Advertisement

Common Challenges of Smallholders in ASEAN: Lacking Access to Land, Water, Market, and State

  • Danny MarksEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 64)

Abstract

This chapter focuses on smallholder farmers in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV), examining the relationship between their access to and uses of the environment, changing regimes at regional and national levels, and environmental problems. It argues that environmental and food security problems are also always governance problems and that they cannot be solved unless their political-economic dimensions are addressed. Although the vast majority of the food supply in Southeast Asia comes from smallholders, many face not only accelerating climate change but also poverty, large-scale land-grabbing, and limits to markets, technology, credit, and water. Women smallholders especially face legal and social hurdles, including access to land, credit, and education. This chapter offers case studies of how the ASEAN Economic Community, which aims to form a single market to better integrate in the global economy, could actually worsen the situation for smallholders in CLMV. Noting that smallholders’ level of resilience is significantly affected by political economy variables, such as degree of access to power, the effects of public policies, and lack of state support, it then offers recommendations of what ASEAN, national governments, and civil society could do to help smallholders. Suggestions include harmonizing regulatory frameworks; reducing non-tariff barriers; ensuring access to, management of, and ownership of land; reviving the agrarian economy; implementing pro-women policies; and helping smallholders to better access markets and receive fairer prices. Moreover, future studies of agricultural and environmental problems should account for how power geometries affect the creation of these problems.

Keywords

ASEAN economic community Smallholders Political economy Trade policy Land-grabbing Women farmers 

