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Agriculture in Thailand - Statistics & Facts

Agriculture is a very competitive and diverse subsector in Thailand. Since agriculture has been a major part in Thailand’s development, the sector has presented many job opportunities for the Thai population, along with the services sector. In terms of the sector‘s impact on Thailand’s economic growth, the share of GDP from the agricultural sector was the smallest compared to other sectors. There has been growth in the recent years, however, it has been relatively slow. Despite some economic downturns, Thailand has been a successful agricultural society due to the country’s well-endowed natural resources, from diverse crops to farming and fisheries.

With approximately 127 million acres of land, around 52 percent is suitable for agriculture. Although crop cultivation in Thailand is very diverse, rice has always been the breath of the Thai agricultural society and has played a major role in the country’s tradition. The country’s rice production is among the top ten countries in the Asia Pacific region, following Vietnam in recent years. Apart from rice cultivation, crop plantation in the country has also extended to rubber, sugarcane, cassava and other major crops including shallots, potatoes, garlic and onions. In 2018, the production volume of sugarcane in Thailand was the highest among other major crops.

Compared to crop cultivation, the livestock subsector is relatively small. Beef has been a small part of the overall livestock category. Cattle and buffalo were mainly used to assist in rice cultivation in the past and was increasingly farmed after 1985 as a response to food trends. Poultry production in Thailand is among the top ten in the Asia Pacific region. Apart from livestock farming, aquaculture has also served as a crucial part of Thai food security and contributes even more so to GDP than livestock farming, with approximately 108 billion Thai baht contribution to the GDP in 2018.

Thailand has a comparative advantage in the agricultural sector which contributes to the value of exports compared to other countries in South East Asia. Although there are some signs on economic deceleration in this area, there has been measures to push the overall agriculture sector into an era of smart farming, which is part of a Thailand 4.0 technology incorporated society, which will further implement marketing, educational institutions and research in order to be able to control all aspects of crop cultivation, livestock farming and aquaculture. In addition, the market value of Thailand’s smart farming was forecasted to gradually increase over the coming years

Last but not least, the forestry in Thailand also makes a major contribution to the Thai economy. Thailand is one of the most geographically fertile countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand’s forest area accounted for around one third of the total land area. With its rich environmental resources, Thailand has benefitted and transformed the natural advantages into profits. For example, rubber tree timber and plantation teak were one of the wood products that had the highest production volume.

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Agriculture in Thailand

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Crop farming

Livestock farming

Aquaculture in Thailand


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