• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Figures
 Appendix
 Acknowledgement
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Description of maize agro-ecol...
 Maize production trends and...
 Constraints to increasing maize...
 Setting an agenda for maize research...
 Reference
 Tables
 Back Cover






Group Title: Maize in Thailand : production systems, constraints, and research priorities
Title: Maize in Thailand
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077542/00001
 Material Information
Title: Maize in Thailand production systems, constraints, and research priorities
Physical Description: viii, 36 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Benchaphun Ekasingh
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
International Fund for Agricultural Development
Publisher: CIMMYT
Place of Publication: Mexico D.F
Publication Date: 2004
 Subjects
Subject: Corn -- Thailand   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 29).
Statement of Responsibility: Benchaphun Ekasingh ... et al..
General Note: "IFAD"
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00077542
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 60576501
isbn - 9706481214

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Title Page
        Page i
    Copyright
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    List of Tables
        Page v
    Figures
        Page vi
    Appendix
        Page vi
    Acknowledgement
        Page vii
    Abstract
        Page viii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Description of maize agro-ecologies
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Maize production trends and systems
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Constraints to increasing maize production growth
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Setting an agenda for maize research and development in Thailand
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Reference
        Page 29
    Tables
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Back Cover
        Back cover
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Maize in Thailand:

Production Systems, Constraints, and

Research Priorities




Benchaphun Ekasingh1
Phrek Gypmantasiri1
Kuson Thong-ngam1
Pichet Grudloyma2


JJL
IFAD


CIMMYTMR


1 The Multiple Cropping Center, Faculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
2 Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Thailand.













































CIMMYT (www.cimmyt.org) is an internationally funded, not-for-profit organization that conducts
research and training related to maize and wheat throughout the developing world. Drawing on strong
science and effective partnerships, CIMMYT works to create, share, and use knowledge and technology to
increase food security, improve the productivity and profitability of fanning systems, and sustain natural
resources. Financial support for CIMMYT's work comes from many sources, including the members of the
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) (www.cgiar.org), national
governments, foundations, development banks, and other public and private agencies.

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) 2004. All rights reserved. The
designations employed in the presentation of materials in this publication do not imply the expression of
any opinion whatsoever on the part of CIMMYT or its contributory organizations concerning the legal
status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its
frontiers or boundaries. CIMMYT encourages fair use of this material. Proper citation is requested.

Correct citation: Ekasingh, B., P. Gypmantasiri, K. Thong-ngam, and P. Grudloyma. 2004. Maize in
Thailand: Production Systems, Constraints, and Research Priorities. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT.

ISBN: 970-648-121-4

AGROVOC descriptors: Seed production; Maize; Rice; Cassava; Sugar cane; Rubber trees; Food crops;
Food security; Farming systems; Rural areas; Farmers; Poverty; Livestock
management; Yield increases; Economic growth; Marketing; Environmental
factors; Agricultural resources; Agricultural policies; International organizations;
Project management; Thailand

AGRIS category codes: E16 Production Economics
F01 Crop Husbandry

Dewey decimal classification: 633.1593


Printed in Mexico.












Contents













Page No.
Tables ................................... ......................................................................................... v
Figures .... ... .......................................................................................... ........................ vi
Appendix .......................................... ........... ............... .... vi
Acknowledgm ents .............................................................................................. ........................ vii
Abstract .................................... ............................. ....... .................. viii

1. Introduction .......................................................................... ........................................... 1
1.1 Background ................... ........................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Objectives ................... ............................................................................................................. 1
1.3 M methodology ............................................................................................... ........................ 2

