• Transitioning to Organic Rice Farming in Thailand: Drivers and Factors

      Miller, Servel; Seerasarn, Nareerut; Wanaset, Apinya; University of Chester; Sukhothai Thammathirat; Open University
      The Thai government has made it part of the long-term strategy to produce more organic rice, particularly for the Chinese market, to sustain Thai economic growth. However, whilst there has been an increase in organic rice farming, the rate has been relatively slow compared to conventional methods. This research focuses on determining the drivers and factors that influences conversion to organic rice farming in order to better inform local and national policies. It provides an insight into the processes in the decision-making process of famers and the practices they use. Questionnaire and interview data from farmers from the leading rice production region, Surin was analyzed using logistic regression to understand the driver for of organic rice farming and well as the barrier and challenges of adopting to this practice. The findings highlight the critical role of extension farm officers in promoting, educating and motivating farmers to take on organic farming. The ability to access (affordable) loans through local cooperative and land-ownership were also key motivational factors. Young people (under 25) are not engaging with farming generally and this is a major barrier to long-term growth in the organic rice industry in Thailand.