June 20, 2020.
The local small yield farmers in our area have transitioned from Water Buffalo and Hand Tractors to modern tractors to plow the fields, in a relatively short period of time, and yet they still use the traditional method of preparing the fields, which consists of cutting, then burning off the dead weeds, and waiting for the rain to make the hard ground ready for the plow. The tools have changed, but the methodology is timeless. Without having to worry about tall weeds in the fields the hand planting process and caring for young rice plants is easier. Without weeds the rice won’t have to compete with other jungle vegetation for nourishment.
Although this method is traditional, recently in some areas of Thailand, especially in the north, the massive amount of pollution caused by burning many Rai of land (sometimes entire mountains) has been criticized in the media, and indeed has become a problem. In our area this has not become an issue, because the small size of the fields, and the famers bun the fields at different times. So yes, it causes pollution, but the amount of smoke produced has not affected the air quality substantially.
A final shot from last evening – One of Thailand’s spectacular sunsets.
All images made with a Leica M 240 and 50mm Summarit.
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