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mango head

Farming In Northeast Thailand

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Is there any farangs doing any farming in the N.E.?

Would be interested to hear of your experiences and corrospond to share information.

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1 April 2004

We own and operate NE Thailand's English language newspaper, the Korat Post. Hardly more than a desktop operation, we still would like to hear from other expats re. anything from corruption to where to stay/avoid, tips and more.

Write to the Korat Post at ethics@loxinfo.co.th, and visit our website at www.thekoratpost.com

Good luck to all.

Frank G Anderson

Founder

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Nice Frank,

I just visited your website.

Good luck with your initiative.I will be a regular visitor

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Is there any farangs doing any farming in the N.E.?

Would be interested to hear of your experiences and corrospond to share information.

I tried it for 1 year (management, of course). 12 rai of paddy. At the end of the first year, I made around Bht 12,000 profit (from what I was told was a reasonable harvest). Thereafter I decided to rent out the farm and let someone else have the hassle. I rented it out for around Bht 14,000 a year, excluding hauling the payment to the rice mill. :o

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Got a few plots of land (thru' Thai wife) near Sisaket. Currently living in HK but try to get over as much as poss. Wife's family growing stuff for market - was just rice, now tomatoes, spring onions, corn, etc.

Wife's planning to buy a combine harvester this year - first in the region. :o

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May well be heading down that road when I return to Thailand in the autumn.I know of several farangs farming or should I say farangs who have bought farms for their wives! Some I have seen helping out but most use thai labour and are rice farming.I looked at about 8 farms for sale locally earlier this year but could not really understand the pricing which in many cases seems to be down to what the seller thinks you might pay,not whats its worth.Position seemed to have a great infuence on price,and rice farms were generally a lot more expensive.

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Is there any farangs doing any farming in the N.E.?

Would be interested to hear of your experiences and corrospond to share information.

I guess that you are well aware that farming is not a permitted occupation for any alien. It may pay to keep your mouth shut.

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could not really understand the pricing which in many cases seems to be down to what the seller thinks you might pay,not whats its worth.Position seemed to have a great infuence on price,and rice farms were generally a lot more expensive.

Same the world over really - land is worth what someone may pay! :o

Land prices do seem to have gone up more recently

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Javenram,

How in the world do you rent 12 Rai for 14000 Baht?

Near Udon Thani riceland rents for 300 Bath per rai per year!!!!

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The strife organised it.

The yeild from 12 rai (manually planted) is in the order of 80 paks of rice. She agreed to take 29 paks (why not 30, I don't know) for the yearly rent. I must give her more credit.

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Rice in the Northeast of Thailand is what my family does.

Perspective: Poor families in this part of the country are forced to "borrow" land to plant their rice for the year with a going rate of 50% of the crop going to the landowner. The planting, replanting and ongoing water needs, chasing the birds away from the crop as it matures and eventually harvesting the crop are all part of the borrowers costs. When the crop is done and finally calculated it is lucky if the family has 15% of the rice left after paying someone to help plant, water and thrash the crop which results in a need to do the same again next year and leaving the family embedded in it's poverty.

We bought 12 Rai of land, and the family planted rice on their own land for the first time in over 30 years last year. The result of the plantings was a very good yield since we did use fertilizer a couple times and there was enough rice to store so the years needs for the extended family can be met and still have enough left to sell for a small profit after covering the costs of crop.

If farming is approached in this manner it provides a great deal of benefit to the community since there is work that otherwise wouldn't be there for some, and the family has a new level of prestige in the community as owners of their own farm.

But if pure profit is the plan forget it. If helping people is the motive then it is a great way to improve the lot of the community in subtle ways.

We are getting ready for our second year now and look forward to the same results or better this year. Many people will be a little bit better off from our rice crop and we will be a little bit better off as well.

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I like your story Wash.

This differs from the barscene and all the other stories but benefits highly to that community.

I wish you the best crop ever for the coming season

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Dutch, Thanks for the nice comment. It makes my day much brighter.

Thanks for your wishes of a good crop this year, who knows we may have to buy a cow or two to go with the rabbits, and chickens.

Best Regards,

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Hi fellows,

I've talked to "Mango Head" before so he knows about my plans already. But I want to join him in this question about farming in Isaan.

My Thai wife and I have just finished building our house. We are still living in Sweden but plan to move to Thailand in 3-4 years. At the end of this year we plan to buy 50 rai and nexy year 50 rai more. We will let our Thai family negotiate to keep the price down. The price seems to vary between 25.000 and 35.000 THB/rai (present rice fields). And it's going up every time they ask.........! (I wonder why?) :D The price depends on where the land is situated. Near a road - high price, far from a road - lower price. Farang asking - high price, Thai asking - lower price. Seller with economic problems - high price at first, then lower and lower, rich seller - high price first, then even higher when showing interest........! And so on!!

We've been advised to grow sugar canes from "experts" around our village. I'm sure there are a lot of other things to grow. "Mango Head" has a lot of ideas. But I wonder just like him.

Are there any other "farmers" up here and what do you recommend to grow?

Any experiences from growing and selling?

Is there any income tax when selling crops? If so, how much? Who's checking?

- "Wash" - I like your story. We will also share all our land with my Thai family. Like a big family business for the best of all of us involved. They now live in the new built house and already they seems to have much better self-confidence. We also plan to build one more house including a small shop and/or cafeteria (With Gai yang khao niow! Not Swedish meatballs or smorgasbord....!) and a satellite television where people can look at football when eating for example. Perhaps possibility to sing karaoke. I don't know yet. The family has to decide. I think some of them are interested in this kind of business too. Perhaps an optimistic idea to try this far out on the countryside. But why not? At least I know many Thai's are crazy about football. And eating they have always liked. So why not combine it?? Sanook, sanook!! :D

- Yes "Dr." - I know farming is not allowed for farangs. And not any other job either without work permit (I'm hoping for a Retirement Visa). But they can't stop us from thinking, can they!? :o

By the way - our place is east of (Amphur) Nonsa-At, halfway between Udon and Khon Kaen. I know there are a man from U.K. and his Thai wife in the village next to ours. They have just built a beautiful house but I have not met them yet. I think they still live in U.K. Don't know if they plan to live in Thailand and buy land. But there are farangs everywhere out there in the bush.

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Are there any other "farmers" up here and what do you recommend to grow?

Any experiences from growing and selling?

Is there any income tax when selling crops? If so, how much? Who's checking?

Spring onions, chillies, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, marrows, melons. Also think about dairy cattle (government subsidies available) my friend has successfully done this, fishfarming. Rice, rice and more rice! Get a combine and harvest your neighbours' rice (at Bt300/rai), I'm in the process of doing this.

Sell at local markets (your own trucks needed), all transactions in cash!

One of the main things to consider when buying agricultural land is availability of clean usable water (that doesn't submerge the land!).

I too have a similar time-scale (3-4 yrs) to move to Isaan but we already have the farms which are being tended by my wife's family.

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