KKU Research Journal - Humanity and Social Science
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Volume 4 Issue 2 พฤษภาคม - สิงหาคม 2557

Livelihood Vulnerability and Commercial Farming in GMS: Case of Coffee Plantation in Xishuangbanna
Xiaofeng Kang (Geography Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Jefferson M. Fox (East-West Center, USA)
Xing Lu (GMS Study Center, Yunnan University, China)
Lihong Gao (Scientific and Technology Bureau of Xishuangbanna Prefectural Government, China)


       Commercial farming is expanding massively onto the lands and forests of local communities in the Mekong region. The commercialization of agriculture can lead to severe environmental impacts, including deforestation and forest conversion, soil erosion, increased flooding, and water pollution and sedimentation. With rubber, sugarcane and coffee plantations expanded in local communities, the commercialization of the small scale farming may also have significant social impacts that transform local livelihoods. This paper employs the Capacity and Vulnerability Analysis (CVA) framework designed by the International Relief/Development Project (IRDP) to explore the impact of commercial farming on livelihood vulnerability. Based on a case study from Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China, this paper examines the impacts of coffee plantations on livelihood vulnerability by analyzing the risks of commercial farming and the capacities of households to deal with current challenges and potential uncertainties. The vulnerability analysis covers a wide range of aspects from physical/material to social/organizational and motivational/attitudinal. The paper concludes with a discussion of the mechanism by which commercial farming affects livelihood vulnerability in the case study. The conclusions provide a helpful context for understanding the social impacts of agricultural commercialization on small holders in the in the Great Mekong Subregion.
Keywords: Commercial Farming, Livelihood Vulnerability, Capacity and Vulnerability Analysis, Xishuangbanna

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