2. Description of M aize Agro-ecologies ........................................................ ................... 4
2.1 General Topography ............................................................................. .......................... 4
2.2 Agro-Ecology Specific M aize Production System s............................................ .................. 5
2.2.1 Rainfed uplands ................................................................ ......................................... 5
2.2.2 Rice-based irrigated agro-ecozones ........................................ ............................. 5
2.3 Biophysical Environm ent ............................................... .................................................. 6
2.3.1 Clim ate ...................................................................... .......................................... 6
2.3.2 Soil types .................................................................. ........................................... 6
2.4 Institutional Environm ent ............................................... ................................................. 8
2.4.1 Line agency offices .............................................. ................................................. 8
2.4.2 Cooperatives and user groups ........................................................... ................... 8
2.4.3 Sources of m material inputs ................................................ ......................................... 8
2.4.4 Credit institutions .................................................................. ............................ 8
2.4.5 Prices of farm inputs and outputs ............................... ............................................... 8
2.5 Infrastructure ........................ ................................................................................................ 9
2.5.1 Accessibility status and irrigation facilities ............................. ................................... 9
2.5.2 Post-harvest facilities ................................................... ....................................... 10
2.5.3 M markets and m marketing practices ....................................................... ...................... 10
2.6 Socioeconom ic Characteristics ............................................ .......................................... 10
2.6.1 Households and ethnicity ................................................................ ................... 10
2.6.2 Literacy and level of education ..................................................................................... 10
2.6.3 Landholdings and tenure system s ................................................... ........................ 10
2.6.4 Utilization of m aize .............................................. ............................................... 11
2.6.5 Farm er types ............................................................................ ............................... 11
2.6.6 Poverty and level of income e ............................................................ ........................ 1 1











3. Maize Production Trends and Systems ...................................................... ...................... 14
3.1 M aize Production Trends ............................................................................ ................... 14
3.2 M aize Production System s ............................................. ............................................... 14
3.2.1 Major farm enterprises ....................................................................................... 14
3.2.2 Crops and cropping patterns ............................................................ ....................... 15
3.2.3 M aize cropping calendar ............................................... ................................... .. 16
3.2.4 Maize varieties grown and farmers' preferences ...................... .......... .............. 17
3.2.5 Land preparation and crop management practices ....................................... .......... 18
3 .2 .6 Labor use .......................................................................................... ........................ 19
3.2.7 M material input use .............................................. ................................................ 19
3.2.8 Harvest and post-harvest practices .......................... ................................................ 20
3.2.9 Yields and reasons for yield gap ....................................................... ....................... 20

4. Constraints to Increasing Maize Production Growth .............................. ................. 22
4.1 Biotic and Abiotic Constraints ....................................................................................... 22
4.1.1 M ajor m aize pests and diseases ....................................................... ....................... 22
4.1.2 Soil fertility and crop management ................................... ................................ 22
4.2 Institutional Constraints ............................................... .................................................. 23
4.2.1 Inform action constraints ....................................................... ................................ 23
4.2.2 Labor and material inputs supply constraints ...................................................... 23
4.2.3 Credit sources and constraints ................................... .......... ........................ 23
4.3 O their Constraints ......................................................... ..................................................... 23

5. Setting an Agenda for Maize Research and Development in Thailand .............................. 25
5.1 Methodology for Identifying Priority Constraints ........................................ ...................... 25
5.2 The Priority Constraints Identified in this Study ....................... ........... .................... .. 26
5.2.1 Priority constraints comparing each region and agro-ecological zone .......................... 26
5.2.2 Priority constraints for the country ............................................. 26
5.3 Recommendations for Future Action ............................................................ ................... 27
5.4 Conclusions ................................................................................................. ........................ 28


6. R eferen ces ................................................................................................ ........................ 29












Tables












Page No.


Table 1. Phase I study sites and number of farmers interviewed, Thailand, 1999-2000. ............................ 2
Table 2. Phase II study sites and number of respondents interviewed, by study method,
Thailand, 2000............................................................................................. .......................... 3
Table 3. Terrain, altitude, rainfall and temperature in Phase I and II study sites, Thailand, 2000 ............. 6
Table 4. Types of soil and their far mer-reported advantages and disadvantages, across
surveyed villages, by region, Thailand, 2000. .............................. .......................................... 7
Table 5. Average prices of maize seed, urea, and agricultural labor, Phase I study sites,
Thailand, 2000............................................................................................. .......................... 9
Table 6. Farmer classification and characteristics by wealth group, Phase II study sites,
Thailand 2000. ............................................................................................. ......................... 12
Table 7. Measures of maize production profitability, Thailand, 1998-1999. ........................................ 12
Table 8. Yield, grain price, and production costs by sub-district, Thailand........................ .................... 13
Table 9. Maize-based cropping patterns in selected regions, Thailand. ................................................16
Table 10. Hybrid and open pollinated varieties (OPVs) used by maize farmers and their
seed prices in Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1998-1999. .................. .............................. 17
Table 11. Maize varieties commonly planted by farmers and reasons for their adoption,
Thailand, 2000. ............................................................................................. ......................... 17
Table 12. Characteristics of maize varieties most desired by farmers, Thailand, 2000. ............................ 18
Table 13. Operations and practices used in maize production, Thailand, 2000. ........................................ 18
Table 14. Seed and fertilizer use in farmers' maize fields, Thailand, 1998-1999...................................... 20
Table 15. Average hybrid maize yield levels in different locations, Thailand. ..........................................21
Table 16. Maize yield and disposal, Thailand, 2000. ................................ ...................................... 21
Table 17. Reported biotic and abiotic constraints to maize cultivation, Phase I,
Thailand, 1998-1999. ..................................................................... ....................................22
Table 18. Method used for prioritizing maize productivity constraints in Thailand. ............................... 25
Table 19. Priority constraints determined during the August 2001 workshop........................................26
Table 20. Priority constraints to maize production in Thailand, 2003. ................................. 27
Table 21. Maize production priority constraints based on combined index, Thailand, 2003. .....................27
Table 22. Policy and technology options to address maize production constraints,
probability of success, and potential partners, Thailand. ............................... ............... 28











