Development of Good Agricultural Practices(GAP) in Thailand : A case study of Thai National GAP selected products
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タイにおけるGood Agricultural Practices(GAP)の発展 : GAP対象品目に関する事例研究
Purpose and Objectives
Good Agricultural Practices or GAP is a global appropriate cultivation method for the farmers to conduct food safety. It is an appropriate on-farm into farm gate cultivation management included, farm inputs selection, farm management, until post-harvest management. GAP aims to encourage the farmers to produce the safety agricultural products for the consumers. After FAO introduced GAP for a period of time, it become one of the minimum requirements for the agricultural trades in global market to secure the food safety and sustainable issues at the farm-level production. Many countries adopted the FAO GAP guidelines and established food security framework, including Thailand. Although there was the clear framework for the MOAC to implement GAP into farmers, halves of them stopped to maintain their certificates with in last 3 years. The reducing in the numbers of GAP certified farmers in Thailand shown the changing in direction of GAP development in the future. The evaluation of success of GAP development in Thailand still is on the discussing. This dissertation focused to identify the current situation of GAP development in Thailand.
This dissertation has four specific objectives: 1) To examine the factors affecting the farmers’ practical perception on their GAP understanding; 2) To assess the situation of private standard dual-GAP development in Thailand, and to determine the opportunities of the practical collaboration between private and government sectors on the GAP development; 3) To expose the GAP realistic economic incentives from farmers’ GAP experiences in the important export commodity; and 4) To define the current situation of GAP-based marketing and to identify the buyers’ attitudes towards GAP-based product.
The series of this study were conducted in the eastern and southern part of Thailand namely: Chumphon and Chanthaburi provinces. Three districts of both provinces were selected. Sawee, Tasae, and Pato districts were selected in Chumphon province, while Khlung, Tha Mai, and Makarm were selected in Chanthaburi province. This study focused on the fruit commodity which is directly consumed. That means it also takes the highest risk for food safety. Therefore, GAP has been widely promoted among these commodities. Interviews were conducted basically using in-depth and face-to-face interviews by using structure questionnaires. Group discussion were also designed and implemented to explore the current situation, and problems between farmers and GAP stakeholders. Random sampling method was adopted. In Chumphon province, the total samples was 184 from coffee farmers; 56 respondents from GAP farmers and 128 for 4C farmers. In Chanthaburi province, the sample were collected from 112 mangosteen farmers. The primary data were conducted during 2012 to 2014. This research adopted the following analysis tools: (1) descriptive statistics analysis, and (2) inferential statistics analysis.
Factors Affecting the Implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) among Coffee Farmers in Chumphon province
Thai coffee farmers have exerted much effort to develop GAP-based Robusta coffee production since 2008. However, they still lacked knowledge and experience. Their conventional farming activities are often in conflict with GAP system, which might be caused by the limitation of GAP extension procedure. The objectives of this study were to investigate the current perceptions of GAP Coffee Farmers (GCF)’s understanding of GAP, and to identify the factors affecting such perceptions. A series of surveys were conducted in Chumphon province by using structured questionnaires which were administered to fifty-six (56) coffee farmers who applied for GAP certificates in 2013. This study found that farmers’ GAP self-confidence positively affected, while farmers’ GAP experiences had negative impact to the farmers’ understanding of GAP. This showed the lacking of continuity of GAP extension service, although the GAP promotion was an important factor to increase the farmers’ GAP understanding. The very small number of agricultural extension officers was cited as a detrimental factor. The GAP manual should also be simplified to suit the GCFs educational background.
Coffee farmers’ attitudes toward the 4C process in Chumphon province
4C is the private sector standard implemented in Thailand since 2010 which aimed to improve the sustainability of coffee farmers. The present study seeks to investigate the farmers’ attitude towards 4C and GAP satisfaction and examine the critical role of the private sector towards achieving success following 4C guidelines which it has actively supported. Structured questionnaires were distributed to 128 coffee farmers in seven villages of two districts in Chumphon province which is the biggest coffee cultivation area in Thailand. 4C could easily be adapted by Thai coffee farmers. The main reason of some farmers’ (21.8%) for following 4C’s procedure was because 4C contents were not much different from their conventional farming. The 4C extension service could encourage the farmers’ participation because they could increase productivity through the 4C services which had much more flexibility than GAP services’ procedure. In addition, the farmers did not need to pay any cost for the 4C registration. 4C has advantageous points because of provided specific market, extension services of 4C unit, and easy to adopt with conventional farming methods.
