Government to Give a Major Boost to Thai Organic Agriculture
The Government is pushing for the promotion of Thai organic agricultural products and is also prepared to expand Thailand’s organic export markets in ASEAN, when it becomes a single community in 2015.
Deputy Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Niwat Sutheemeechaikul, said that the Cabinet had assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to be responsible for the mobilization of efforts to boost the country’s organic agriculture.
Aware of the importance of organic agriculture, the Cabinet on 13 March 2012 approved the formation of the National Organic Agriculture Committee, to be chaired by a Deputy Prime Minister. The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Minister of Commerce, and the Minister of Science and Technology are among members of this committee. The National Organic Agriculture Committee will set policies and strategies for Thailand’s organic agriculture and integrate all related plans and measures.
Mr. Niwat said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives had set up a working group to draft the strategies. The working group would also conduct a study and gather information to be proposed for the formulation of the National Strategies for Organic Agriculture for 2012-2016.
He explained that the development of organic agriculture in the next stage should focus on the production process in line with international organic agricultural standards and in response to consumer demand. Moreover, emphasis must be placed on innovation and the improvement of management mechanisms linking with production and marketing systems.
Mr. Niwat stressed the need for all relevant agencies to integrate their operations so that the country’s organic agriculture development would be carried out in the same direction. This would provide greater opportunities for the country’s investment in organic agricultural production and expand its markets, especially when the ASEAN Community is established in the next few years.
Today, Thailand earns six billion baht annually from organic agricultural exports. It has set a target to increase the export value by 10 percent in 2013. Major Thai organic agricultural exports include rice, black tiger prawn, beef, milk, and fish.
The world market for organic agricultural products has been expanding rapidly, so Thailand stands a good chance of exporting more chemical-free products. Major markets include the United States and the European Union, followed by Japan and Australia.
Thai organic products are in high demand in the international market, but the market size is still relatively small.