Farming with Fire and Water
This volume offers the first detailed description of 'composite swiddening,' a traditional Southeast Asian upland agricultural system that combines shifting cultivation fields on the hillsides with irrigated paddy fields in the valleys. The book is a product of research over a 15-year period by natural and social scientists in Vietnam's Tat Hamlet, a Da Bac Tay ethnic minority community, and it challenges the conventional belief that shifting cultivation inevitably causes deforestation. It describes this complex agroecosystem in terms of its multiple individual components, structure, functioning, and sustainability; social and economic dimensions; adaptation to on-going demographic, economic, environmental, and policy changes; and wider use elsewhere in Vietnam's northern mountains. It will be of interest to Southeast Asian area studies specialists, agricultural ecologists, ethnologists, and upland development policymakers.
Publication Date: 8/28/2009