The Trading of Agro-forest Products and Commodities in the Northern Mountainous Region of LaosIntroduction (<Special Issue>Agency, Opportunity and Risk : Commercialization and Human-nature Relationships in Laos) The trading of agro-forest products and commodities in the northern mountainous region of Laos (Agency, opportunity and risk: commercialization and human-nature relationships in Laos)
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The purpose of this study is to clarify the trade flow of agro-forest products and commoditiesby analyzing commercial activities and private traders in a mountainous region.This study focused on Ngoi district of Luang Phabang province in northern Laos where there is a long history of non-timber forest product (NTFP) trading in the study area.In the Lan Xang Kingdom era, political coordinators called L£m collected agro-forestproducts from mountain people as tax, and private traders purchased NTFPs, mainlybenzoin and cardamom. Then, under the communist regime in the period between and, private traders were replaced by government-managed stores and the role of theL£m disappeared. After the Lao version of Perestroika or Chintanakan Mai in, privateagro-forest product trading was re-established in the study area and in addition, generalstores and periodic markets appeared along the riverside. The re-establishment of agroforestproduct trading resulted from the stimulation of commodity flows due to the localgeneral stores and periodic markets, and vice versa.During the Chintanakan Mai period, the NTFPs being traded in the study area were nottraditional foods or medicines but rather new products being exported to foreign countries,especially China. The borders with Thailand, China, and Vietnam in northern Laos werere-opened in the earlys, after which Chinese traders came directly to northern Laos topurchase NTFPs. This paper shows how the stimulation of human mobility, commoditydistribution, and information flow observed after Chintanakan Mai has strongly affectedthe livelihood of the mountain people.
- The southeast asian studies
The southeast asian studies 47(4), 374-402, 2010-03-31