New strategy to develop national organic agriculture

Planting areas for organic agriculture will be expanded, while trade and consumption of organic products will be promoted, according to the new strategy to develop the nation’s organic agriculture.

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The Cabinet on 11 April 2017 approved the National Organic Agriculture Development Strategy, 2017-2021. 

The five-year strategy seeks to increase organic agricultural productivity and develop Thailand’s organic products, so that they will be recognized more widely among both local and international consumers.

Another objective of the National Organic Agriculture Development Strategy is to turn Thailand into an international hub for organic agricultural products. The strategy also intends to develop innovation of organic agriculture to international standards.

Four strategies will be implemented during the five-year period. The first strategy seeks to promote research and disseminate knowledge and innovation of organic agriculture. The second strategy focuses on developing organic agriculture production and services.

In the third strategy, the marketing and services of organic products will be developed. This strategy also involves the certification of Thailand’s organic agriculture standards. 

The fourth strategy involves management, with all relevant agencies working in an integrated manner to develop Thailand’s organic agriculture.

The world market for organic agricultural products has been expanding rapidly, so Thailand stands a good chance of exporting more chemical-free products. 

Thai organic products are in high demand in the international market, but the market size is still relatively small. Thai organic products have a share of less than 1 percent of the global market. 

Major markets include the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Australia. Among Thai organic agricultural exports are rice, black tiger prawns, beef, and fish.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives General Chatchai Sarikulya said that the Cabinet had approved a project to promote organic rice production from 2017 to 2021. 

A target has been set to plant organic rice in an area of 400,000 acres during the five-year period.

Under the project, farmers will be encouraged to form groups in order to produce organic rice in areas that have good potential for organic rice management. They will also be given financial assistance for the project.

PRD

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