The Trading of Agro-forest Products and Commodities in the Northern Mountainous Region of Laos

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Abstract

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 L£n X£ng 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 purpose of this study is to clarify the trade flow of agro-forest products and commodities by 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.<br> In the Lān Xāng Kingdom era, political coordinators called <i>Lām</i> collected agro-forest products from mountain people as tax, and private traders purchased NTFPs, mainly benzoin and cardamom. Then, under the communist regime in the period between 1960 and 1986, private traders were replaced by government-managed stores and the role of the <i>Lām</i> disappeared. After the Lao version of Perestroika or <i>Chintanakan Mai</i> in 1986, private agro-forest product trading was re-established in the study area and in addition, general stores and periodic markets appeared along the riverside. The re-establishment of agroforest product trading resulted from the stimulation of commodity flows due to the local general stores and periodic markets, and vice versa.<br> During the <i>Chintanakan Mai</i> period, the NTFPs being traded in the study area were not traditional foods or medicines but rather new products being exported to foreign countries, especially China. The borders with Thailand, China, and Vietnam in northern Laos were re-opened in the early 1990s, after which Chinese traders came directly to northern Laos to purchase NTFPs. This paper shows how the stimulation of human mobility, commodity distribution, and information flow observed after <i>Chintanakan Mai</i> has strongly affected the livelihood of the mountain people.

Journal

  • Japanese Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

    Japanese Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 47(4), 374-402, 2010

    Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    110007543412
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AN00166463
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    特集
  • Journal Type
    大学紀要
  • ISSN
    05638682
  • NDL Article ID
    10719819
  • NDL Source Classification
    ZG74(歴史・地理--アジア・アフリカ--東南アジア)
  • NDL Call No.
    Z8-392
  • Data Source
    NDL  NII-ELS  IR  J-STAGE 
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