Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In another part of Thailand: Equality promotes cooperation

04.12.2008
The rural population of Thailand - which elected the incumbent government - is seen by opponents of the government, who are now demonstrating, as both easily bought and uninformed.

But Lena Örnberg, an economic historian at Lund University in Sweden, shows in her dissertation on contract farming and modernization that farmers do not have to be seen as victims. On the contrary, they reach well-informed decisions and have a clear picture of how the market works.

The events of the last few months in Bangkok in Thailand have exposed a huge rift in society. The ongoing conflict shows to what extent elitism determines the political agenda in the capital. In the San Sai district in northern Thailand, on the other hand, farmers' relation to the traditional elite - purchasers and government advisers - is characterized more by equality than by dependence. Equality creates a firm foundation for cooperation, and through formal and informal cooperation farmers in San Sai have succeeded in making use of the opportunities presented by the growing market.

In her study, including interviews with farmers, Lena Örönberg, at the School of Economics and management, Lund University, shows that the traditional structure in the countryside is beginning to break down. This is a phenomenon that is probably underway in other areas besides Chiang Mai, where San Sai is located, and that can have a positive effect on the entire country in the long run.

"In a society where there is flexibility and where hierarchies aren't so clear, it's more difficult for individuals to build up a position of power and exploit others. In San Sai, for example, there is competition among purchasers, and farmers have the possibility of switching if the conditions aren't right," says Lena Örnberg.

Government investments in agriculture that were carried out as early as the 1930s laid the groundwork for the relative equality that prevails today. But it is not self-evident that development will be positive merely because the government is making investments. Instead, the process can be seen as AN interplay between different groups that are competing for power and influence. In San Sai the relationship to the government has developed into one of support rather than control, and this cooperation is working well today. Farmers have also benefited from the growing market for potato chips. Since companies have been competing for the farmers rather than the other way around, farmers have strengthened their position.

"In San Sai, farmers have considerable room for negotiation. Many of them are entrepreneurs and come up with new solutions to problems. This also probably means that more of them will choose to remain in the agricultural sector, instead of looking for employment in services or industry."

The Farmer's Choice is a book that to some extent reflects the researcher's own background.

"The connection to my father and the province of Blekinge shows my frame of reference, but it's also a matter of farmers in Blekinge in the 1950s having a lot in common with those in San Sai today, and the processes that are underway are similar. My father also cultivated potatoes under contract, although the potatoes were used for starch, not for chips," says Lena Örnberg.

Lena Örnberg will publicly defend her dissertation Bondens val - system, samspel och stödjande strukturer under moderniseringsprocessen i norra Thailand (Farmer's choice - systems, interaction, and supporting structures during the modernization process in northern Thailand) at the Department of Economic History, School of Economics and management, Lund University, on December 6.

Contact Lena Örnberg at cell phone: +46 (0)706-18 96 67 or lena.ornberg@ehl.lu.se

Kristina Rörström | idw
Further information:
http://www.lu.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>