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Posts Tagged ‘News Analysis’

Thailand’s Pesticide Problem

In Research on 28/01/2011 at 3:35 am

From the January 26 paper – the article can be found here on the Bangkok Post website.  Most importantly, the article calls for the banning of  “carbofuran, dicrotophos, methomyl and EPN” and the article continues…”The list of pesticides approved for use is due to expire in August.  The EU recently found prohibited chemicals in imported vegetables including basil, chili, Chinese bitter cucumber and bean. Fears of a possible EU ban on Thai vegetables has prompted the government to order a temporary suspension of shipments.” Read the rest of this entry »

Carbofuran-related Death Reported in Komchadluek Newspaper

In Research on 23/12/2010 at 12:31 am

22 December 2010 – from Komchadluek Newspaper

The headline reads: “Deathly exposure from use of  FURADAN”

What is especially significant about this headline is the use of the product name, Furdan, in the headline.  Carbofuran, the active chemical in this pesticide produced by the FMC corporation, is a broad spectrum, systemic insecticide that is used on a range of crops, including rice, corn, watermelon, eggplant, and a number of other fruit and vegetable crops. Corporations like FMC work hard to prevent the names of their products from being mentioned in the media when there are instances of misuse, illness of death related to those products.  Carbofuran is recognized as one of the most dangerous pesticides on the market today. Read the rest of this entry »

AAN: Policy Institute for Farmers’ Welfare, National Food Security and Community Empowerment

In Meetings, Our Network on 05/02/2010 at 12:28 pm

Yesterday’s meeting, featured in the Bangkok Post article below, touched on a lot more than AFTA tariff reductions and their impacts on small farmers.  This new Institute is the product of many years of work and collaboration with Thailand’s Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, Commerce Ministry and Public Health Ministry.  Over the next three years, the Policy Institute will work to mobilize information about sustainable agriculture and our network’s way of thinking about sustainable agriculture and farmer welfare.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nigeria, Thailand partner on rice production

In Uncategorized on 18/12/2009 at 8:17 am

Even as Chinua Achebe’s new book is published about his childhood in colonial Nigeria – could this be an opportunity for the “teeming youth jobs” in Nigeria or just a land grab by Thai agribusiness?

This Day | 12.14.2009 also posted on the Food Crisis and The Global Land Grab blog

From Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa yesterday in Abuja said Nigeria and the Republic of Thailand have commenced negotiation and signing of bilateral and investment agreement in commercial agriculture in Nigeria particularly in rice production and processing.

The minister acknowledged that Nigeria is the biggest buyer and consumer of Thai’s rice the world over. He said, “during my meeting with the Thai Minister of Trade, he expressed his country’s willingness to invest in commercial agriculture in Nigeria, particularly rice product and processing.

Other areas of joint venture agreement, according to Udenwa, is Oil and Gas.

He said this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Seventh World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference, held recently in Geneva, Switzerland.

With Thailand as the highest exporter of rice to Nigeria, the minister said it is expedient for both countries to seek better ways of  greater collaboration in the production of the staple food.

He said the cooperation will be in the establishment of rice farms by the Thais in Nigeria’s Free Trade Zones.

Udenwa said the establishment of the joint venture will be  preceded with the exchange of visits at the ministerial and official levels and organization of Trade Missions by the two countries early next year.

He said the process for the signing of a strong economic cooperation and bilateral trade and investment should be initiated by both countries immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Green Revolution, Political Ecology and Health Care Reform

In Uncategorized on 15/09/2009 at 2:41 pm

Some interesting perspectives from the food and agriculture movement: from the source of current problems to different approaches to solving them.  Thailand is somewhere between Mexico and the United States with regard to the impacts of free trade and the current health crisis.  Later this week we’ll be presenting the AAN’s current effort regarding the right to health care and health insurance with the National Health Security Office, ThaiHealth and the Foundation for Consumers.

From Tom Philpott on Grist:

“…Borlaug’s main intent was to “help poor farmers,” Mexico’s smallholders have been in a state of severe crisis for more than a generation. The so-called “immigrant crisis” here in the United States is better viewed as an agrarian crisis in Mexico. Since the the advent of NAFTA alone, more than 1.5 million Mexican farmers have been forced off of their land. Since the Mexican manufacturing economy has been nowhere near robust enough to absorb them, a huge portion of one-time Mexican farmers now wash our dishes and harvest our crops.” Read the rest of this entry »

Farming by Bankers, Pigs and H1N1

In Uncategorized on 13/08/2009 at 7:18 am

Wanted to cross-post a piece on small-scale farmers from Harrison George on Prachathai –

“But productivity can also be measured in terms not of output per worker, but output per unit of input. And in agriculture, your biggest input is land.

Now Khun Burapa, working from a point of view that says farms operate on the same principles as factories, or banks, immediately thinks of economies of scale. Piddling little fields with a bit of this and a bit of that, mixed up with ponds and fruit trees, well, it’s just not efficient. Broad monocropped acres is the way to go.

Except that from country to country, from climate to climate, the research shows that small farms are more productive. Not if you just count the yield from a single crop. But no farmer with any sense wants to do that. Easiest way of depleting soil quality and encouraging pests. Put bluntly, in terms that banker might understand, nature doesn’t recognize economies of scale.

But the World Bankers of the 60s were as misguided as Khun Burapa and actively encouraged monocropping. So soils have been depleted and pests have multiplied. The fertile soil of Thailand that Khun Burapa takes as a given is, in what were the most fertile places, a thing of the past. Farmers need fertilizers. And since soil degradation just gets worse until you change the cropping system, you need more and more just to keep yields at the same level. Even if the price of fertilizer didn’t go up (and it does), farmers need to spend increasing sums on ever more liberal applications.” Read the rest of this entry »