Water for agriculture in Thailand (WWDR2, 2006)

Click on the map to access a detailed view. Map prepared for WWAP by AFDEC.

Its fertile and well-watered central plains have helped make Thailand a major international exporter of rice and other agricultural crops, and processed agricultural products. Agricultural production, although it comprises only 10% of the national GDP, is the major source of income for the rural poor. Thailand allocates 10% of its national budget to irrigated agriculture and its water policy calls for the nation-wide distribution of water for subsistence irrigation. However, intensive agriculture has also caused significant deforestation and irrigation has led to the degradation of watersheds and aquifers.

Of late, industry has become Thailand's main source of GDP. Though this has, in part, helped to decrease rural agricultural production and its related deforestation pressure, industrial areas have polluted wetlands with toxic chemicals. In an effort to lessen these negative trends, environmental concerns have been included in national socio-economic development plans.

Read other related case study:

Back to top