Simulating land use for protecting food crop areas in northeast Thailand using GIS and Dyna-CLUE
Land use in the northeast region of Thailand has changed dramatically in the past two decades. These changes are mainly due to the government policies, which launched a scheme to promote rubber plantation during 2003–2013 targeting to solve the problem of poverty in the region. At least 50,000 ha of paddy fields were found to be converted to other land use types between 2002 and 2012. This study was conducted in Nong Khai and Bueng Kan province of northeast Thailand, where massive rubber plantation is going on prompting significant amount of land-use change, with the objective of investigating how land-use changes will affect on food availability in future. We analyzed land-use changes of the past and simulated future land uses using GIS and Landsat Thematic Mapper Data. The most obvious change was the decrease in paddy field and an increase in rubber plantation. This eventually leads to decreased paddy production affecting food supply of farm households. The land use projections for 2032 were done for three scenarios using Dyna-CLUE model. Unlike business as usual scenario, which will further decrease the paddy area, other scenarios with different land use policies if implemented will help protect paddy areas and thus achieving higher food production locally. The lack of implementation of proper spatial policies will lead to a further loss of paddy areas at macro level. The smallholder farmers may be highly vulnerable to land use-change and experience significant food crop losses, food insecurity and income loss when they change the land to rubber and there is market failure.
Keywordsland-use change rubber plantation scenarios Dyna-CLUE northeast Thailand
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The authors greatly acknowledge the financial support and assistance provided by the Agricultural Land Reform Office, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) to the first author. The Land Development Department (LDD), Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), Office of the Rubber Replanting Aid Fund (ORRAF), and Nong Khai Rubber Research Center (NRRC), who helped by providing data and needed facilitation, are also acknowledged. Sincere appreciation is extended to farmers of the study area for their unreserved support. Thanks are also due to the anonymous reviewers and editors whose comments were very useful to improve the manuscript.
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