A STUDY OF FOOD VALUE CHAINS IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19 OUTBREAK IN THE SOUTHERN BORDER PROVINCES
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The three southern border province area is an area with rich biodiversity. During normal circumstances, this area is a source of diverse food production that is sufficient to feed the local population and can generate huge income. However, due to the changing economic, social, environmental, and cultural conditions the food security and sustainability of the area has been affected negatively. For example, changes in technology, climate change and the emergence of new diseases such as COVID-19 are current challenges which the area faces. If the relevant agencies are unable to manage production systems throughout the food chain effectively and efficiently then the food security of the area will be affected.
In the past, it was found that the roles and duties of food chain supervision in Thailand are under the supervision of various government agencies. There are many different ministries and there are many related laws which lack unity, integration and operational efficiency. This is a vital obstacle to promoting and supporting the agricultural industry. Although Thailand has a national food strategy framework as well as the National Food Board mechanism to direct food strategies, lack of concrete implementation is evident.
From the study commissioned by PSU Science Park in 2021, it was found that farmers in the three southern border provinces had the following main problems: lack of knowledge, technological innovation in agriculture along the supply chain; lack of coordination efficiency and lack of integration of different departments to develop and upgrade agricultural supply chains in the southern border provinces; and finally, the agricultural output is low and the standard of the product does not meet international standards. The most important finding of this study is that the three southernmost provinces do not have large enough upstream and midstream producers to generate high economic return, neither for rice and livestock which are the main products of the area.