Browsing by Subject "NTFPs"

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  • Sistonen, Sonja (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    In recent years, the Laos economy – driven by the primary sector – has been growing fast, however poverty remains widespread. Economic growth is also influencing the livelihoods of rural people who account for 61% of Lao population and depend highly on forests and environmental resources. Many studies address the role of NTFPs in rural livelihoods globally but the total contribution of forests and environmental resources, and the associated changes in their access and availability, have generally been neglected, also in Laos. The overarching research question of this study aims to determine how dependent rural Lao livelihoods are on forest and environmental products by estimating their contribution in total household income and food security. The other objectives are i) to find out which forest and environmental products households are the most dependent on, ii) to compare NTFPs and timber in their contribution to livelihoods, and iii) to learn how the access to, and the number of, forest products has changed in the past and whether they are expected to change in the future. The primary data used in this study was collected in Mahaxay District, Central Lao PDR in March 2016. Altogether 90 randomly selected households were interviewed using semi-structured surveys in three sample villages purposefully selected along a remoteness gradient. In addition, two focus group discussions (one male and one female) and one key informant interview were conducted in each village to collect village-level background information. It was found that the sample households rely heavily on forests and the environment, especially for food products. In the most remote village 80% of the households would not have had enough to eat without the contribution of NTFPs in their nutrition. On average forest and environmental products contributed to 12% of the cash income of the households interviewed. The cash-equivalent value of subsistence income from forest and environmental products is higher than that of cash income from their sales all three sample villages. There were significant differences between the villages: the poorest village was also the most dependent on forest products for both cash and subsistence income. NTFPs were remarkably more important than timber for both subsistence and cash income. Bamboo shoots, firewood and mushrooms were the most collected forest products. Fallow was the most important land-use type for forest and environmental product collection. There was a strong decrease in both access to forest products and their availability in the past five years, and most sample households also expected the trend of decline to continue into the future. The kind of reliance on forests and wild lands described in this study is threatened by population growth, deforestation and forest degradation associated with Laos’ rapid economic transition. The strong dependency of the rural Lao population on forest and environmental income should be considered also by the Lao government in the aim for green economic transition.
  • Hu, Siyu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Electronic commerce (E-commerce) has become an international phenomena nowadays. Especially in China, due to the country’s size, large population and culture, the consumption-driven economic growth plays a more fundamental role than in many other countries, which gives higher requirements for the development of modern logistics. The rapid development of Chinese e-commerce, has made online shopping a very important part in people’s daily life as it is cheaper and more convenient than to buy things from traditional stores. At the same time, the Chinese government gives strong support to E-commerce in its economic development strategy. In March 2015 an E-commerce idea called Internet Plus (Internet+) was officially announced by the Chinese Prime Minister as an important government business strategy in the future economic development plan. The idea does not only aim to develop a new type of economics, but also to improve the traditional economics. The new strategy can decrease enterprises’ cost and increase overall operating efficiency. Behind the high development speed of the e-commerce, logistics is a very important factor to ensure the success of the online business and it is necessary to realize which factors under E-commerce Logistics takes the biggest part and has the most weight among all logistics features. In this study, I will concentrate on Internet+ Logistics, which derived from E-commerce Logistics. Evaluate the logistics performance of 364 online none timber forest products (NTFPs) stores from Alibaba online shopping mall names Tmall. The study can be seen as complete and conceptual, both in the academic and the practical field. By using entropy weight method, Topsis analysis and cross analysis, I analyze the weights of different levels indexes in Internet+ Logistics performance and also get total scores and ranking of sample online stores, in order to understand the important factors and the development trend in Internet+ Logistics. My study reveals, that some indexes such as service can largely influence the performance of online store logistics, which are the most important elements of Internet+ Logistics. The proposed framework enriches the theory of network marketing and gives directions to business owners to make improvements on the logistics quality of their online stores.
