An analysis of Thailand’s sugar industry hampered by low world sugar prices, farmers consistently growing at a loss, and local opposition to new sugar mills as the government champions “Smart Farming,” an 80 percent increase of sugarcane production by 2026, and 29 new mills in the Northeast. How do these plans square up with reality?
Questioning the role of sugar in Thai society, especially in Isaan, a region with the highest number of people suffering from chronic diabetes in the country, Kridpuj Dhansandors asks whether the problem has been handled the right way.
Six decades of dam building, from the dawn of the Cold War to the tenure of the latest military junta are proof of the failure of water management in Isaan. It’s time to dismantle the dams and turn to sustainable approaches, writes environmental expert Chainarong Setthachua.
The Northeast is sitting on massive deposits of potash and rock salt. As Thai and foreign investors are preparing to dig up this treasure, local communities worry about an environmental crisis, writes guest contributor Bamphen Chairak.
Isaan’s last free-flowing river and one of the country’s most ecologically diverse areas is under attack. The government’s water management plans call for dams and watergates to be built on the Songkhram River. If they go ahead, this area will see the same ecological and environmental destruction that other dams in the region have already caused.
The Isaan Record20/09/2019
The rising demand for electricity is often touted as a reason for building dams. But the proponents of dams conveniently overlook the impact on those living on the river banks and the destruction of ecosystems.
Air pollution is nothing new in the Northeast, but it is getting more severe. The region has the largest sugarcane cultivation areas and the burning of sugarcane creates toxic dust particles. Yet, Isaan only has very few air quality monitoring stations.
Floods and droughts happen every year, but the Thai government has never addressed the issue with any sort of long-term vision. It’s time to systematically address the problems of flood risk management in the Northeast, writes guest contributor Pattawi Choti-Anan.
Northeast Thailand has the potential to become a solar power hub. But with high installation costs, the government should do more to promote the use of alternative energy.