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Title: Socio-economic organisation and agricultural development in northeast Thailand : a study of the differential impact of irrigation development in the Lam Pao project area
Author: Demaine, Harvey
ISNI:       0000 0001 3421 7863
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1977
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The problem of the backward Northeast region of Thailand has increasingly attracted the attention of government planners. Poor physical resources have left it behind other parts of the country and growing population pressure and aspirations in the farming community make traditional solutions to the development of the regional economy untenable. The Thai government has sought to offset this physical disadvantage by the development of major irrigation works. One such facility is the Lam Pao project. One of the major issues of development is the tendency to create inequality. This may occur at a variety of scales, but it is generally unwelcome to the basically social egalitarian philosophy followed by many developing countries. In the Lam Pao project area, survey of selected villages at the time of irrigation development in 1970-75 has emphasised the problem of differential response to development opportunity at the local scale. Even in the early stages of implementation accumulation of irrigated land by rich farmers and growth of renting among the disadvantaged has been observed. The discipline imposed by the irrigation system appears to call for increased use of hired labour and this, along with the other inputs required for agricultural intensification and diversification, necessitates greater cash investment. Few farmers have easily available capital and the marketing and agricultural supply networks also favour those few who have. The agricultural co-operative, an ostensibly egalitarian organisation, has been developed in the area to aid the transition from rain-fed, subsistence to irrigated commercial agriculture. Confusion of aim and lack of co-ordination have damaged the impact of such organisations. Indeed their effect has been largely to emphasise the advantage of the richer farmer. Analysis is made of the role of farmer associations and suggestions are made in regard to their possible wider impact in the development effort.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral