World Rainforest Movement

Rights of rubber farmers in Thailand under free trade

By Ms Sayamol Kaiyoorawong and Ms Bandita Yangdee – Project for Ecological Awareness Building

This article examines whether rubber farmers in Thailand are going to have a bright future, in terms of their economic, social, environmental and health context. the price of rubber on the international market has been consistently high since 2006 which seems very promising. A deeper comparative study of the local and central market bidding processes; export and processed product prices; the expansion of plantation areas in the Mekong Sub-region countries and global needs of importing countries under a free trade regime shows that future prices of rubber are liable to plummet down. Production, trading, processing and export mechanisms and numerous groups play an active role in determining the rubber prices. These are significant variables within a free trade economy, which will implicitly undermine the rights of the rubber farmers.

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