30 June 2000
Thai farmers suffer despite subsidies

SMALL farmers in Thailand are still suffering poverty, despite government measures designed to support prices and subsidise credit.

Such moves will have a small impact on relieving pressure on small farmers, who obtain 70% of their income outside farming, reports the Financial Times.

The paper quotes Tongroj Onchan, president of the Mekong Environment Resource Institute, who said: “Another safety net is needed.”

Money sent by urban relatives to small farmers has slumped since Thailand was rocked by the economic crisis of 1997, reports the FT.

Mr Onchan said action to help smaller farmers should focus on getting them into non-farm jobs because food production is only a small part of their income.

  • Financial Times, page 40