Keywords: smallholders, tropical highlands, highland agriculture, land degradation, sustainable development, organic farming, Malaysia, sustainability, sustainable agriculture
Evolving more sustainable agriculture in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Smallholders in many tropical highlands cause serious environmental damage. The Cameron Highlands of Malaysia offer an excellent opportunity for studying how farmers interact with environment, changing markets, infrastructure development, indigenous peoples, and tourism, and how these shape innovation. Our surveys in 2002-2004, 2006 and 2007 show that farmers have intensified production and in doing so some have adopted less damaging practices. We assess trends and causation of changes; this offers opportunities for more proactive management. These findings should be useful for other tropical highlands and possibly lowland urban and periurban smallholders.