The Rice Situation in Thailand

Date: January 2012
Document Type: Consultant's Reports
Project Number: 43430-012

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Rice production has long played a vital role in Thailand's socio-economic development, making the country the world's largest rice exporter in the last 3 decades. However, the role and significance of rice have been slowly decreasing in the Thai economy. These are reflected in the declining percentage of paddy land in total agricultural landholdings and the decreasing share of rice in gross agricultural production and agricultural exports. Given this trend, this paper takes a look at key issues: what are the situation and prospects of the Thai rice industry; how is rice policy evolving, together with the transformation of the rice economy; and what are the implications of these for food security, both domestically and globally? The changing role of rice in Thailand and the increasing dynamism and complexity of both the domestic and international markets call for a rethinking of the general direction of Thailand's rice industry.

This paper is produced by consultant for the regional technical assistance on Support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three Integrated Food Security Framework.