Figures












Page No.

Figure 1. Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1999-2000. ............................. ..... ................................ 2
Figure 2. Phase II study sites, Thailand, 2000-2001. .................................................. ..........................3
Figure 3. Elevation in the North, Northeast and Central Thailand. ... ........... ................. ... ................. 5
Figure 4. Percent of farmers in study area as classified by farm size, Thailand, 1998- 1999 ................... 11
Figure 5. Mean, standard deviation, minimum, and maximum maize cultivation area
classified by farm size, Thailand, 1998-1999. .......................................... ................... 11
Figure 6. Maize area and production, Thailand, 1966-2000. .............................................................. 14
Figure 7. Maize-based cropping systems in Phase I and Phase II study sites, Thailand. .......................... 15





Appendix



Table 1. Important sources of farm inputs, Thailand, 1999. .................................... ... ................. 30
Table 2a. Farmer use of capital in maize production, Phase I study sites, Thailand,
1998-99 (in % households). ........................................ .................................................. 30
Table 2b. Sources of capital used in maize cultivation, Phase II study sites, Thailand, 2000..................... 31
Table 3. Landholdings and land tenure system, Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1998-99. ........................32
Table 4. Total and maize household income, Thailand, 1998-99. ................. ....... .................... 33
Table 5. Area planted to maize in selected provinces by region, 1990-2002 (000 ha)............................33
Table 6a. Maize yields (t/ha) in the late-rainy season and irrigated (dry season) areas,
selected sites, Thailand, 1998-99. ............................................. .................................... 34
Table 6b. Maize yields (t/ha) in the early-rainy season, selected sites, Thailand, 1998-99. ....................... 34
Table 7. Survey sites (listed as sub-district, district, province) classified by
agro-ecological zones identified in the study, Thailand. ....................................... ......... 35











Figures












Page No.

Figure 1. Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1999-2000. ............................. ..... ................................ 2
Figure 2. Phase II study sites, Thailand, 2000-2001. .................................................. ..........................3
Figure 3. Elevation in the North, Northeast and Central Thailand. ... ........... ................. ... ................. 5
Figure 4. Percent of farmers in study area as classified by farm size, Thailand, 1998- 1999 ................... 11
Figure 5. Mean, standard deviation, minimum, and maximum maize cultivation area
classified by farm size, Thailand, 1998-1999. .......................................... ................... 11
Figure 6. Maize area and production, Thailand, 1966-2000. .............................................................. 14
Figure 7. Maize-based cropping systems in Phase I and Phase II study sites, Thailand. .......................... 15





Appendix



Table 1. Important sources of farm inputs, Thailand, 1999. .................................... ... ................. 30
Table 2a. Farmer use of capital in maize production, Phase I study sites, Thailand,
1998-99 (in % households). ........................................ .................................................. 30
Table 2b. Sources of capital used in maize cultivation, Phase II study sites, Thailand, 2000..................... 31
Table 3. Landholdings and land tenure system, Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1998-99. ........................32
Table 4. Total and maize household income, Thailand, 1998-99. ................. ....... .................... 33
Table 5. Area planted to maize in selected provinces by region, 1990-2002 (000 ha)............................33
Table 6a. Maize yields (t/ha) in the late-rainy season and irrigated (dry season) areas,
selected sites, Thailand, 1998-99. ............................................. .................................... 34
Table 6b. Maize yields (t/ha) in the early-rainy season, selected sites, Thailand, 1998-99. ....................... 34
Table 7. Survey sites (listed as sub-district, district, province) classified by
agro-ecological zones identified in the study, Thailand. ....................................... ......... 35












