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.
Representatives of Mitr Phol Group and the Office of Cane and Sugar Board talk about sugarcane in the Northeast and their role in the region’s sugar scheme.
The Isaan Record27/09/2019
As the government is planning to build 29 new sugar mills, each equipped with a power plant, in Isaan before 2024, communities are responding, fearful that the projects will impact local livelihoods and the environment.
The Isaan Record25/09/2019
The combined challenges of monocropping and pesticide use have prompted beekeepers, academics, and environmentalists to speak out in the name of bees, biodiversity, and the businesses that use honey.
The Isaan Record20/09/2019
Modern farming is destroying traditional sources of nectar. Increasingly, beekeepers are becoming mobile, transporting their bees throughout Isaan and even to other regions in search of nectar.
The Isaan Record18/09/2019
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.
The government wants Thailand to become the bio hub of ASEAN by 2027, and Isaan will play a role with its own bio hub in Ban Phai district. But this state-sponsored development is too often pushed through without meaningful participation of local people, writes guest contributor Maenwat Kunchon na Ayutthaya.
The Isaan Record17/09/2019
The government’s sugarcane strategy calls for the construction of 29 new sugar mills in Isaan, each with its own biomass power plant. Locals are concerned the mills and power plants will jeopardize efforts to promote organic agriculture, take communal resources, pollute water sources, and impact long-term health and well-being of communities.