The Spice of Life: Cardamom cultivation, trade networks, and livelihoods in Yunnan, China

Agricultural production and trade are central to Chinese economic development and the livelihoods of millions of people throughout the country. In China’s southwest Yunnan province, cardamom is an important cash crop that many rural communities cultivate and trade to make an income. This research project will focus on the current cardamom cultivation practices and trade networks in the Yunnan province, to determine how resources are managed and how knowledge is disseminated. My host institution is in the provincial capital of Kunming, but most of my fieldwork will be completed in the southern rural counties of Hekou and Maguan on the Sino-Vietnamese borderlands. I will employ qualitative research methods such as semistructured and unstructured interviews with cultivators, traders, and municipal officials. I expect to learn how cardamom travels throughout the province, how different traders at different scales interact with one another, and what socio-political relationships are present in trade networks.

Faculty Supervisor:

Sarah Turner


Dylan Putzel



Geography / Geology / Earth science



McGill University



Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects