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Facilitator: Thailand Policy Lab
Future of Agriculture in the southern Thailand
To understand pain points in each province, participants are grouped based on 4 provinces, i.e., Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkla. Iceberg analysis is conducted by choosing 1 key issue and specifying factors according to current situation and mindset. Then, brainstorm is conducted to find expected support from the government to solve the key issues.
From the brainstorm, we find similar issues that numbers of young farmers drops, natural disaster causes damage to products, and price is not good. Moreover, the structure issue is the government system that does not strengthen future of farmers. Thus, farmers change career. They have attitude that farmer is not prestigious career and does not need to have education to perform the career.
Yala province: They have attitude that farmer is not prestigious career, like other occupations. This is the underlying limitation of the iceberg. The needed solution and the government support are that different departments have to specify district target and change mindset of the community and farmers to be proud of the career. Push of the Present factor is establishment of a provincial agricultural subcommittee that will make pilot project achievable. Weight of History factor is lack of knowledge and expertise, and issue of the pandemic. Pull of the Future factor is passion after the pandemic and good perception of new generation of agriculture.
Songkla province: Numbers of farmers have dropped; children stop doing farming and price cannot be controlled. Furthermore, there is lack of support, government budget, proper relief measures. Local people do not have motivation to become farmers. The government has to support from the upstream to downstream, host of integration must be appointed, and Budgetary Procedures Act must be amended. Push of the Present factors are the society and trend of organic agriculture. Weight of History factors are the leader’s vision and unsuitable regulations about budget. Pull of the Future factors are a new set of leaders and a college that have short courses of organic agriculture for lifetime learning.
Pattani province: They have core value that being a farmer is not cool; moreover, there is a factor of climate change. Thus, numbers of farmers have dropped. Meanwhile, foreign farmers have image of utilizing technology to control production and mitigate impact from climate change. We need to change the community’s attitude through education that being a farmer or selling vegetables via live is prestigious career, especially shortage of food in the near future is highly possible. Push of the Present factor is existing farmers who insist to continue with this career. Weight of History factors are slow system of the government and high costs. Pull of the Future factors are smart farm, agroforestry, and trend of being a farmer after retirement.
Narathiwat province: The collective sensemaking activity which is conducted for a whole day shows similar solutions with other provinces. Database is needed and critical government officers in the main structure must be improved their skills. Success model should be implemented to support small groups, and the provincial strategy must be reviewed based n lesson learned to enhance feasibility of operations with farmers. Then, feasible projects for investment should be improved, while improper projects should get lower budget. Lastly, food and income stability will occur.
Last but not least, the Policy Lab is requested to have mobile lab to encourage the communities to make their own co-creation and co-design.