Acknowledgments













This project was made possible by funding from the United Nations International Fund for
Development (IFAD) through a grant administered by CIMMYT. The authors would like to
thank IFAD and CIMMYT for enabling studies of this kind. The results of this study have
been presented to stakeholders in Thailand, all of whom acknowledged the value of this
study and expressed appreciation for it. Many expressed their opinion that this type of
study, which incorporates the opinions of experts as well as the opinions and knowledge of
the real participants (e.g., the farmers), is most valuable but rarely done. This kind of work
is dependent upon collaboration and commitment by all involved, if benefits for the
farmers and consumers in the country are to be realized.

This study is part of a series of similar studies conducted in six other Asian countries: China,
India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, and Vietnam. The regional synthesis of these studies
will provide important information to maize researchers, policymakers, and other
stakeholders in the industry.

The authors would like to thank Drs. Prabhu Pingali and Michael Morris, former Directors of
the CIMMYT Economics Program, for supporting this work; project coordinator Roberta
Gerpacio; the maize farmers who patiently sat in discussions and interviews; and the maize
experts who participated in the two national maize research and development
prioritization workshops we conducted. We would like to thank our research assistants,
who helped in all aspects of this project. We also acknowledge the editorial review of this
document by Crissan Ziegler, consultant, and Alma McNab, senior science writer/editor, as
well as the design and formatting services of Eliot SAnchez Pineda, CIMMYT Corporate
Communications, Mexico.












Abstract













This is one of a series of seven in-depth country studies on maize production systems in Asia,
funded by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It is part of a project designed to promote
sustainable intensification of maize production systems while ensuring equitable income growth
and improved food security, especially for poor households that depend on maize.

Maize is one of five major crops grown in the uplands of Thailand, along with rice, cassava, sugar
cane, and rubber trees. Government-promoted crop diversification, increased population growth,
improved transportation networks, inter national trade, expansion of upland farming areas, and
increased demand for grains from the domestic livestock and poultry industry stimulated
Thailand's maize production beginning in the 1980s. However, Thailand's domestic maize supply
is currently not sufficient to meet the needs of its in-country demands, and small quantities have
to be imported.

Rapid economic growth and accelerated urbanization are expected to create an even higher
demand for maize in Thailand. This trend will lead to the intensification of current maize
production systems, with more land being shifted to maize production, particularly in marginal
areas. Thailand's challenge is to produce more maize for an expanding market, while preserving
the natural resource base and the environment through careful agricultural planning. Effective
policy design and implementation must be based on comprehensive, accurate data on the current
state of maize-based farming systems.

This study characterized the social and biophysical maize production environment of Thailand;
examined its response to increasing maize demand; determined constraints to future productivity
growth; indicated the potential environmental consequences, and examined the options available
for promoting sustainable growth in maize production.











1. Introduction


1.1 Background

Maize is one of five major crops in Thailand. In addition
to rice, cassava, sugarcane, and rubber, maize occupies
a major portion (about 33%) of Thai upland farmlands.
In 1984-85, 12.4 million rai (nearly 2 million ha) were
planted to maize, ranking second only to rice (59
million ral or 9.5 million ha). In 1984, Thailand exported
3.0-3.7 million tons of maize and earned nearly 10,000
million baht (US$ 400 million), but thereafter maize
area began to decline and occupied only 7.3 million rai
(nearly 1.2 million ha) by 2002-03, with a production of
around 4.5 million tons (Office of Agricultural
Economics, 2003).

Maize was first planted in Thailand in 1950. At that
time, it was planted in the uplands and highlands and
used only for home consumption and household animal
feed. When Thailand launched its first National
Economic and Social Plan in 1961, maize became an
export crop like rice. Government-promoted crop
diversification, increased population growth, improved
transportation networks, international trade, and
expansion of upland farming areas made maize,
cassava, and sugarcane important field crops in
Thailand from the 1960s through the 1980s. Upland
crop cultivation pushed into forest logging concession
areas, and the increased production of maize, wet-rice,
cassava, and sugarcane resulted in a concurrent
decrease in forest areas. Maize farming was especially
productive in these newly cleared forestlands, but the
tractors used in its cultivation increased soil erosion and
deforestation, which worsened throughout the 1980s,
when the bulk of maize output was exported.

