In order to provide better and safer agricultural food products, the Thai government has introduced a public standard of good agricultural practices (GAP) which has been implemented since 2004. Using data obtained from interviews with farmers applying intensive horticultural systems in Damnoen Saduak District (Ratchaburi Province) we determined whether those who followed the GAP program could gain access to foreign markets to sell their produce and whether their practices were better in terms of improving food security and worker safety through adequate synthetic pesticide use compared to non-GAP farmers. The results showed that the GAP program has been beneficial for the farmers, by focusing its efforts on certification which is a necessary requirement for export access. However, pesticide management practices did not differ between GAP and non-GAP farmers. We argue that inadequate implementation of the standard in the region is due to a lack of sufficient governmental resources necessary to train farmers and to control on-farm activities that may lead to a decrease in synthetic pesticide use.
In Harigabi, Inner Mongolia, farmers use salt-accumulated grasslands as autumn grazing area with halophytes for ewe on the assumption that this feeding practice increases the twinning rate. We suggested that nutrients in halophytes might be a possible factor fort the increase of the ovulation rate. To test this hypothesis, we surveyed the feeding practices and performed chemical analyses of forage plants. The survey revealed that the average litter size increased from 1.1 to 1.5 when ewes first grazed on a typical grassland with Poaceae from spring to summer (S–S grassland) and then grazed on a salt-accumulated grassland from autumn to spring (A–S grassland). The chemical analysis revealed that halophytes of the A–S grassland tended to contain higher concentrations of sugar and starch than the dominant plants of the S–S grassland. These results might indicate that the higher soluble carbohydrates in halophytes could be a possible cause of the higher twinning rate of sheep in Harigabi.
This study aims to investigate the food security situation, and to identify the determinants of household food security in the rain-fed lowland rice farms in the rural areas of Lao PDR. We interviewed 88 households using a semi-structured questionnaire in two rural areas of Pathoumphone district, Champasak province. We used a daily calorie intake as an indicator of food security, and a logistic regression model to examine the factors influencing household food security. The result of this study showed that the average calorie intake per capita was 1,815 kcal per day, in which 88% derived from rice. On the other hand, other food such as meat, eggs, oils and fat are eaten in small portion. As a result, about 55% of the respondents were food insecure. The empirical model showed that dependency ratio, rice yield, number of relatives, and rice-farming experience were significantly correlated to food security. Thus, policy interventions should consider on social network and per-hectare yield to improve food security in the rural rain-fed lowland rice areas.
Farming systems in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar, have gradually changed over the last decades, including the introduction of new cash crops. In order to examine how a new cash crop was introduced into an upland farming system and established in a selected village, land types and agricultural systems in the Song Chaung (SC) village in the Sagaing Region were analyzed, based on field observations and interviews. Although agriculture was generally conducted under rainfed conditions and most of the agricultural land was cultivated in the undulating upland area, the village was located near the Chindwin River with an easy access to underground water for irrigation. The distance to Monywa City was 16 km and the proximity to the market provided an advantageous location for the transportation. In addition to these conditions, careful management, such as the selection of good planting materials, proper irrigation and drainage, appropriate plant protection systems and soil management during the cultivation period may have resulted in the successful introduction of betel vine into the surveyed village.
Crop models allow the assessment of management strategies under climate change. We calibrated and validated two crop models for estimating sugarcane yields in Northeastern Thailand. We used data collected in 2011–12 in the absence of water stress to calibrate DSSAT-CANEGRO and DNDC95, and validated them using data collected in 2010–11 and 2011–12 under rainfed conditions. In the calibration, we optimized parameters of both models and got realistic predictions. In the validation, optimizing water demand in DNDC95 gave good results, but DSSAT-CANEGRO overestimated yields. When we optimized water balance specific to sugarcane, DSSAT-CANEGRO also simulated yields well.
Two Indonesian rice cultivars were examined for growth characteristics under several durations of submergence consisting of 0 (control), 3, 5, 7, and 10 days. Rice seedlings were first submerged into a 45 cm water depth and then the water level remained constant, allowing some parts of the leaves to appear from the water surface during the treatments which resembled the actual flash flooding conditions in the field. Results showed that the change of the relative growth rate (RGR) in both cultivars was more attributed to the net assimilation rate (NAR) alteration compared to the leaf area ratio (LAR). The relationship between NAR and specific leaf area (SLA) was also investigated resulting in a significant negative correlation between these two variables where NAR increased by the thickening of the leaf blade. 1R Dadahup then was found to show a higher ability to survive and grow during a longer periods of flash flooding, compared to Ciherang, based on the minimal sheath elongation under submergence and positive response in both SLA and the relative tillering rate (RTR).