Thai farmers use derelict Cold War airbase to dry rice crop
Farmers in the northeastern province of Yasothon province are drying their rice harvest on an abandoned Royal Thai Army airbase runway in a bid to prevent road accidents.
At least 100 farmers from Loeng Nok Tha district are turning up each day at the disused airstrip with loads of freshly cut rice.
Rice harvesting season often brings traffic accidents in rural areas as farmers have little choice but to use roads to dry their paddy.
Farmers at the old airbase are reportedly guarding their drying paddy at night to prevent it from being stolen.
Prayad Samerphak, head of Ban Khok Samran village, said farmers in Loeng Nok Tha district were lucky to have an old airbase in the area.
The Loeng Nok Tha airbase was built with the help of the British in 1967 as Cold War tensions mounted in Southeast Asia.
"Many farmers gather at the airport to dry their paddy during harvest season every year," she said.
She also thanked soldiers at the airport for allowing them to dry their rice crop for free.