Integrating Watershed Management for Land Degradation and Improving Agricultural Productivity in Northeast Thailand

Wangkahart, T and Toomsan, B and Pathak, P and Wani, S P (2005) Integrating Watershed Management for Land Degradation and Improving Agricultural Productivity in Northeast Thailand. In: Watershed Management Challenges Improving Productivity, Resources and Livelihoods. International Water Management Institute, Columbo, Sri Lanka, pp. 314-326. ISBN 92-9090-611 1

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to ICRISAT users only

Download (189kB) | Request a copy


Thailand’s northeastern region accounts for one third of the country’s population and land area, but generates only 15 percent of the gross domestic product. Most of the region’s inhabitants have small holding, are low income farmers who face diverse agricultural and resource problems related to extreme environmental variability, an adverse climate, poor soils and limited, often unreliable water resources. Due to these problems the current agricultural productivity and income is very low. The deforestation and other agricultural practices have led to the changes in the hydrologic environment and caused widespread land degradation problems. To tackle these problems several watershed management programs have been implemented by various government departments and organizations. This paper reviews the various watershed development management works in northeast Thailand and discusses their approaches and impact on agricultural productivity and natural resources. The impact of small-scale water resources (SSWR) development program implemented by the Thai Royal Irrigation Department and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, on the socio-economic conditions of the farmers in NE Thailand was studied. It was found that the farmers in SSWR area earned more income from agriculture, than farmers outside SSWR area. Farm profitability and source of farm cash income of SSWR farmers were closely related to dry season cash crops rather than wet season rice. Area under double cropping was found to be higher in SSWR area than those outside SSWR area. In terms of productivity, profitability and equity the weir type SSWR system was found to be the most appropriate for northeast Thailand. Overall the study indicated that the small scale water resources can play very significant role in increasing the productivity and income of small rainfed farmers in northeast Thailand. The Department of Land Development approach of watershed development and management gives greater emphasis to small farm ponds and control of soil erosion. This program is being implemented on large scale in Thailand. The Kingdom Watershed Management Program for small, medium and large scale watersheds is also discussed. The results from integrated participatory watershed management project implemented jointly by the Department of Agriculture, Land Development Department and Khon Kaen University in close collaboration with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi- Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) are discussed in detail. This project is being carried out at two benchmark sites, viz., Tad Fa in Phuphaman district and Wang Chai in Phuwiang district in northeast region of Thailand. Results shows that with proper land use planning and use of integrated soil, water and nutrient management (SWMM) and crop management options the land degradation can be controlled (soil loss of 5 t/ha/yr in improved system vs soil loss of 37 t/ha/yr in the traditional system). The project interventions significantly increased the water availability and crop yields. Promising watershed management technologies developed at the project sites provide a good framework for increasing productivity and income of farmers on sustained basis, while improving the soil and water resources.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Others > Watershed Management
Others > Land Degradation
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2011 09:29
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2011 09:29
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item