国立研究開発法人 国際農林水産業研究センター | JIRCAS

Agriculture Development and Area Studies: An Experience from Southeast Asia

JIRCAS international symposium series
ISSN
13406108
書誌レコードID(総合目録DB)
AA1100908X
本文フルテキスト
The agricultural and agrarian structure in Southeast Asia have changed considerably over the last two or three decades due to the introduction of new technologies in crop management and expansion of economic development. However, these changes have raised a number of complex problems and constraints that crop scientists, agronomists or agriculturalists alone have not been able to address. One major question is whether the high-input-type production technologies that have been adopted in intensified and diversified agricultural systems in Southeast Asia will be sustainable from socio-economic, cultural and environmental viewpoints. The suburban areas that have achieved high agricultural production have been disregarded to a great extent due to the spectacular expansion of industrialization and urbanization. Even if the agricultural sector is almost relegated to the sidelines in national development plans, there remain many rural areas in which agricultural research activities should be implemented with new approaches and scopes in order to sustain agricultural production and improve social welfare.
To deal with this situation, it might be useful to explore relevant methodologies in the "area studies," that is, studies that focus on an "area" as a whole through the collaboration of natural, social and cultural scientists. As discipline-oriented research or science deals with its own field of studies and specific methodologies, it eventually has limitations in terms of research implementation and application of research results. Agricultural economists, for example, tend to analyze the economic conditions of households or communities without due consideration of the natural conditions in which they exist. Researchers specialized in cultural studies and social sciences like to interview local people in order to analyze issues such as kinship relations, power structures, and basic principles and concepts controlling life solely for their own theoretical purposes. Natural scientists, such as ecologists, also carry out research to understand the "natural" ecosystems that concern them without due consideration of human and social interactions with them.
Although these norms seem to prevail in discipline-oriented sciences, various efforts for reforming or reconstructing them have been made in the face of various problems and constraints associated with modernization and globalization. Ecologists, for example, were usually and traditionally interested in "natural" ecosystems and their successions, but some of them have begun to carry out research on artificially sustained ecosystems such as agriculture and forestry. Their attention is drawn not only to weeds and pests but also to "ordinary" plants and animals that are not visibly related to the production, and they have tried to reevaluate the farmers' roles in maintaining such "artificially sustained" ecosystems (actually, "natural" for both weeds and pests and "ordinary" plants and animals). Some anthropologists have also paid attention to local people's indigenous knowledge and technologies and tried to reevaluate them to substitute them for modern technologies.
Agricultural scientists have traditionally conducted field experiments either in experimental plots or in farmers' plots in order to develop and disseminate improved, more productive technologies. However, it has not been common for them to extend their interest from the "field" of experiments to the "field" of area's social or cultural conditions. Taking this into account, I will present some of my case studies carried out in Vietnam (related to cropping systems and farming systems research), Laos (related to rural development) and Indonesia (related to social forestry) to call attention to the need to develop more productive collaboration between agricultural scientists and area-study researchers. "Area" is both a "field" of complex interaction of nature, human beings and society, and a "field" of scholarship in which intensified and diversified collaboration of various disciplines will be materialized.

作成者Koji Tanaka
公開者Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences
データ作成日2003-11-18
12
開始ページ135
終了ページ140
言語eng