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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.

Major crops in Thailand

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 rice production in the country is among the top ten countries worldwide, following Vietnam in 2020. 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 recent years, the production volume of sugarcane in Thailand was the highest among other major crops.

The contribution of livestock and aquaculture subsector to the agriculture industry

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, however, thriving over the years, with increasing production volume annually. Apart from crop cultivation and livestock farming, fishery and aquaculture has also served as a crucial part of Thai food security and significantly contributes to GDP in Thailand. The production value of aquatic animals is forecast to amount to almost 83 billion Thai baht from fishery and almost 105 billion Thai baht from aquaculture.

The importance of forestry subsector in Thailand

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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