References

  1. ADHOC. (2013). A turning point? Land, housing and natural resources rights in Cambodia in 2012. Phnom Penh: ADHOC. http://www.adhoc-cambodia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ADHOC-A-Turning-Point-Land-Housing-and-Natural-Resources-Rights-in-2012.pdf
  2. Adler, D., Ironside, J., & Ratanak, M. (2009). Mapping and tenure sin Cambodia’s indigenous communities. Phnom Penh: Heinrich Böll Stiftung. http://www.academia.edu/download/31038135/Mapping_and_Tenure_Security_in_Cambodias_Indigenous_Communities_final.pdf
  3. Amanor, K. (2017). The global land grab: Beyond the hype. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 44(2), 506–509.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2017.1287670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anthony, M. C., Teng, P. S., & Chng, B. (2013). ASEAN economic community (AEC) 2015: Opportunities and challenges for food security (NTS Policy Brief No. PO13-04). RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies.Google Scholar
  5. Arunmas, P. & Khachornwutthinan, P. (2012). Rice farmers’ debts surge. Bangkok Post, August 17, 2012. http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/307965/
  6. ASEAN Secretariat. (2010). A humanitarian call: The ASEAN response to cyclone Nargis. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat. http://www.aseansec.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/1.pdf
  7. ASEAN Secretariat. (2016). ASEAN economic community chartbook 2016. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat. http://www.aseanstats.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AEC-Chartbook-2016-1.pdf
  8. Asian Development Bank. (2013, April). Asian development outlook (ADO) 2013: Asia’s energy challenge. https://www.adb.org/publications/asian-development-outlook-2013-asias-energy-challenge
  9. Asian Development Bank. (2014). Cambodia country poverty analysis 2014. Manila. https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/institutional-document/151706/cambodia-country-poverty-analysis-2014.pdf
  10. Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development. (2007, October 26). Towards a fair trade in an integrating ASEAN: Perspectives of small men and women farmers in AFA – Asian farmers association for sustainable rural development. http://asianfarmers.org/?p=335
  11. Bano, S., Takahashi, Y., & Scrimgeour, F. (2013). ASEAN-New Zealand trade relations and trade potential: Evidence and analysis. Journal of Economic Integration, 28(1), 144–182.  https://doi.org/10.2307/41825679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bird, K., Hattel, K., Sasaki, E., Attapich, L. (2011, November). Poverty, income inequality, and microfinance in Thailand. Manila: Asian Development Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/1311
  13. Blaikie, P., & Brookfield, H. (1987). Land degradation and society. London: Methuen http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/19876703924.html.Google Scholar
  14. Boot, W. (2013). CP workers’ woes highlight concerns about big agriculture in Burma. The Irrawaddy, June 27, 2013. https://www.irrawaddy.com/business/cp-workers-woes-highlight-concerns-about-big-agriculture-in-burma.html
  15. Cambodia Development Resource Institute. (2011). Improving the governance of water resources in Cambodia: A stakeholder analysis.Google Scholar
  16. Chantanusornsiri, W. (2017, July 20). New property tax bill offers chance to narrow income gap. Bangkok Post. https://www.pressreader.com/thailand/bangkok-post/20170720/281797104049654
  17. Chun, N. (2014). Improving rice production and commercialization in Cambodia: Findings from the farm investment climate assessment. Manila: Asian Development Bank.Google Scholar
  18. Communist Review. (2011, January). Impacts of the present land policy and management on rural development. http://english.tapchicongsan.org.vn/Home/Theory-and-Reality/2011/199/Impacts-of-the-present-land-policy-and-management-on-rural-development.aspx
  19. Council for Agriculture and Rural Development, World Food Programme, and World Bank. (2009). Safety nets in Cambodia: Concept note and inventory. http://www.foodsecurity.gov.kh/sites/default/files/docs/WB-Cambodia-Social-Safety-Net-Concept-Eng.pdf
  20. Daite, R. B. (2015). The ASEAN economic community 2015 and regional trade: Some prospects for ASEAN agriculture. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, 12(2), 17–32.Google Scholar
  21. Delforge, I. (2004). Thailand: From the kitchen of the world to food sovereignty. Focus on the Global South. https://focusweb.org/node/506
  22. Desker, B., Caballero-Anthony, M., & Teng, P. (2013). Thought/issues paper on ASEAN food security: Towards a more comprehensive framework (ERIA Discussion Paper Series ERIA-DP-2013-20). Singapore: Rajaratnam School of International Studies. http://www.eria.org/ERIA-DP-2013-20.pdf
  23. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (2008). Overview of contract farming in Thailand: Lessons learned. http://www.fao.org/uploads/media/ADBI%20contract%20farming%20thailand.pdf
  24. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (2012). Smallholders and family farmers. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/nr/sustainability_pathways/docs/Factsheet_SMALLHOLDERS.pdf
  25. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (2013a). Report of workshop on private corporate sector investment in agriculture in Southeast Asia. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/tcsp/docs/1_Final%20Report%20Bandung.pdf
