Rubber has become a promising economic crop in the NE Thailand since the rising of the world price of natural rubber with the 1-million rai rubber area expansion policy in the North (N) and Northeast (NE) in recent year. The climate for rubber in the N and NE are considered as sub-optimal conditions for rubber production, similar to growing area in India, China and North of Vietnam. Rubber originated in the hot-wet climate condition where there is high annual rainfall, .while in the N and NE, the rain is a lot lower. The soil in the NE is light and shallow with in most case unfertile. Many researches have proven the potential of rubber in the NE but many economic senses of rubber at farm household level still is nclear. Rubber needs high cost of establishment with the return take many years. Therefore it is questioning whether or not rubber is long-term suitable crop for small scale farmers in the NE.
This study aims to develop a decision support tools to help extension personal and researcher to bring out discussion issues on rubber plantation in the unfertile soil with dry climate conditions in the NE. The result of the discussion might help better understand rubber and the growing environment with socioeconomic constraints on adoption of rubber into the farmer's farm systems in UbonRatchathani province. The first phase of the study was (1) develop spatial database in a GIS both stand alone and GIS-web application, (2) study the relationship of rubber production to the growing environments and management constraints. (3) land evaluation for rubber production in UbonRatchathani province(4) Cost -return and marketing of rubber in UbonRatchathani. (5) Soil analysis and relation of soil fertility to rubber suitability. Phase 2 is to develop decision support tools to provide guideline of rubber production in UbonRatchathani province. The tools will be used at policy, research and extension levels in order to better understand the growing conditions , target the farmers whom their socioeconomic conditions suitable to adopt rubber and for risk management.