  • Chakma, Dipjoy (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are one of the major income sources for the rural population of Laos. An exploratory study was conducted to determine the role of non-timber forest products for rural communities of the study area. The study was carried out in two villages viz. Ban Napo and Ban Kouay of Sangthong district between January and March 2010. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to gather data from the respondents. Twenty-five respondents from each village were chosen based on their involvement in NTFPs collection and marketing activities. Statistically significant NTFPs income differences were not found between the villages and age groups of the respondents, however, significant differences were found in the annual incomes between farms size of the respondents. This study also analyzed the value chain structure of the three (See khai’ ton, Bamboo mats and Incense sticks) important non-timber forest products and the interactions between the actors in the case study areas. Barriers to entry the market, governance and upgrading possibilities have been discussed for each of the value chains. Comparison of unit prices at different levels of the value chains indicated uneven income distribution in favour of the intermediaries, factories and foreign buyers. The lack of capital, marketing information and negotiation skills restricted the villagers to increase their income. However, all the respondents have shown their satisfaction with their income from NTFPs.
  • Simppula, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The economy of Laos has been growing fast in recent decades, causing profound changes in rural livelihoods, traditional agriculture and the environment. The governments’ land use policies aiming to restrict shifting cultivation are shifting the subsistence farming towards more market-oriented agriculture production. In addition, increased job opportunities, improved infrastructure and increased land pressures are affecting smallholder farmers’ livelihood strategies. Despite the rapid economic growth, income disparities remain high in Laos, with high rates of poverty especially in rural areas remaining common. The rural households are often highly dependent on agriculture and forest resources for the income and food security. Therefore, it is important to study how the rapid economic transition and changes in agriculture affect their livelihood strategies. The four research questions addressed in this study were 1) What are the main changes in households’ livelihoods ( ‒ the strategies households create and follow to improve their livelihoods) and land use at village-level over the past 10 years? 2) How the forests/forest cover have changed in the village over the past ten years and what have been the main drivers for the changes? 3) How the smallholders’ access to and availability of forest resources have changed over the past ten years? 4) What kind of shocks the households have experienced in the past 12 months and what have been their coping strategies to overcome the shocks? Primary data was collected using three different methods. Altogether 90 randomly selected households were interviewed in the three rural villages in Nambak district in Luang Prabang province. In addition, two separate focus group discussions with different gender and one key informant interview were conducted in each of the study village. Household surveys data was collected on households’ demographics, main income sources and changes in capital assets and cropping. In focus group discussion data was collected on most important environmental resources, forests and landscape changes. In key informant interview data was collected on main characteristic of village infrastructure, history, forest cover and land use. The study showed that the households have introduced many valuable cash crops and trees to their farms in the last 10 years. Improved access to markets and high demand for crops, (such as cardamom, galangal, broom grass and rubber) from neighboring countries has changed crop production, livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes in study villages. The shift from subsistence agriculture to more cultivation of cash crops and more labour opportunities in large-scale cash crop plantations has increased household income. In addition, cash crop cultivation requires less labour input than replaced upland rice production. Livelihood shocks experienced by households were mostly crop failures due to drought, livestock losses due to diseases and severe illnesses of household members. It was found that households mainly coped with shocks by using cash savings, indicating that shocks were either relatively minor, or increased incomes allow them to overcome shocks without having to sell assets or other actions. In terms of changes in availability of forest resources, some of the non-timber forest products are reportedly over-harvested in the villages and there are less trees now than 10 years ago, especially in production forests, since local people have been cutting them for domestic use. In addition, forest cover has decreased, since forests have been cleared for rubber plantations and farmland. The changes in crop production and intensification of land use has improved the households’ overall income-level. Over 80% of the respondents thought their incomes have increased over the past 10 years. However, the cash crops price fluctuations and potential decline of sale prices can have negative impacts to the smallholders’ livelihoods and food security. The households’ resilience to cope with livelihood shocks is often dependent on the capital assets they possess. The relatively poor households are generally more vulnerable to livelihood shocks; therefore, having sustainable and diverse livelihood strategies is important in rural villages. In addition, the increasing land pressures from agricultural intensification and population growth, overuse of NTFPs, and large-scale cash crop plantations can lead to deforestation and forest degradation in the village areas.