The government is ramping up efforts to tackle the challenges posed by the El NiÃ±o climate pattern, which has led to reduced rainfall and drought conditions affecting Thailandâs agricultural sector.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin reaffirmed the government’s commitment to agriculture and people’s well-being, with key priorities including expanding market access, increasing farmer incomes, improving farming efficiency, lowering production costs, promoting exports, and ensuring sufficient food supplies for domestic consumption. He emphasized the importance of considering the effects of El NiÃ±o when developing agricultural assistance policies and instructed the Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister to gather information on El NiÃ±o and its consequences.
In response to the situation, the premier and cabinet members are currently visiting the northeastern provinces of Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, and Nong Khai to assess conditions and hear local concerns. He also urged cabinet members to work closely with government officials, highlighting their role in putting government programs into action. He underlined the importance of a transparent and fair process for the promotion and career advancement of officials.
The Federation of Thai Industries has expressed concerns about the worsening drought situation. FTI Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul noted that low rainfall levels across all regions in the first seven months of the year have led to critically low water levels in dams nationwide, similar to conditions during the severe 2015 drought.
These concerns were shared by Visit Limlurcha, Vice Chair of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and President of the Thai Future Food Trade Association. He highlighted the impacts of El NiÃ±o on crops, including rice, cassava, rubber, maize, oil palms, and fruit. He also warned that climate change could also have an impact on sugar production in Thailand, India, and Brazil, resulting in a significant global increase in sugar prices.