| ||Occupying nearly 55 percent of arable Thai land, rice paddies dominate the landscape. Rice fields are mostly part of small farms averaging seven acres belonging to the 3.6 million peasant families that grow rice for their own consumption. Rice cultivation is generally done traditionally, without the use of any mechanical devices. From sowing to harvest, every member of the family participates. This culture makes Thailand the sixth-leading rice producer in the world (29 million T [25.9 million t) of paddy rice harvested in 2007) and the leading exporter (9.4 million T [8.4 million t] exported in 2007). Despite this significant production, Thailand remains a relatively poor country. In 2008, the rural population made up 67 percent of the total, and 59 percent of the active population was farmers. Since rice farms are not heavily mechanized, the yield does not allow farmers to sell enough surplus to make much money. Today 12 percent of the rural population lives beneath the relative poverty line.
Visit the YAB Gallery for books and signed prints