Racing for Development Hegemony?
Southeast Asia as a Fruit Supplier to China
Edited by Bill Pritchard
Nattapon Tantrakoonsab and Wannarat Tantrakoonsab
In the past five years, exports of Thai durian have been increasing consistently, dominating the Chinese market. In this study, key informant interviews and analyses of the secondary data revealed changes that affect durian exports, including increasing Chinese demand, the emergence of new durian planting areas, the expansion of the processed durian market, and transportation improvements in Mekong region countries. The empirical analysis also demonstrated that Chinese entrepreneurs have expanded their roles in the value chain to replace Thai entrepreneurs. Although farmers and packing plants may presently benefit from the increasing export volume of durian, concerns arise about the total value capture of the entirety of Thai stakeholders.
Aungkana Kmonpetch and Waranya Jitpong
Longan is one of three largest tropical fruit export items in Thailand. Over the past decade, increased investment from China in packing houses in production areas has underpinned the tremendous growth of fresh longan exports to China. Reflecting on the trait of the Chinese market that puts less importance on credence attributes than on product attributes of fresh fruits, firms from outside the supply chain as well as incumbent downstream firms appear to have invested in packing houses. The rising number of packing houses, however, did not always translate to intensifying competition among them, which is represented by the stagnant farm gate price of longan. While it is evident that Chinese investment has boosted fresh longan exports to China, its ramifications on value capture of Thai stakeholders are uncertain.
Tools, Methods, Challenges and Strategies
Edited by M. R. Islam, Niaz A. Khan, Siti H.A.B. Ah, Haris A. Wahab and Mashitah B. Hamidi
M. Rezaul Islam, Niaz Ahmed Khan, Siti Hajar Abu Bakar Ah, Haris Abd Wahab and Mashitah Binti Hamidi
Fieldwork/data collection is one of the most important parts in the research process, and it is particularly important for social sciences research. A number of aspects that need to be considered by a researcher before starting data collection include: ethical permission from the concerned ethical body/committee, informed consent, contract with different stakeholders, field settings, time allocation and time management, field leading, data collection, contextual and cultural diversities, community settings, socioeconomic and psychological patterns of the community, political pattern, rapport building between data collectors and respondents, permission to access community, language and mode of data collection, power relations, role of gatekeepers, privacy and confidentiality issues, layers of expectations among researchers/respondents/ funding organization, data recording (written, memorization, voice recording and video recording), and so on. Many aspects are very difficult to understand before going into the field. Sometimes, a researcher’s previous experience about a particular community may help to gain field access, but it may be difficult to assess the field in advance due to rapid changes within people’s livelihoods and other shifts in the community. The change of a political paradigm sometimes seems also to be a challenge at the field level. We believe that although technological innovation has benefited some aspects of the data collection of fieldwork in social research, many other dimensions (mentioned above) of fieldwork endure unchanged.