Rainfed revolution in northeast Thailand

Type Journal Article - Southeast Asian Studies
Title Rainfed revolution in northeast Thailand
Volume 46
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 289-376
URL http://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2433/84696/1/460301.pdf
The Northeast is still the poorest region in Thailand, but over the past two decades it has
experienced underappreciated major economic growth. This growth has not been confined
to urban areas, and living conditions in rural villages have improved. Using Thai Government
data and other sources, this report describes and analyzes changes that have
occurred. More people now work in non-agricultural jobs, both permanently and part-time
with agriculture, and remittances from emigrants working outside the region have been of
great help. But in farming households agricultural income has so far remained a very
major part of overall income, a principal reason why the majority of the population has
stayed in agriculture and rural villages became better off. We argue that this occurred
primarily because of agricultural breakthroughs after the adoption of the glutinous rice
variety RD, with the non-glutinous variety KDML playing a complementary commercial
role. Increased agricultural income helped make the villages more attractive settings
for residence, joint investments and remittances, all of which ramified beyond the villages
to help lift the economy of the region, and of the nation.

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