Integrating the IK in the farming system:
The Xo Dang people have applied four main IK APs due to changing weather patterns. These are as follows: (1) using native plant varieties, (2) adjusting planting calendars, (3) irrigation practices, and (4) inter-cropping (see Table 4 for details). There are is a range of reasons for these adjustments. For example, farmers are required to cultivate indigenous crops and varieties that are more resistant to harsh weather conditions such as drought and soil erosion. The seeding of “Pế Tru” dry rice was recognized as a drought-tolerant variety. According to some farmers who were interviewed “Pế Tru” is easy to grow well in extreme weather, especially in times that are prone to drought due to the crops’ minimal water requirements. Other crops that work well in these conditions are bananas (Musa sp), “Chuoi moc”; cassava (Manihot esculenta) “Canh nong”, and “Trao” (Cayratia japonica). In contrast, they also grow Cinnamon (Calami similiter ducentos quinquaginta), “Lon hớt” and Areca trees, “Lon cau” which are known for standing under heavy rain conditions. It was explained that these two types of trees have well-developed root systems that extend deep into the soil and thus prevent erosion. 73.56% of respondents applied native plant varieties as the APs under harsh weather conditions.
Local people have adjusted the seasonal calendar for the planting of winter-spring rice by delaying the planting season by two weeks in the rainy season to avoid future drought conditions. Given the annual fluctuations, another technique is the planting of short-term varieties of rice which can be harvested one month earlier than standard crops that were used in the past. Another practice the farmers employ, depending on the yearly weather conditions is to plant crops earlier than usual to reduce the long-term effects of drought. In other conditions, a household cultivates one crop from November to February instead of two crops. Also, crops such as acacia might be introduced twice two times during the year. This is done using the “seedling method” in the dry season, and the “transplanting method” in the rainy season. This replaces planting once one time per year as was done in the past. Notably, 42.53% of respondents argue that they often use inter-cropping as the best method to increase crop yields and avoid diseases. Inter-cropping between acacia and native dry rice or between bananas and annual crops are typical examples.