Cost efficiency of Thai National GAP (QGAP) and mangosteen farmers’ understanding in Chanthaburi province
GAP has been implemented in mangosteen commodity, which is the important export commodity in Thailand since 2003. The direct market for GAP based mangosteen has not yet developed. Therefore, the farmers could not get a direct benefit from GAP adoption, and they believed that GAP could not give them any visible benefits. The present study seeks to expose the GAP realistic economic incentives from farmers’ GAP experiences in mangosteen commodity. One-hundred and twelve (112) respondents were randomly selected from 1,968 GAP mangosteen-certified farmers in Chanthaburi province which is the biggest mangosteen cultivation area in Thailand. This study reviewed that GAP certified farmers were satisfied with income from their investment more than the ordinary farmers (cost efficiency = 1.74 and 1.27, respectively). However, the production cost per rai was 11,554.7 THB/rai higher than the ordinary farmers’ cost (7,007.9 THB/rai). The GAP standard itself provides direct incentive through its knowledge and appropriate farming techniques which are classified as non-economic incentives. The proportion of high-quality mangosteen can be increased if the farmers effectively practice GAP on their farms.
Marketing of Thai National GAP (QGAP) mangosteen in Chanthaburi province
The farmers who implemented GAP on their farm might have the opportunity to access the valuable price market. However, there was no direct/specific market for GAP products. Current market accessed might reduce the farmers’ interesting on GAP. The objectives of this study were to define the current situation of GAP-based marketing and to identify buyers’ attitudes towards GAP-based products. This study focused on 2 respondent groups. One-hundred and twelve (112) respondents were randomly selected from 1,968 GAP mangosteen-certified farmers. The exporter (1), packaging company (6), and mobile merchants were selected for the main important buyers in this area. The study reviewed that GAP-based product were mix with the ordinary product in the market. The buyers preferred the HQ mangosteen which was produced from GAP-based farmers. If the market was divided into early and late market of harvesting season, GAP was clearly contributed the income for farmers in the early harvesting season. The market can provide both direct and indirect incentives for the farmers. These incentives positively the farmers’ HQ product ability. Therefore, GAP-certified farmers can improve their farm cultivation techniques to produce HQ product. As well as, they can increase their income from the current market situations through their GAP implementation, even if there is no specific market for GAP product.
Conclusion and recommendation
After FAO introduced GAP for a period of time, it become one of the minimum requirements for the agricultural trades in global market to secure food safety and sustainable issues at the farm-level production. Many countries have adopted the FAO GAP guidelines and established food security framework, including Thailand. There were many obstacles on policy, extension services, research, and farmers’ implementation levels during GAP developing process. The success of GAP is depended on the effectiveness of farmers’ implementing GAP procedures. The farmers will increase their GAP standard attention when they can get premium price from selling their GAP-based product. In general, consumers markets have not yet developed enough mature to deal in GAP labelled products in some countries. Farmers might ignore this standard. Food safety issues including GAP are not cared at a farm-level. As a result, like Thailand, food safety of agricultural product is not reliable in the global trades.
Actually GAP gave both direct and indirect incentives to farmers, but they tend to believe that GAP can secure little incentive for them, in cases where a direct market for GAP-based product has not yet become mature in economic terms. Therefore, private sector need to generate a dual-GAP standard which will secure food safety and keep a certain level of product quality. Some dual-GAP standards labelling (such as 4C, GlobalGAP, etc.) have already be accepted widely in the global markets. Farmers can gain visible benefits (normally is premium price) from implementing such standards, and learn how to improve their food safety production on their farms.
However, it is also difficult to promote new dual-GAP standards. Private company have expanded the fundamental GAP knowledge among farmers through dual-GAP standard. This knowledge expanding becomes the best way how private company explore their new standard. Any dual-GAP standard needs the development of GAP as an essential requirement. GAP standard also needs the dual-GAP standard for the market access. Each standard cannot stand alone in market. This mutual-relationship positively motivates the development of both GAP and dual-GAP standards. This relationship inspires the farmers to improve their sustainable cultivation which positively affects the Thai agricultural food safety reliability in the global trades.
Thesis or Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy
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Graduate School of Biosphere Science