Voices from the Forest : Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into Sustainable Upland Farming book cover
1st Edition

Voices from the Forest
Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into Sustainable Upland Farming

ISBN 9781891853920
Published May 23, 2007 by Routledge
826 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface 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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Malcolm Cairns is a research scholar at the Australian National University in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Department of Anthropology.


'An academic and development milestone. There is an urgent need to improve the management of shifting cultivation and an urgent need for relevant research. The natural resource base of the areas studied in the book provides food and nutritional security for millions of poor shifting cultivators and has an essential role in biodiversity and ecosystem services . . .Essential for students, researchers, and development workers.' Percy Sajise, Bioversity International 'Voices in the Forest illustrates the adaptability of an ancient agricultural technology that, confounding critics for over a century, continues to assert a place for itself in the modern, globalizing world. More than ten years in the making, it is one of the most comprehensive looks at swidden agriculture in a generation. . . . Of most importance, the emphasis is not on the problems that swidden agriculture creates but on the solutions that it offers.' Michael R. Dove, Yale University 'Voices from the Forest provides a robust defense against the largely undeserved bad reputation associated with shifting cultivation that has persisted for almost a century. Bringing together the best of science and farmer experimentation, the book illustrates the enormous diversity and dynamism of this highly resilient long-established agricultural system.' Juan M. Pulhin, University of the Philippines Los Ba os