Managing Land and Bioresources for Sustainable
Food Production of the Karen Community
in Northern Thailand

The Karen is the largest highland ethnic minorities among the six major groups : Karen, Hmong, Lua, Lisu, Ahka and Lahu. The Karen livelihood is traditionally based on wet rice culture, but when the paddies are not available, the karen will clear forest patches for upland rice farming. Individual households may occupy 3-4 plots of these forest patches with average fallow periods of 3.4 years as found in the Wat Chan study area.

A number of social disturbances that affect the livelibood of the Karen community include :

The preliminary farm household appraisal revealed that land holding pattern and its utilization were associated with farmers' designing food security supporting systems i.e. cultivation of paddy rice, decision to grow upland rice in the forest fallow to bridge food gap and extracting forest products for cash.

Three research activities were carried out to improve the food supply of the Karen community in the Wat chan area. These were :


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