Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Virus, drought slash agricultural GDP by 5.1% 

Aug 04. 2020
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By The Nation

Thai agricultural gross domestic product has plunged 5.1 per cent in the first half of this year, said the Agricultural Economics Office.

Drought and the Covid-19 pandemic has caused revenue from agriculture to contract sharply year on year, said Rapibhat Chandarasrivongs, Office secretary-general.

A months-long drought until early this year disrupted production of rice, tapioca and sugar cane, while disease also affected production of some crops, he said on Monday (August 3). However, livestock production rose 5.5 per cent year on year, compared with crops’ contraction of 7 per cent, he said. Meanwhile the virus outbreak hit farm exports.

On the bright side, Thai farm products, especially safe and high-quality foods, could take advantage of growing market demand for healthy products, he said.

Meanwhile farmers and businesses could sell more products via a combination of online and offline channels, he suggested.

Agricultural GDP for 2020 is expected to contract by 1.3 to 2.3 per cent. Increased rainfall over the wet season may increase production of farm products, said the Office.

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