While Thailand was a major maize grain exporter in the
1980s, maize exports declined substantially in the
1990s as the domestic demand for grain increased
along with the domestic livestock industry, which in
turn processed its output into various exportable
products. In recent years, Thailand's domestic maize
production has not been adequate to meet domestic
requirements, and small quantities of grain have been
imported. Domestic maize production has also been
negatively affected by variations in climatic and rainfall


conditions, with occasional droughts substantially
reducing maize output. Moreover, competing crops,
such as sugarcane, cassava, and sunflower, sometimes
replace maize when maize grain prices are low. All of
these factors over the last two decades have resulted in
a stagnating or decreasing trend in maize production in
Thailand.

Nevertheless, maize remains a crop that is well adapted
to the biophysical conditions of rural Thailand. In 2000,
1.35 million ha were planted to maize, and of all upland
farm households about 37% (740,000) cultivated maize.
At present, Northern Thailand is the largest maize-
producing region, accounting for about 49% of the
national acreage, followed by the Northeast Region
with 26%. The Central Region accounts for 24% of the
total maize area, leaving a tiny fraction to some of the
southern provinces (Office of Agricultural Economics,
2002).

These different maize production areas apply varying
management practices that in turn result in varying
maize production conditions and results. Efforts to
improve maize productivity and resultant farmer
welfare in marginal and poverty areas of rural Thailand
must begin with a study of the potential, constraints,
needs, and decision-making patterns of farmer groups
across the maize-producing regions of Thailand.



1.2 Objectives

This study was conducted to:

1. Observe the maize production environment,
patterns, and farm-level practices in major maize
farming regions of Thailand;

2. Ascertain how biophysical and socioeconomic
conditions influence maize production, and thus
farmer income, in upland and poverty areas; and

3. Establish the production potential, constraints,
needs, and alternatives facing maize farmers in both
major and marginal maize-growing areas.











1.3 Methodology

This study was conducted using techniques of rapid rural
appraisal (RRA) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) to
investigate farm-level biophysical and socioeconomic
conditions and farmer maize production practices.
Group discussions were conducted with key informants
and village leaders. Focused questionnaires were also
employed to obtain more detail on individual farmer
production practices, production costs, income,
estimated profit, as well as on their experiences and
constraints with regards to maize production. Data were
analyzed using both descriptive and statistical methods.

Primary data collection was conducted in two phases. In
Phase I, an RRA was conducted in 1999-2000, during
which the farm-level data collected were those of 1998
and 1999 production years. Phase I RRA covered 8
provinces, 13 districts, and 24 tambon (sub-districts) in
North, Northeast, and Central Thailand, currently the
most important maize areas of the country. At each site,
a group interview of at least four or five farmers was




Table 1. Phase I study sites and number of farmers
interviewed, Thailand, 1999-2000.


Number of
respondents
Informal
group Focused Production
Region/Province District Sub-district interviews surveys year
Central Plains
1. Lop Buri Chai Badan Chai Badan (C1) 6 12 1998
Pattananikom Pattananikom (C2) 10 1998
Chon Noi (C3) 2 9 1998
Lower North
2. Nakorn Sawan Pisari Po Prasart (LN1) 4 7 1998
Wang Koi (LN2) 1 7 1998
Tak Fa Kao Chai Tong (LN3) 4 8 1998
Suk Sumrarn (LN4) 4 8 1998
3. Phetchabun Nong Pai Nong Pai (LN5) 1 8 1998
Bua Wattana (LN6) 10 1998
Chon Dan Chon Dan (LN7) -8 1998
Ta Kam (LN8) 4 8 1998
4. Kamphangphet Muang Na Po Kam (LN9) 6 1999
Nong Pling (LN10) 5 1999
5. Phichit Sam Ngam Nong Sano (LN11) 12 1999
Upper North
6. Chiang Rai Teung Wieng (UN1) 6 15 1999
Ngaw (UN2) 6 16 1999
Lower Northeast
7. Nakorn PakChong PakChong (LNE) 1 9 1998
Ratchaseema Nong Sarai (LNE2) 4 8 1998
Dan Khun Tod Huay Bong (LNE3) 5 1998
Ta Kien (LNE4) 8 1998
Upper Northeast
8. Loei Muang Nam Suay (UNE1) 15 1999
Na Din Dum (UNE2) 20 1999
Dan Sai Dan Sai (UNE3) 6 12 1999
Kok Ngam (UNE4) 6 15 1999
Total 13 24 85 218


