Why such Rapid Growth among Southeast Asian Agricultures?

Working paper in french.

Since the early 1960s, agricultural growth has been strong among most Southeast Asian countries. Largely fed by a dynamic relationship between agricultural intensification and territorial expansion, this strong growth concerns nearly all forms of production whether food or non-food, whether rice or cash crops such as palm oil, rubber or coffee. But the major factors behind these successes have been state policies. These have facilitated the adoption of new technologies among agricultural communities, particularly those associated with the Green Revolution as well as massive land opening towards the respective national territorial margins. More recently, this expansion has reached into the maritime domain, with the development of fish production including through marine aquaculture. This has led, first, to an acceleration of environmental deterioration which concerns in particular both the forest domain, including mangroves, and the maritime domain itself. Secondly, although until recently agricultural food production had held its ground so to speak, growing at equivalent speed with cash crop production, it is now beginning to fall behind. The growing submission of the region’s agricultures to world market demand goes hand in hand with the increasing role played by agro-food multinationals which everywhere are replacing the states in monitoring the national agricultural domains, pioneer fronts included.

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