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Backhurst, Alan Edward (1983) Traditional Chinese vegetable farming practices : An alternative to Western technology in vegetable farming in Southeast Asia? MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028622

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Abstract

In the field of agricultural development in Southeast Asia little research has as yet been carried out on determining what possibilities exist for using the traditional practices of intensive Chinese farming systems as alternatives to modern Western agricultural technology for increasing the productivity of land. The aim of this study is to determine whether the traditional practices of the intensive vegetable farming system of South China represent practical alternatives to modern Western agricultural technology in vegetable farming in Southeast Asia. Information was gathered on the use of Chinese vegetable farming practices in a number of different environments. Fieldwork was undertaken in eight case study areas in six countries: Canton in South China; the New Territories of Hong Kong; Bangkok in Thailand; Lim Chu Kang in Singapore; the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia; and Manila, Cebu and Baguio in the Philippines. Analysis of the data collected shows that the use of traditional Chinese vegetable farming practices in South China is characterized by (i) high productivity of land (ii) negligible use of fossil fuel energy (iii) negligible pollution of the environment and (iv) high use of labour. It also shows that traditional Chinese vegetable farming practices have already been successfully used in a number of widely different vegetable farming environments in Southeast Asia. Whilst the current vegetable farming practices in the case study areas involve a mixture of traditional Chinese and modern Western practices, it is demonstrated that the use of these modern Western practices has nowhere significantly increased the productivity of land over that achieved by the use of traditional Chinese practices. Moreover, the traditional Chinese practices carry with them some important, indeed critical, advantages, related to energy, pollution and labour. The general conclusion is drawn that traditional Chinese vegetable farming practices represent practical and highly desirable alternatives to modern Western agricultural technology in helping to raise the productivity of land in a number of widely different vegetable farming environments in Southeast Asia.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028622
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28622

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