Rice farming systems in Southern Lao PDR: interpreting farmers' agricultural production decisions using Q methodology

Alexander, Kim S., Parry, Lucy, Thammavong, Phomma, Sackloham, Silinthone, Pasouvang, Somphanh, Connell, John G., Jovanovic, Tom, Moglia, Magnus, Larson, Silva, and Case, Peter (2018) Rice farming systems in Southern Lao PDR: interpreting farmers' agricultural production decisions using Q methodology. Agricultural Systems, 160. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

The agricultural sector in Lao PDR is forecast to move from subsistence rice production to a more modernized and market-oriented sector with greater focus on commercialization of agricultural production. Intensification of agricultural production in the southern and central rice growing regions of Lao PDR is problematic as dryland farmers rely on rainfall and soils are poor, yet rural households have been experiencing rapid change in their farming and livelihood systems. This paper employs Q methodology techniques to explore 35 farmers' viewpoints when contemplating their production goals and potential to adopt technologies to improve productivity. Findings describe the two emerging viewpoints among farmers as 'labour saving productivity maximization' and 'traditional labour productivity using improved techniques'. The two viewpoints describe the different issues currently guiding production decisions. While the Lao Government forecasts substantial increases in rice production in the southern plains, farmers will require specialized and tailored support, accounting for their envisaged livelihood and production goals, to allow the sector transformation that many stakeholders currently envisage.

Item ID: 51390
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2267
Keywords: Q methodology; farmers' viewpoints; Lao PDR; agriculture; attitudes
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Projects and Grants: ACIAR ASEM/2014/052
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2017 22:49
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150307 Innovation and Technology Management @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070107 Farming Systems Research @ 50%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910406 Technological and Organisational Innovation @ 100%
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