15 May 2015
The Government is determined to seriously reform the agriculture sector in order to improve Thai farmers’ quality of life and raise their income.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said that as part of the reform, the Government has set several policies on agriculture, such as those concerning the reduction of production costs and the use of marketing mechanisms to oversee prices of farm products.
Moreover, it has adjusted the structure of agricultural production in line with the current demand. The Government has also encouraged cooperatives to play a greater role, as buyers of agricultural products, in agricultural processing and exports. Farmland in Thailand covers an area of 147 million rai, or 58.8 million acres. Out of this area, 40 percent is covered by the irrigation system.
The Prime Minister stated that he wanted farmers to be empowered and to attach greater importance to production and distribution chains. Instead of serving as only producers, he said, farmers should be able to be engaged in business and have bargaining power in order to fetch better prices, especially through cooperatives.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has proposed new laws, as well as seeking to revise the existing laws to contribute to the agriculture sector. Among the laws are those governing the income and welfare of farmers and land reform for agriculture.
It is also updating the registration of farmers and other related information. In this regard, the Prime Minister urged farmers to give their cooperation, so that the national budget allocations for the agriculture sector would be able to ensure a better future for farmers, thus stabilizing the country’s economic system.
In assisting farmers to attain the goal of sustainable development, the Government places an emphasis on encouraging them to group together to develop their potential and empower their communities. In addition, the production of major crops is being restructured, so that they will be grown in suitable areas, based on the agricultural zoning system. The management of the royal development study centers will also be adopted as models.
The Prime Minister also urged farmers to adopt His Majesty the King’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy, which would empower their communities and lay down firm foundations for self-reliant agriculture.
Sufficiency Economy is a philosophy that stresses the middle path, comprising three rings and two conditions. Within the Sufficiency Economy framework, the three rings represent the three principles of moderation, reasonableness, and self-immunity. The knowledge and morality contents are two necessary conditions that make it possible to achieve the three main principles.