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Agricultural commercialization of Karen Hill tribes in northern Thailand

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  • Prasnee Tipraqsa
  • Pepijn Schreinemachers

Abstract

Based on a random sample of 240 farm households in Chiang Mai province, Thailand, this study shows that—contrary to widespread belief—Karen farm households are well‐integrated into markets. Average levels of market integration are 31% for gross farm output, 35% for variable inputs, 49% for food consumption, and 80% for net family income. By estimating a two‐stage least squares (2SLS) regression model, this study finds that integration into output markets is positively associated with a diversification of land use away from rice monoculture, more intense contact with nearby urban centers, and a greater number of roads connecting the village to the outside world. Controlling for these factors, the distance to urban centers does not impede market integration; distant villages are equally well integrated into output markets. The study further finds that integration into output markets improves farm productivity and net per capita income. Concerns about market integration are discussed. Results have implications for Thai policy makers who have recently placed increasing emphasis on the concept of “sufficiency economy” in order to promote the well‐being of rural people.

Suggested Citation

  • Prasnee Tipraqsa & Pepijn Schreinemachers, 2009. "Agricultural commercialization of Karen Hill tribes in northern Thailand," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(1), pages 43-53, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:40:y:2009:i:1:p:43-53
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2008.00343.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-0862.2008.00343.x
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    1. Govereh, Jones & Jayne, T. S., 2003. "Cash cropping and food crop productivity: synergies or trade-offs?," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 39-50, January.
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    3. Perz, Stephen G., 2004. "Are Agricultural Production and Forest Conservation Compatible? Agricultural Diversity, Agricultural Incomes and Primary Forest Cover Among Small Farm Colonists in the Amazon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 957-977, June.
    4. Strasberg, Paul J. & Jayne, Thomas S. & Yamano, Takashi & Nyoro, James K. & Karanja, Daniel David & Strauss, John, 1999. "Effects of Agricultural Commercialization on Food Crop Input Use and Productivity in Kenya," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54675, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    5. Rigg, Jonathan & Nattapoolwat, Sakunee, 2001. "Embracing the Global in Thailand: Activism and Pragmatism in an Era of Deagrarianization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 945-960, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ogutu, Sylvester Ochieng & Goedecke, Theda & Qaim, Matin, 2017. "Agricultural Commercialization and Nutrition in Smallholder Farm Households," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 257242, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    2. Pepijn Schreinemachers & Thomas Berger & Aer Sirijinda & Suwanna Praneetvatakul, 2009. "The Diffusion of Greenhouse Agriculture in Northern Thailand: Combining Econometrics and Agent‐Based Modeling," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(4), pages 513-536, December.
    3. Schreinemachers, Pepijn & Berger, Thomas & Sirijinda, Aer & Praneetvatakul, Suwanna, 2009. "The diffusion of greenhouse agriculture in northern Thailand: Combining econometrics and agent-based modeling," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50899, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Ogutu, Sylvester Ochieng & Qaim, Matin, 2019. "Commercialization of the small farm sector and multidimensional poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 281-293.
    5. Chamberlin, Jordan & Jayne, T.S., 2013. "Unpacking the Meaning of ‘Market Access’: Evidence from Rural Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 245-264.
    6. Ogutu, Sylvester Ochieng & Goedecke, Theda & Qaim, Matin, 2017. "Agricultural Commercialization and Nutrition in Smallholder Farm Households," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 261285, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Sylvester O. Ogutu & Matin Qaim, 2018. "Commercialization of the small farm sector and multidimensional poverty," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 269561, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

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