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UBON RICE VARIETIES Ubon Ratchathani Province Lower northeast Thailand


... the price of seed, sales of glutinous rice, possibility to grow more than one ... Balance between glutinous and non glutinous RLR varieties depending on ethnicity, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: UBON RICE VARIETIES Ubon Ratchathani Province Lower northeast Thailand

ProvinceLower northeast Thailand
  • A role-playing game to understand how farmers
    manage rice varieties, and select rice seed
  • Chirawat VEJPAS, François Bousquet Guy Trébuil
  • Faculty of agriculture, Ubon Ratchathani
  • CU-CIRAD ComMod Project, Chulalongkorn
    University, Bangkok, Thaïlande

The context
  • The successful dissemination of few premium
    quality aromatic rainfed lowland rice (RLR)
    varieties (KDML 105, RD 6 RD 15 since 1959,
    1977 1978 respectively) led to a loss of rice
    biodiversity over the last 25 years.
  • But more recently released recommended varieties
    are not being adopted by farmers.
  • A very centralized RLR seed supply system
    controlled by public agencies provides only seed
    of few recommended varieties. To grow other
    cultivars, farmers depend on seed exchanges among

The context (2)
  • There is an inadequate supply of quality seeds
    leading to the recent emergence of several new
    seed supply agents (private companies traders,
    community seed centers, etc.) with government
  • Three different types of RLR fields (upper,
    medium lower paddies) can be distinguished in
    the small rainfed catchments cropped by farmers.
  • The diversity of farmers strategies in RLR
    production depends on ethnicity (Lao vs Khmer),
    farm size (2-15 ha), labour availability,
    location/accessibility, market integration, etc.

  • To understand farmers decision-making processes
  • The choice of RLR varieties,
  • The allocation of these various varieties to
    different types of paddyfields along the
  • Their choice of seed sources / suppliers.
  • To compare farmers decision-making processes
    across a range of different agricultural
    situations in Ubon Ratchathani Province according
  • Access to agricultural services,
  • Ethnicity,
  • Availability of specific / niche markets for

Conceptualisation of the game (1)
  • A series of meetings was held among researchers
    from concerned institutions (OARD, UBU, RRI) to
    construct a shared conceptual model by using
    Unified Modelling Language (UML) diagrams.
  • Knowledge gaps were filled by data from a
    specific farm survey (258 farmers in 25
    districts) interviews of key informants.
  • Model verification, calibration validation
    implemented through
  • The construction and use of a role-playing game
  • Individual interviews with players and group
    discussions after gaming sessions to analyze the
    linkages between the game and farmers real

Conceptualisation of the game (2)
  • Conceptual model for the choice allocation of
    RLR varieties

Conceptualisation of the game (3)
  • Conceptual model for the choice of seed sources /

Conceptualisation of the game (4) Translation of
the conceptual models into a RPG to facilitate
sharing, discussion, and their improvement
  • Design of the game

Main features of the RPG to be described
  • Players other participants
  • The gaming room
  • Game supporting features
  • Duration / Time management

The players other participants
  • Around 12 growers with different farm size,
    coming from villages with different access to ag.
    services. Each player manages an amount of land
    similar to what he has in reality.
  • The players were selected by the research team
    based on farm survey data to represent
    contrasting situations a balance between male
    female players. Players received free transport
    per diem (the official daily minimum wage).
  • Two gaming sessions were held at different
  • September 2003 northern Ubon, 12 Thai-Lao
    players from 2 villages close to the rice
    research center (RRC) and 2 more distant ones
  • January 2004 southern Ubon, 13 Thai-Lao and
    Thai-Khmer players from 3 villages far from
    government seed production facilities.
  • Information on social relations among selected
    players obtained during interviews before the
    gaming sessions.
  • Researchers manage market desks paddy seed
    sales. Other members of the research team played
    the roles of moderators, assistants, and game

The gaming room
  • Two boards (6 players per board) representing
    different agricultural settings / farm sizes are
    played simultaneously
  • A public bulletin showing the list of available
    varieties and sources of seeds
  • Two market desks (registration of transactions)

The gaming room the 3D board
  • Different farms on the board
  • number and location of fields,
  • 6 players/farms per board

Game support features post it stickers
  • Three different types of stickers were used
  • One color per variety
  • One color per source of seed
  • One color per planting method (Transplanting or
    Direct sown)
  • Stickers affixed to each cropped field, every
    year/round of play.

