Dynamics of Livelihood Strategies of Smallholder Rubber Farmers in Southwest, China
Haowen Zhuang, Shaoze Jin, Hermann Waibel
Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Development and Agricultural Economics, Germany
Driven by the rising rubber prices since 2000s, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture (XSBN), Southwest China, experienced dramatic expansion of smallholder rubber plantation. Rubber has taken over the rural economy and contributed to the reduction of poverty. On the other hand rubber monoculture has increased income uncertainty and has made to become dependent on rubber farming. When rubber prices declined after 2012, smallholder farmers were challenged to mitigate income loss and to develop better livelihood strategies. Evidences from many studies in developing countries have shown that diversifying the sources of livelihood can reduce uncertainty of agriculture. However most of these studies followed a static approach using cross section data. This study is using panel data collected from some 600 small holder rubber farmers in Xishuangbanna collected in 2013 and 2015.
Keywords: Livelihood strategies, rubber, smallholder, Southwest China
Contact Address: Haowen Zhuang, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Development and Agricultural Economics, Koenigsworther Platz 1, 30167 Hannover, Germany, e-mail: zhuangifgb.uni-hannover.de