Stability of income is the biggest wish of farmers rather than the rise of farm product prices, according to a survey by the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).
Executive vice-president Somsak Kangteerawat said the bank gathered the opinions of 1,000 farmers nationwide on "the happiness of Thai farmers".
Of the respondents, 25% said the utmost happiness is to have a steady income with some amount of savings and no debt.
While 20.1% said happiness stems from having their own farmland, 19.8% voiced a desire to have access to a high standard of health care on par with the hospitals in Bangkok.
Higher farm prices was the choice of 17.7% of respondents, while good harvests and having proper insurance against natural disasters interested 17.4%.
The BAAC said farm-sector trends for 2013 are not as bright as this year's.
Apiradee Yimlamai, director of the BAAC research centre, forecasts 2013 farm output of 430 billion baht, up 3% from this year _ a slower pace of growth compared with 4% in 2012.
Ms Apiradee said the projection was made by considering the climate and supply and demand for each product.
The farm sector represents 9% of gross domestic product, which totals about 11 trillion baht.
Some farm product prices are expected to be lower in 2013, especially rubber and pork. Others are set to rise, such as cassava, corn and sugar.
The price of paddy rice is set to increase between 2.5% and 3.5% to 13,500-14,800 baht a tonne.
About the author
- Writer: Wichit Chantanusornsiri
Position: Business Reporter