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Emerging Smallholder Rubber Farming Systems in India and Thailand: A Comparative Economic Analysis

This paper provides a comparative perspective on the performance of smallholder rubber farm livelihood systems based on case studies of two regions in India and Thailand. The analysis of the emerging farming systems in the two countries' rubber farms reveals that the rubber monocrop system is viable, provided prices remain remunerative and primary markets efficient. Findings further indicate the dominant contribution of rubber production to the gross household income of the rubber growers in the integrated farming systems. Nevertheless, from a sustainable livelihoods perspective, the socioeconomic significance of the rubber integrated farming systems assumes greater prominence, given the fact that small producers are highly vulnerable to market uncertainties. It has been found that rubber integrated livelihood systems provide the smallholders with ample capability for resilience during crises and ensure a sustained flow of income. The two case studies demonstrate the need to promote and scale up rubber integrated farm livelihood systems in the smallholder-dominated rubber producing countries in the Asian region. The paper also recommends enhancing the capabilities of the smallholders by strengthening their access to the five forms of capital that sustain their livelihood.

Vol. 5 No. 2, December 2008

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