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GMO crops in Thailand are redundant: corn, tomato, soy, papaya (and cotton) often are genetically modified.

Nonetheless, we are not aware of genetically modified rice growing in Thailand.

 

The national rice master plan even outlines a policy which intends to ensure Thailand's reputation as a non-GMO rice exporter.

When we find out otherwise, we'll do an update.

no GMO rice in Thailand

growing rice during the wet Monsoon season

The Monsoon is a reversal of trade winds, from May to November, and brings rain from the Golf of Thailand to the north (where we live).  

The 1960's Green Revolution and the construction of several strategic dams at the time brought major changes, water could be controlled and Thailand's agriculture grew into an industry. Farmers started growing rice twice a year and over 30 years rice yields doubled.

As a result today contract farming is the norm. Farmers own less land, soil is degraded, most heirloom seeds are lost, and there is no sense of self-reliance anymore. Skills don't matter. 

 

We select farmers who save seeds, practice crop rotation and grow rice only once a year during the Monsoon.

growing rice in Thailand

According to the FiBL, organic production in Thailand has progressed steadily since 1998 with a yearly average growth of almost 40 percent.  Still, organic farming is rare in most parts of Thailand.

Once degraded, building fertile soil can take up to 3 years with low yields during these transition years. Livelihood depends on these yields and most farmers simply cannot carry the financial burden.

Luckily, grassroots and academic support is on the rise. We know of collaborative incentives by the government and local temples to provide organic compost and fertilizer.

Among young urban Thai there still isn't much appeal in moving into the countryside and start a small organic farm.

less than 1% of agricultural land in Thailand is managed organically