  26. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (2013b). Technical workshop for the Asia region raising awareness of the voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/rap/files/meetings/2013/131209_report-awareness.pdf
  27. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (2015). Myanmar floods: Huge impact on agricultural livelihoods, more international support urgently needed: FAO in emergencies. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/emergencies/docs/Final%20fact%20sheet%201%20-%20web%20version.pdf
  28. Focus on the Global South. (2013). Moving forward: Study on the impacts of the implementation of order 01BB in selected communities in rural Cambodia. https://focusweb.org/system/files/Student%20Volunteers%20Report_%20ENG.pdf
  29. Germanwatch. (2016). Global climate risk index 2017. https://germanwatch.org/en/12978
  30. Haggblade, S., & Boughton, D. (2013). A strategic agricultural sector and food security diagnostic for Myanmar (IDWP 131). Prepared for USAID/Burma. http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/161372
  31. Hodal, K. (2013, July 9). Cambodia’s sugar rush leaves farmers feeling bitter at ‘Land Grab.’ The Guardian, sec. World News. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/09/cambodia-sugar-land-grab-claims
  32. Human Rights Defenders. (2012, December 12). Re: Thailand—Killing of human rights defenders and members of Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand Ms. Montha Chukaew and Ms. Pranee Boonrat. International Federation for Human Rights. http://www.fidh.org/en/asia/thailand/Re-Thailand-Killing-of-human-12664
  33. Human Rights Watch. (2014). Country summary: Cambodia. http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/cambodia_7.pdf
  34. Huyer, S. (2016). Closing the gender gap in agriculture. Gender, Technology and Development, 20(2), 105–116.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0971852416643872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Isvilanonda, S. (2012). Success factors for smallholder rice production in Thailand. In Agri Benchmark Conference. Pretoria, South Africa.Google Scholar
  36. Juego, B. (2014). The ASEAN economic community project: Accumulating capital, dispossessing the commons. Heinrich Böll Stiftung. http://vbn.aau.dk/ws/files/207086805/Bonn_Juego_2014_The_ASEAN_Economic_Community_Project_Development_Debates_in_Asia_pp._12_19.pdf
  37. Kimsay, H. (2013, May 20). Agriculture needs more loans, irrigation systems, experts say. Phnom Penh Post. http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/agriculture-needs-more-loans-irrigation-systems-experts-say
  38. Kunmaka, M. (2016, October 28). Rice crop damaged by floods. Khmer Times. http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/31368/rice-crop-damaged-by-floods/
  39. Kusakabe, K. (2015). Gender analysis of economic land concessions in Cambodia and in Northern Laos: Case of rubber plantations (LDPI Conference Paper No. Vol. 43).Google Scholar
  40. Leonard, R., & Narintarakul Na Ayutthaya, K. (2002). Taking land from the poor, giving land to the rich. Watershed, 8(2), 14–25.Google Scholar
  41. Leturque, H., & Wiggins, S. (2010). Thailand’s progress in agriculture: Transition and sustained productivity growth. London: Overseas Development Institute.Google Scholar
  42. Lubanski, J. (2012). Land is life: A policy advocacy case study of the Northern Thailand land reform movement. MA Thesis, SIT Graduate Institute. http://digitalcollections.sit.edu/capstones/2565
  43. Macan-Markar, M. (2016, March 19). Debt fills Thailand’s rice bowl. Nikkei Asian Review. https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Debt-fills-Thailand-s-rice-bowl
  44. Minh, L. N., & Maerten, B. 2012. Growing a better future in Viet Nam: Expanding rights, voices and choices for small-scale farmers. Policy and Practice. Hanoi: Oxfam. http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/growing-a-better-future-in-viet-nam-expanding-rights-voices-and-choices-for-sma-250351
  45. Naren, K. (2013, December 31). After protest, government speeds up land titles for Kratie Families. Cambodia Daily. https://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/after-protest-government-speeds-up-land-titles-for-kratie-families-49768/
  46. Nation. (2014, March 5). Eleven Thais make Forbes’ billionaires list. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Eleven-Thais-make-Forbes-billionaires-list-30228374.html
  47. National Institute of Statistics. (2015). Census of agriculture in Cambodia 2013. Phnom Penh. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/ess/ess_test_folder/World_Census_Agriculture/Country_info_2010/Reports/Reports_5/KHM_ENG_REP_2013.pdf
  48. NGO Forum on Cambodia. (2011). Learning from irrigation projects in Cambodia: Benefits and challenges. Phnom Penh.Google Scholar
  49. Nguyen, M., & Tostevin, M. (2017, November 5). Death toll from typhoon in Vietnam rises to 27. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asia-storm-vietnam/floods-swamp-vietnam-as-typhoon-death-toll-reaches-27-idUSKBN1D5042
  50. Noi, G. S. (2010, February 17). ASEAN Jittery about trade pact with China. Strait Times.Google Scholar
  51. O’Toole, J. (2011, September 5). Bittersweet harvest. Bangkok Post. http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/255018/bittersweet-harvest