conducted, and another 8 to 15 farmers were
individually interviewed using focused questionnaires.
Group interviews covered village-level information on
biophysical and socioeconomic conditions, trends in
maize production, maize-based cropping systems,
maize varieties used, pest and disease problems, credit
and market sources, and other data. These interviews
were supplemented with secondary information from
the District Agricultural Extension Office for the sub-
districts concerned. Individual farmer interviews
collected specific information on production data, costs,
prices, yields, input uses, and cropping practices.
Eighty-five farmers across seventeen sites were
interviewed in groups using participatory rural appraisal
methods (PRA), and 218 more farmers from 21 sites
were interviewed using focused questionnaires during
the same period (Table 1). Figure 1 shows the study
sites in 1999-2000.


UN 1
e UN 2


N
S


UN 34 UNE..2

LN 9e S LN 7 8
LN100 *LN 11
LN1 LN12* .ILN5 LN6
LN3. LN40 0(. LNE3 4
LNE 1,2


Planted area (ha)
> 160,000
104,000 -120,000
S40,000 80,000
EE 16,000- 32,000
S 8,000 -16,000
2,400 8,000
S < 2,400

* Study sites


Figure 1. Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1999-2000.


1 ~

I:x
a"i


V1 i~











In Phase II, RRA/PRA surveys were conducted in 2000
and 2001 to examine farm-level practices in major
maize-producing areas in Thailand. In this phase, the
study selected and expanded upon some issues for
discussion, concentrated on poor farmers who farm
marginal maize production areas, and placed greater


UN 3


N


S


*UNE 3.3


*LN i 3


LN 12


LNE 1 3
a


emphasis on farmer group participation during data
collection. Also, the focused surveys were conducted
only in new sites where few prior studies had been
done. The combined RRA/PRA methods allowed
looking at maize farming and poor farmers' livelihoods
holistically, which added strength to the study. The
combined RRA/PRA methods in this phase involved
secondary data collection and analysis, transect
mapping, gender analysis, and individual and group
interviews. Whenever possible, farmers were grouped
according to wealth and gender, and interviewed
separately.

Phase II added eight new sites to those surveyed
during Phase I. In all sites other than Chiang Mai
(where most maize output is used for household
livestock), all Phase II survey sites produced maize
commercially and sold the outputs to commercial feed
mills serving the livestock industry. In line with the
study's focus on poverty, special care was taken to
select study areas where farmers are especially poor
and living in marginal lands. Table 2 and Figure 2
present the sites surveyed and respondents
interviewed in 2000 and 2001.


Planted area (ha)
a > 160,000
E 104,000 -120,000
S 40,000- 80,000
E 16,000 -32,000
S 8,000 -16,000
2,400 8,000
S < 2,400


* Study sites


Table 2. Phase II study sites and number of respondents interviewed, by
study method, Thailand, 2000.
Number of farmer-respondents
Region/Sub-district Focused
(District/Province) RRA PRA group interview survey
Commercial maize production areas
Upper North
Huay Saw (Chiang Khong, Sub-district extension officer 2 groups of 22 farmers: 3
Chiang Rai) (UN3) and 4 farmer leaders 10 men and 12 women
Chiong Kap (Pop Pra, Tak) A farm leader and 3 groups of 26 farmers: 18
(UN4) 3 farmers 10 mixed gender group,
8 men, 8 women
Lower North
Budhabhat (Chon Dan, Sub-district extension officer 4 groups of 50 farmers: 14 men, 3
Phetchabun) (LN7.3) and farmer leaders 14 women, 13 poor, 9 rich
Muang Karung (Ban Rai, A farmer leader and 3 groups of 25 farmers: 11 mixed 25
Uthai Thani) (LN12) 3 farmers gender, 6 men, 9 women
Upper Northeast
Wang Yao Sub-district extension officer 3 groups of 25 farmers: 6
(Dan Sai, Loei) (UNE3.3) and 5 farmer leaders 9 men, 10 women, 6 poor
Lower Northeast
Wang Kra Ta (Pak Chong, Sub-district extension officer 2 groups of 23 farmers:
Nakorn Ratchaseema) and farmer leaders 10 men, 13 women
(LNE1.3)
Central Plains
Thai Udom (Klong Had, Three farmer-leaders 3 groups of 24 farmers: 8 mixed 17
Sra Kaew) (C4) gender, 7 men, 9 women
Semi-commercial maize production areas
Upper North
Muang Na (Chiang Dao, Farm leaders and 8 farmers 1 group of 13 male 2
Chiang Mai) (UN5) and female farmers
Total 21 groups of 208 farmers 74


P~fs ? *
(p ^^n
w '^i
(?%


Figure 2. Phase II study sites, Thailand,
2000-2001.


