Advanced search

Effects Of Rubber Plantation Policy On Water Resources And Landuse Change In The Northeastern Region Of Thailand

Full Text:


The Thai government launched Phase 3 of its Rubber Plantation Project in 2011 aiming to expand the total area of new plantations to 128,000 ha. The northeastern region contains the largest areas for new rubber plantation areas, yet it is known to have unfertile areas and regular encounters with water scarcity during summer. This leads to research questions as to how the policy affects land and water use in the country. This study shows that the water requirement of rubber trees is 14,221 m3/ha/year which is higher than that of other local crops (e.g., rice, cassava, sugarcane, and corn). Thus, irrigation systems must be utilized during certain months. The land use changes from the cultivation of edible crops to rubber do not threaten the amount of food available for domestic consumption since Thailand generally exports more of its crops than it consumes. From this policy, total rubber yield would increase to 742 M kg and rice, corn, and cassava would disappear about 1613 M kg (24% of the total amount of rice exported in 2012), 7837 M kg, 8926 M kg, respectively.The government should provide a better plan on crop water requirements suitable for each region and knowledge on increasing crop-per-drop efficiency to all farmers.

About the Author

Aweewan Mangmeechai
National Institute of Development Administration


1. Bouwer H. (2000). Integrated water management:emerging issues and challenges. Agricultural Water Management, 45, 217-228. Clermont-Dauphin C., Suvannang N., Hammecker C., Cheylan V., Pongwichian P. and Do F. (2013). Unexpected absence of control of rubber tree growth by soil water shortage in dry subhumid climate. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 33, 531-538.

2. Daud N., Nayagam N., and Veramuthoo P. (1989). Effects of selected environmental and technological factors on rubber production. A case study of RRIM economic laboratory. Journal of Natural Rubber Resource, 4(1), 66-74.

3. Devakumar A., Rao G., Rajgopal R., Rao P., George M., Vijayakumar K. and Sethuraj M. (1988). Studies on soil-plant-atmosphere system in HeÍea: II. Seasonal effects on water relations and yield. Indian Journal of Natural Rubber Resource, 1(2), 45-60.

4. Devakumar A., Prakash P., Sathik M. and Jacob L. (1998). Drought alters the canopy architecture and micro-climate of Hevea brasiliensis trees. Trees, 13, 161-167.

5. Editorial. (2007). Solving Thailand’s water crisis: A comprehensive approach is needed in resource management to effectively deal with flood and drought problems. [online] The Nation. Available at: [Accessed 30 Mar. 2015].

6. FAO. (2002). Crops and Drops: Making the best Use of Water for Agriculture. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Mar. 2015].

7. FAO. (2011). Thailand and FAO Achievements and success stories. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2015].

8. Ferraris R. (1993). Effect of plant density on yield and rubber accumulation in guayule (Parthenium argentatum) in south-eastern Queensland. Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 33(1), 71-82.

9. Hoeskstra Y. and Chapagain K. (2007). Water footprints of nations: Water use by people as a function of their consumption pattern. Water Resources Management, 21, 35-48.

10. Homyarnyen K. (2007). Water irrigation for growing asparagus in Nakorn Pratom Province. Bangkok: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

11. Irrigation Water Management Research Group. Crop Coefficient (Kc) 40 crop types. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Dec. 2014].

12. Jiang A. (1988). Climate and natural production of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) in Xishuangbanna, southern part of Yunnan province, China. International Journal of Biometeorology, 32, 280-282.

13. Kastner T. and Nonhebel S. (2010). Changes in land requirements for food in the Philippines: A historical analysis. Land Use Policy, 27, 853-863.

14. Mangmeechai A. (2013). Environmental externalities in relation to agricultural sector in Thailand with tradelinked analysis. Environment, Development and Sustainability, DOI: 10.1007/s10668-013-9509-2.

15. Miyamoto S., David J. and Piela K. (1984). Water use, growth and rubber yields of four Guayule selections as related to Irrigation regimes. Irrigation Science, 5, 95-103.

16. National Statistic Office. (2019). Statistics of Land Utilization by Region and Province Year: 2008–2017. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Feb. 2015].

17. Nevison C. Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Indirect N2O Emissions from Agriculture.Water Evaluation and Planning. Yield Response to Water Shortage. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2015].

18. Njukeng J., Muenyi P., Ngane B. and Ehabe E. (2011). Ethephon Stimulation and Yield Response of Some Hevea Clones in the Humid Forests of SouthWest Cameroon. International Journal of Agronomy. [online]. Available at: DOI: 10.1155/2011/257340 [Accessed 2 Feb. 2015].

19. Office of Agricultural Economics. (2012a). Agricultural Situation and Trend 2012. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2015].

20. Office of Agricultural Economics. (2012b). Agricultural Statistics of Thailand. Bangkok: Ministry of Agriculture.

21. Office of Research and Development for Land Management. (2005). Rubber. Bangkok: Land Development Department.

22. Priyadarshan P., Hoa T., Huasun H. and Goncalves P. (2005). Yielding Potential of Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) in Sub-Optimal Environments. Journal of Crop Improvement, 14(1-2), 221-247.

23. Rao G., Rao P., Rajagopal R., Devakumar A., Vijayakumar K. and Sethuraj M. (1990). Influence of soil, plant and meteorological factors on water relations and yield in Hevea brasiliensis. International Journal of Biometeorol, 34(3), 175-180.

24. Rao P., Saraswathyamma C. and Sethuraj M. (1998). Studies on the relationship between yield and meteorological parameters of para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Agricultural and forest meteorology, 90, 235-245.

25. Regional Development Policy Board. (2019). Northeast Development Plan in the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017–2021). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Mar. 2015].

26. Rijsberman F. (2006). Water scarcity: Fact or fiction? Agricultural Water Management, 80, 5-22.

27. Royal Irrigation Department. (2018). Annual Report 2018. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Jan. 2015].

28. Samarasinghe B. (2003). Growth and yields of Sri Lanha’s major crops interpreted from public domain satellites. Agricultural Water Management, 58, 145-157.

29. Sangsing K., Kasemsap P., Thanisawanyangkura S., Sangkhasila K., Gohet E., Thaler P. and Cochard H. (2004). Xylem embolism and stomatal regulation in two rubber clones (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.). Trees, 18, 109-114.

30. Sosothikul P. (2010). The water shortage: crisis of opportunity? [online] Bangkok post. Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2015].

31. Vijayakumar R. (1988). Physiology of drought tolerance of HeÍea. Compte-Rendu du Colloque Exploitation Physiologic et Amelioration de l’ HeÍea, 269-281.

32. Vijayakumar K., Dey S., Chandrasekhar R. and Austin D. (1998). Irrigation requirement of rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) in the subhumid tropics. Agricultural Water Management, 35, 245-259.

33. Wheater H. and Evans E. (2009). Land use, water management and future flood risk. Land Use Policy, 26, 251-264.

34. Wicke B., Sikkema R., DornburgV. and Faaij A. (2011). Exploring land use changes and the role of palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. Land Use Policy, 28, 193-206, DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.08.019.

For citation:

Mangmeechai A. Effects Of Rubber Plantation Policy On Water Resources And Landuse Change In The Northeastern Region Of Thailand. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(2):73-83.

Views: 70

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)