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9-10 | 2006
Agriculture in Southeast Asia: an update

Sous la direction de Marc Dufumier
Couverture-Moussons-9-10
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200 pages
ISBN 978-2-7449-0693-0

"The critical challenge faced by the nations of Southeast Asia today is to sustain the livelihoods of more than 540 million inhabitants on only 4.5 million km2. This high demographic density is especially problematic given that 70% of the region is covered with mountainous areas that are hard to reach and even harder to cultivate. The populations of Southeast Asia have been traditionally concentrated along valleys and flood plains where it is easy to practice various forms of flooded or irrigated rice production: valleys and deltas of the Mekong, the Red River, the Mae Nam Chao Phraya and the Irrawadi, the alluvial basin of the Tonle Sap and relatively small coastal plains. Some peasants have set up irrigated rice paddies on terraces along the fertile piedmonts of volcanoes: the islands of Java, Sulawesi, Luzon and Mindoro offer strikingly beautiful examples. However, during the second half of the 20th century, a significant part of the population living among the plains, valleys and piedmonts had to migrate to distant mountainous regions to set up rainfed cropping systems on uplands. [...]" (Introduction: 7).