Game support features record keeping
  • One note pad per farmer and per year to record
  • Selected varieties per field,
  • Choice of crop establishment technique
  • Amount source of seed purchased,
  • Amount of paddy sold on the market,
  • Amount of paddy kept for consumption production
    of own seed
  • Note pad given to the market desk at beginning
    and at the end of each year/round of play
  • ? data entered in an Excel file to estimate
    expenses incomes (close up of Excel file)

Duration / Time management
At market desk Sell paddy
4 steps per round of play
At the board Harvest rice Keep own seed,
Consumption / sale
  • One round of play one crop year 30 to 60
  • 6 crop years played in succession in one day in
    Sept 2003 4 years in Jan. 2004 to observe
    trends rythm of seed renewal.
  • Gaming workshop over two days in Sept 03 D1
    gaming session discussion after two
    years/modifications of rules ½ D2 individual
    interviews. Only one day for both activities in
    Jan 2004.

Role of the moderators rule management
  • 2 Thai moderators they introduce the
    participants, they spell out the objectives of
    the session/workshop, and explain the game rules
    proposed by the research team to the players in
    the local language.
  • They assist the players at the board and at the
    market desks and they make decisions in case of
    unexpected behaviour
  • After two rounds of play/ two crop years they
    encourage the players to express their opinions
    about the game, its rules to propose suitable
    modifications (modifications requested by the
    players were dealing with the price of seed,
    sales of glutinous rice, possibility to grow more
    than one variety per field, etc.)
  • They assess the feasibility of the proposed
    changes and insert them in the game if practical.
  • Following more rounds of play, they propose more
    changes to test the players responses to factors
    such an increase in family size, better
    availability of RLR seed, the introduction of a
    new variety.

Role of assistants observers
  • Assistants help the players
  • 3 at each board to affix stickers to fields,
    prepare the note pads bring them to the market
  • 2 at the market desks to register the players
    decisions and to settle their accounts.
  • 4 observers monitor the individual behaviour of
    the players their interactions (2 of them
    record sequences by using digital cameras)
  • Only few interactions were recorded during the 2
    gaming sessions. No exchange of seeds, no
    counseling or imitation occurred.

Indicators for the analysis of the game
  • The analysis emphasizes the understanding of the
    dynamics observed during the gaming session
    less attention is paid to the explanation of
    quantitative results.
  • Key indicators for the analysis of a gaming
  • Balance between glutinous and non glutinous RLR
    varieties depending on ethnicity, family
    size/needs, farm size farmer strategy
  • Rythm of seed renewal for each variety, depending
    on access to suppliers, seed quality,
  • Location of the different varieties along the
    slope depending on the availability of
    upper/medium/lower paddies, family needs farmer
  • Changes in seed sources / suppliers during the

UML diagram after the game
Participatory analysis of the game
  • Collective debriefing after 2 or 3 rounds of
    play/crop years at the end of the gaming
  • Comments from the players on the game structure,
    features and propositions of new features and/or
    rules to be introduced and tested.
  • Comments on the evolution and management of the
    session at the end.
  • Individual interviews the day after the gaming
    session (or just after it in January 2004)
    focusing on
  • Similarities differences between the game (its
    structure, features rules) and farmers actual
  • Similarities differences between farmers
    actions during the game and their actual
  • Making farmers decisions during the game more
    explicit, particularly in the case of unexpected
  • The usefulness of the game for the players and
    possibly other stakeholders.

  • Following the introduction of changes requested
    by the players, they agreed that the game was
    representing their actual cropping seed systems
    at the farm level
  • The players introduce many aspects from their
    actual farming context, strategies practices
    into the game (more than requested by the game
    rules and features)
  • But many players ignored that there was such an
    extensive number of seed suppliers, information
    sharing among farmers is poor
  • The game confirmed that individual decisions
    dominates in the management of cropping seed
    systems at farm level.
  • It also confirmed the priority given to the
    production of glutinous rice to meet family needs
    on the Thai-Lao farms
  • Major factors influencing the choice of seed
    suppliers are seed quality and accessibility
    (distance social network).

  • Associate this RPG with another one representing
    the functionning of the RLR seed supply system at
    the provincial level (see the description of the
     Ubon rice seeds  RPG).
  • Following their validations by stakeholders,
    integrate both RPG into a single multi-agent
    model to simulate possible scenarios of changes
    in the provincial RLR seed system identified by
    the concerned stakeholders.
  • Test the use of machine learning techniques to
    analyse the results of the gaming sessions in a
    more objective and rapid way (in collaboration
    with the Social Simulation Laboratory at Kyoto
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