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Thai Farming sector lags behind its Asean peers

Thai Farming sector lags behind its Asean peers

BANGKOK: Thai farming sector is showing signs of weakness as competitors in the region, such as Vietnam, are starting to do better in many products, warn researchers at the Thailand Developsment Research Institute.

Market openings under a farm agreement of the Asean Economic Community have impacted farm products in Thailand, partly due to market access and rising competition from neighbouring countries, according to TDRI research finding. Asean agreed to waive import tariffs starting in 2010 until 2015 on most farm products while some sensitive products remain protected until the end of 2018. After market liberalisation, Thailand does better relatively in sugar cane plantation and sugar production, free-contaminated vegetables and chicken production. However, it does badly in productions of shrimp, animal maize and cow milk. The products that Thailand cannot improve or does not fare worse are rice and palm oil production.