Dwindling or thriving? Making sense of the diversity of agricultural and rural dynamics in Thailand

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Nicolas Faysse

Abstract

A vast amount of research has focused on the dynamics of the Thai agricultural sector and rural areas. The study describes two narratives that have emerged from the existing research. One narrative portrays a thriving innovative agricultural sector, striving to develop systems to promote and guarantee good agricultural practices. The other narrative depicts a dwindling agricultural sector with an ageing farming population or where farmers have diverse non-farming activities and where farming no longer constitutes a major source of income. Most research studies fail to consider the link between the two apparently contradictory narratives. Similarly, recent national development plans in Thailand make reference
to both narratives, without establishing a formal link between the two. This study proposes how future research could be oriented to establish a link to further our understanding of the current changes taking place in the agricultural sector and in rural areas in Thailand.

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