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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

The Nine Level Agriculture of the Akha People

For Akha people women are a symbol of diversity and fertility. In their resourcefulness lies the propagation of farming methods that have yielded a variety of foods.

In the past, the Akha Indigenous Peoples cultivated field rice interspersed with many vegetable crops, including perennial, seasonal, and fruit trees – grown at higher and lower levels – and termed “nine level agriculture”. Such is an indicator of the abundance and variety of seeds among Akha Indigenous Peoples.

While this became a tale of the past, this video explains how knowledgeable elders of Akha Community later built a Center for the Study of Akha Culture in Chiang Rai Province of Thailand, which boasts agricultural demonstration plots and a kitchen for the collection and storage of traditional seed varieties.