Agricultural Transformation and Highlander Choice: A Case Study of a Pwo Karen Community in Northwestern Thailand

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"During the past several decades, the ethnic highlanders in Northern Thailand have been in general tackling the issue of agricultural transformation in the sense that they have had to continuously search for the optimum trade-off point for each of their villages between the modern competitive market-economy agriculture and traditional local self-efficiency agriculture. With this understanding, the present study focuses on (1) the impacts of national and regional development policies upon local agricultural shifts and (2) the highlander choice under their limited available resources and alternatives in agricultural activities. For this purpose, a Pwo Karen community consisting of two administratively different villages in Mae Sariang district of Mae Hong Son province is selected as the research site. In this framework, the present study investigates the highland villagers' adaptation characteristics in their agricultural transformation as a complex and continuous process which carries the internal dynamism of the community development as well as the external factors for the development promotion of their agricultural production system."
IASC, Karen (Southeast Asian people), indigenous institutions, agriculture--case studies, community development, decision making, markets, risk, technology, economic development