  52. Oldenburg, C., & Neef, A. (2014). Reversing land grabs or aggravating tenure insecurity? Competing perspectives on economic land concessions and land titling in Cambodia. Law and Development Review, 7(1), 49–77.  https://doi.org/10.1515/ldr-2014-0014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Overseas Development Institute. (2013). Agriculture: Business and development exchange summary. http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/projects-documents/269.pdf
  54. Oxford Business Group. (2016, December 4). Viet Nam’s agricultural sector arrives at a crossroads. VietNamNet. http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/167997/viet-nam-s-agricultural-sector-arrives-at-a-crossroads.html
  55. Purugganan, J. (2012, November 26). Questioning ASEAN’s path to development: Grassroots leaders raise concerns on trade and investment policies, projects. Focus on the Global South. https://focusweb.org/content/questioning-asean%E2%80%99s-path-development-grassroots-leaders-raise-concerns-trade-and-investment
  56. Rao, N. (2011). Women’s access to land: An Asian perspective (Expert paper 3). UN Women. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw56/egm/Rao-EP-3-EGM-RW-30Sep-2011.pdf
  57. Sarnsamak, P. (2014. February 19). Rice-scheme woes not major factor in suicides, Agency Says. The Nation. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Rice-scheme-woes-not-major-factor-in-suicides-agen-30227201.html
  58. Sattabururh, A., & Pongpao, S. (2012, June 12). Flood compo protesters threaten roadblock. Bangkok Post. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/297627/flood-compo-protesters-threaten-roadblock
  59. Shenggen, F., Joanna, B., Michiel, K., & Alex, H. (2013). From subsistence to profit: Transforming smallholder farms. Washington, DC: Intl Food Policy Res Inst.Google Scholar
  60. Sokheng, V., & Turton, S. (2015, October 22). Budget figures released. Phnom Penh Post. http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/budget-figures-released
  61. Sokhorng, C. (2016, August 25). Battambang rice-farming families fear floods. Phnom Penh Post. http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/battambang-rice-farming-families-fear-floods
  62. Sondergaard, L. M., Luo, X., Jithitikulchai, T., Poggi, C., Lathapipat, D., Kuriakose, S., Martin, S., Eduardo, M., Reungsri, T., & Mohib, S. A. (2016). Thailand getting back on track. Bangkok: World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/25740/Thailand-SCD-final-public-11162016.pdf?sequence=1
  63. STAR Kampuchea. (2013). Shadow report on women’s land rights in Cambodia. Phnom Penh.Google Scholar
  64. Tinh, L. D., & Long, H. H. (2013). Vietnam in ASEAN and ASEAN in Vietnam (Asia-Pacific Bulletin 242). Washington, DC: East-West Center. http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/30982
  65. Tuoitre News. (2012, February). HAGL starts work on $40 Mln Airport in Laos.Google Scholar
  66. Tuoitre News. (2013, November 2). Challenges await Vietnamese firms after TPP. http://tuoitrenews.vn/news/business/20131102/challenges-await-vietnamese-firms-after-tpp/29176.html
  67. UN Capital Development Fund. (2010). Local development outlook: Cambodia. New York. http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/170674793
  68. USAID Burma. (2013). Background Paper No.4: Food and nutrition security in Burma. http://www.usaidbest.org/docs/burmaBackground.pdf
  69. Vdassani. (2013, June 14). Trade opportunities between ASEAN and SAARC. http://southasia.ifpri.info/2013/06/14/trade-opportunities-between-asean-and-saarc/
  70. VietnamNet Bridge. (2013, March 10). How many billionaires are there in Vietnam?. http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/68185/how-many-billionaires-are-there-in-vietnam-.html
  71. Vietnamnews.Vn. (2017, June 2017). Climate change forecast to shrink rice yield. http://vietnamnews.vn/environment/378426/climate-change-forecast-to-shrink-rice-yield.html
  72. Walker, A. (2007, October 17). Contract farming. New Mandala (blog). http://www.newmandala.org/contract-farming/
  73. Wells-Dang, A. (2013). Promoting land rights in Vietnam: A multi-sector advocacy coalition approach. Washington DC.Google Scholar
  74. Win, S. P., & Kean, T. (2013, November 3). Revised farmer protection law quietly comes into effect. The Myanmar Times. https://www.mmtimes.com/in-depth/8688-revised-farmer-protection-law-quietly-comes-into-effect.html
  75. Woods, K. (2013). The politics of the emerging agro-industrial complex in Asia’s ‘Final Frontier’: The war on food sovereignty in Burma. https://www.tni.org/en/briefing/politics-emerging-agro-industrial-complex-asias-final-frontier
  76. World Bank. (2011, February 25). Cambodia: Villagers enjoy cheaper, reliable electricity. http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2011/02/25/cambodia-villagers-enjoy-cheaper-reliable-electricity
  77. Zola, A. (2009). Scoping study on cross-border agribusiness in Lao PDR: Focus on Champasak Province. World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/782861468263761056/Trade-development-facility-scoping-study-on-cross-border-agribusiness-in-Lao-PDR-focus-on-Champasak-province
  78. Zorya, S. (2016, May 27). Unleashing Myanmar’s agricultural potential. http://blogs.worldbank.org/eastasiapacific/unleashing-myanmar-agricultural-potential

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Asian and International StudiesCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong

Personalised recommendations