Survey data of Muang Fai, a traditional communal water irrigation system in Northern Thailand
This dataset contains the result of a survey of farmers practicing Muang fai, a hundred-years old communal irrigation system in Northern Thailand. The muang fai is governed by a set of pre-established rules which, to a large extent, resemble Ostrom’s (1990) well-known principles of effective common property resources. As the technology of alternative irrigation, such as groundwater pumping technology, becomes more affordable, the future of this long-held tradition, including its knowledge about its characteristics can be at risk. The target population of the survey was the group of Longan farmers who are located within the 12 villages that are engaged in muang fai Sop Rong in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand. We specifically collected information on irrigation practices, farmland characteristics and socio-economic variables from 570 longan (their main crops) farmer households. Half of these farmers practice Muang fai, another half practice undergound pumping irrigation. Irrigation information collected includes type of irrigation (surface or underground), volume and frequency of water uses, type of pumps (if using pumps). Farming characteristics collected includes volume and value of the harvests, land size, and distance to irrigation canal. Socioeconomic characteristics included among others are farmers income, expenditure, education, off-farm employment and muang-fai membership. We also include GPS-coordinate (geo-code) of the location of the each farmland. This dataset can be a source of baseline information for future research as well as help preserve the knowledge of this tradition.
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The data was collected through a primary survey (survey instrument is available as suplementary material) of 570 Longan farmers from 12 villages in San Pa Tong District, Chiang Mai province, Northen Thailand. Half of the farmers practice the Muang-fai irrigation system, a communal surface irrigation system of long tradition. The survey was carried out with direct interview. The location of the farm was also recorded using GPS and its geo-cordinates are included in the database.