies
54. Strategies of Asian Shifting Cultivators in the Intensification Process
55. Rebuilding Soil Properties during the Fallow: Indigenous Innovations in the Highlands of Vietnam
56. Rattan and Tea-Based Intensification of Shifting Cultivation by Hani Farmers in Southwestern China
57. Indigenous Fallow Management Systems in Selected Areas of the Cordillera, the Philippines
58. Management Systems in Occidental Mindoro, the Philippines
59. Changes and Innovations in the Management of Shifting Cultivation Land in Bhutan
60. Swidden Agriculture in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea
61. The Problems of Shifting Cultivation in the Central Highlands of Vietnam
62. Some Indigenous Experiences in Intensification of Shifting Cultivation in Vietnam
Part IX: Themes: Property Rights, Markets, and Institutions
63. Productive Management of Swidden Fallows: Market Forces and Institutional Factors in Isabela, the Philippines
64. The Feasibility of Rattan Cultivation within Shifting Cultivation Systems: The Role of Policy and Market Institutions
65. The Role of Land Tenure in the Development of Cinnamon Agroforestry in Kerinci, Sumatra
66. Effects of Land Allocation on Shifting Cultivators in Vietnam
67. Managed Fallow Systems in the Changing Environment of Central Sumatra, Indonesia
68. Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Northern Thailand
Part X: Conclusions
69. Observations on the Role of Improved Fallow Management in Swidden Agricultural Systems
Botanical Index
Ethnic Group Index
Subject Index

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