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

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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


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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.

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