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Rubber tapping system and tapping labor management of rubber farmers' households : Comparison among rubber ecozones in Songkhla Province

Somboonsuke B., Wettayaprasit P., Kongmanee C., Pacheerat K., Chambon B.. 2012. Kasetsart Journal. Natural Sciences, 33 (1) : p. 92-105.

This study aimed to look into the classification of rubber ecozones, the tapping system, labor management, sharing the benefits of tapping wages amongs rubber farm owners, and related conditions. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from the target population. A sample of 45 farmers in Songkhla Province out of a total 118 farmers were interviewed in depth with structured questionnaires during 2008-2009. Descriptive statistics were applied and synthesized for the analysis of data to meet the objectives of this study. The results indicated that the rubber ecozones of small-sized rubber farms could be classified into 3 categories that were (1) ecozone of plain rubber farms, (2) ecozone of plateau rubber farms or slopewave area, and (3) ecozone of highland rubber farms or mountain areas. The bio-physical features, geographic areas, and environTrients in the agricultural ecozones were major outside indicators that affected the styles of farm management and the success of rubber farming. Rubber farms in the ecozones of plateau or slopewave areas were more successful with lower farm management costs than those in the ecozones of plain rubber farms and highland rubber farms or mountain areas, respectively. Mostly, four tapping systems were used-1/3S 3d/4, I/2S 2d/3, 1/2S 3d/4, and I/2S d/2. Tapping labor was supplied by family members and other employed tapping labor. Most employed tapping labor used high frequency tapping system and selected sharing benefits of 50:50. The study suggested that the govemment sector and related working units should have measures for controlling and enhancing the deployment of appropriate technology in the rubber ecozones. There should be larger supplies of tapping labor by importing labor from other provinces and foreign countries. The imported labor should be trained to become qualified tappers.

Mots-clés : hevea brasiliensis; petite exploitation agricole; enquête sur exploitations agricoles; récolte; environnement; force de travail; thaïlande

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