Assessment of companion modelling effects for integrated farming and sustainable renewable resource management in Lam Dom Yai watershed, Ubon Ratchathani province

TitleAssessment of companion modelling effects for integrated farming and sustainable renewable resource management in Lam Dom Yai watershed, Ubon Ratchathani province
Publication Typeวิทยานิพนธ์/Thesis
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsManitchara Thongnoi
DegreeMaster of Science -- Major in Integrated Farming
InstitutionFaculty of Agriculture, Ubon Ratchathani University
CityUbon Ratchathani
Call NumberS M278
KeywordsAgricultural Systems--Thailand--Ubonratchathani, capacity building, companion modelling approach, Farm Management--Thailand--Ubonratchathani, integrated farming, learning effect, participatory monitoring and evaluation

Companion modelling (ComMod), a participatory research approach, was used to better understand the complex interaction among land, water and labour management in the rainfed lowland rice ecosystem of the Lam Dom Yai watershed, Ubon Ratchathani province. Eleven local farming households took part in five workshops spanning a period of four years from 2005 to 2008 at Ban Mai village, Klang sub-district, Det Udom district. They were divided into three farm types of size: small (type A); medium (type B); large (type C). The main tools used were role-playing games (RPG) and agent-based models (ABM).
This research was one part of the main research project mentioned. It was conducted to: 1) monitor and evaluate the different types of ComMod effects on the participants; 2) test a proposed monitoring and evaluation (M&E) methodology; and 3) make recommendations to improve that methodology and the local use ComMod. The M&E process was conducted throughout the ComMod activities over three years (2006 to 2008). Data were gathered by integrating qualitative research methodology: participatory observation, individual interview, and story telling. Qualitative analysis was done to compare ComMod?s effects on households, farm types, a Tambon Administrative Officer (TAO) and government agency.
The results showed that 1) the ComMod participatory approach that combines computer simulations and role-playing game tools was able to facilitate collective sharing of knowledge, ideas, and perceptions between local farmers and the researchers. 2) the ComMod approach helped the participants to improve their farming knowledge and to improve their understanding of other participants? perceptions and situations. 3) Knowledge acquisition on water issues has led to changes in farming practice and improved of water. 4) With regards to ComMod?s specific tools, RPGs provided a detailed account of RLR transplanting and encouraged a ?learning by doing? approach. However, some elderly participants found the RPG complex and confusing. 5) The AVMs easily enabled the participants to use their imaginations and generate ideas, but the ABM? s features were deemed by some participants to be too theoretical, and thus more suited to younger farmers. And 6) The non-farmer participants, the TAO representative learned a new methodology for collective decision-making useful planning and the government agency learned about organizing a ComMod workshop for collective sharing of ideas with villagers. It is recommended that, in order to improve the use of ComMod for integrated farming and sustainable renewable resource management, the collaboration among the participants would increase if they took part in problem analysis sessions and in preparing supporting tools: Also, new participants should participant in a RPG at least two times before taking part in the AMB.

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