Monday, June 22, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elements of Useful Knowledge Vol. 3 (1806)

Only 12 row description on Laos and published in 1806. Laos was known then as a country between Camboja (Cambodia), Tunkin (Vietnam) and Siam (Thailand) with a river (Mekong?) running through it. Lao were also observed as to be closed to Siamese (present Thai) in terms of religion, but resemble Southern Chinese (meaning fairer skin?) in terms of appearance. Full view on google book at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Farmers' Perceptions of Rice-Growing Techniques in Laos : "Primitive" or "Thammasat" ?

Author concluded, from field survyes, that agriculture in Laos were still primitive or thammasat (ທຳມະຊາດ : nature or primitive) or not yet modernized. But looking at many adversed socio-economic and environmental impacts in Thailand for instance, author thought modernization of agriculture in Laos should rather be done harmoniously with the nature. Downloadable at

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stable Forest Cover under Increasing Populations of Swidden Cultivators

Authors concluded from satellite images' analysis and field surveys that, post war growth of population relying on swidden farming, was the main cause of forest cover loss in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area (NNT NPA) during 1960s and 1970s. The trend has been however slowed down since 1980s by increasing reliance on foreign demand on local forest resources such as wildlife. Therefore alleviating population growth, rather than banning/controlling swidden farming and/or wildlife trade, may be more effective in preserving forest and wildlife. Downloadable at

Agricultural Mechanization in Rural Area of Lao PDR: A Case Study of Farm Tractorization

Base on analysis on 88 surveyed farming households, authors concluded that farmers with tractors grow and sell more rice on larger farm lands. I wonder if the causality might be the other way round, such as, they could afford tractors because they were firstly bigger. Anyway, as they also found that farmers with tractors have incresing returns to scale production, shifting from water buffalo to tractors would likely be a smart move, for those hoping to grow. Downloadable at

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Universal Geography Volume 3 (1822)

Published in 1822 and quite relaxing book to read. I enjoyed the romance of history and exploration spirits of white people, reading this book. Pages 363 to 392 were on countries in Indochinese Penisula including Laos. It showed their limitted, broken knowledges about the region, but at the same time, their determinations to sort things out. Full view on google book at,M1

Monday, June 8, 2009

Education and Earnings in Lao PDR: Further Results

Three main conclusions were, (1) rate of return to education was on the rising trend, (2) private workers got more with higher education when compared to public servants, and (3) primary education were the most profitable one (for workers) outside the capital. I think many more interesting implications can still be drawn from variety of estimated results in this paper. Downloadable at

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rice in Laos

Published in 2006 and covered many topics from historical, geographical, ethnical, technical and institutional aspects of rice and rice productions in Laos. The book contains many of spatial and time series information on rice, which in many cases is just the agriculture itself in Laos' case, and will certainly be of interests not only to agriculturalists, but also historian as well as economists, doing researches on Laos. Viewable without restriction on google book at,M1 and downloadable from publisher's site.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Soil Fertility and Farming Systems in a Slash and Burn Cultivation Area of Northern Laos

If fallow (the period farmers let the cultuvated soil rest) need to be shorten for some reasons, such as by pressure from increased population, authors think agroforestry system that combines crop cultivation may be a way to keep the soil fertile. Downladable at

Lao Village Information System (LAVIS) Material

Author had every things in three languages (English, Lao and Japanese). Don't try to read all three because you will easily get confused. It is, in large parts, a GIS (Geographic Information System) presentation of population census in 1995. Though may not be the standard ones, the translations of places, ethnic group names into all three languages can be quite handy in many cases. Downloadable at

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Farmer Education and Rice Production in Lao PDR

Interesting and encouraging finding! Author found from econometric analysis on LECS2 that farmers with education produce more rice. Downloadable at

Compulsory Education in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

Published in 1955 and very informative about primary education in colonial era. The annual number of primary schools and attended pupils from 1915 to 1952 was just precious. Though as a Lao, I was very disappointed to see that there were much fewer schools and students in Laos compared to Cambodia and Vietnam. Downloadable at

Internal Migration and Socio-economic Change in Lao PDR

A ppt presentation on above topic. The graph of number of garment factory by size are very informative. Downloadable at