1-:


le
::~
itirir~
1:::::::~
~ ~











2. Description of Maize Agro-ecologies


2.1 General Topography

Topographically, Thailand is naturally divided into four
regions: North, Central Plain or Chao Phraya River Basin,
Northeast or the Khorat Plateau, and South or Southern
Isthmus.

The North is a mountainous region characterized by
natural forests, ridges, and deep, narrow, alluvial
valleys. Steep river valleys and upland areas that border
the Central Plain incise these high mountains, which
extend along the Burmese border down through the
Malay Peninsula. A series of rivers, including the Ping,
Wang, Yom, and Nan, unite in the lowlands to form the
Chao Phraya watershed. Traditionally, these natural
features have made possible several different types of
agriculture, including wet-rice farming in the valleys
and shifting cultivation in the uplands. In this region,
winter temperatures are cool enough to allow the
cultivation of temperate fruits such as apples,
strawberries, and peaches.

The Northern region comprises three physiographic
zones (Topark-Ngarm and Gutteridge, 1986): (1) the
lowlands, which make up 15% of the area, and are
relatively flat with fertile alluvial basins that produce
paddy rice; (2) the uplands, which make up 45% of the
area in undulating to hilly terrain to 500 meters above
sea level (masl), and are principally planted to upland
rice, maize, grain legumes and other field crops; and (3)
the highlands, which make up 40% of the area with an
altitude range of 500-2,500 masl, comprised of rugged,
steep-sided mountains, which are dissected by high
valleys and planted to upland rice, maize, and hidden
cultivated areas of opium (Topark-Ngarm and
Gutteridge, 1986). In this region, rainfall varies from
900 to 2000 mm, and temperatures vary from 290C/
130F in January to 360C/210F in April. Temperatures
decrease approximately 0.50C per 100 m altitude, and
frosts occur in sheltered highland locations. The
Northern region produces the most maize in Thailand,
with the majority of maize coming from the lowlands
and uplands, with scattered plots in the highlands.


Central Thailand, a lush, fertile valley, is the richest and
most extensive rice producing area in the country and
has often been called the "Rice Bowl of Asia." The
Central Plains is a lowland area dominated by
cultivated paddy fields and drained by the Chao Phraya
and its tributaries, the country's principal river system,
which feeds into the delta at the head of the Gulf of
Bangkok. The Chao Phraya system drains about one-
third of the nation's territory. Here, the rather flat,
unchanging landscape facilitates inland water and road
transport.

The Northeast Region, with its poor soils, is not favored
agriculturally. The region consists mainly of the arid
Khorat Plateau and is characterized by a rolling surface
and undulating hills, with sparse grasses covering
much of the land. Harsh climatic conditions-short
monsoon seasons and long dry seasons-often result in
this region being subjected to heavy floods and
droughts. Mountains ring the plateau on the west and
the south, and the Mekong delineates much of the
eastern rim. The Northeast Region is a slightly elevated
plateau of 17 million ha at 100-300 masl. Rainfall varies
from 900 to 2000 mm, with an average of 1250 mm
per annum; 85% of this rain falls from mid-April to
mid-October. Average monthly temperatures range
from 300C/170F in December to 360C/24F in April.
Principal land use in the region is rainfed paddy rice,
upland field crops, forestlands, and grazing lands. A
typical Northeast household cultivates 1-4 ha of upland
crops (cassava, sugar cane, maize, horticultural crops)
and raises one to three head of buffalo for use as draft
animals. Many households also own a few head of
cattle for draft and/or commercial sale.

The Southern Region is a hilly-to-mountainous narrow
peninsula, with dramatically shaped mountains, thick
virgin forests, and rich deposits of minerals and ores.
Its economy is based on rice cultivation for subsistence
and rubber production for industry. Other sources of
income include tourism (particularly lucrative on Phuket
Island), coconut plantations, and tin mining. Rolling
and mountainous terrain and the absence of large rivers










are conspicuous features of the South. North-south
mountain barriers and impenetrable tropical forest
caused the early isolation and separate political
development of this region.

Together, the Chao Phraya and Mekong systems sustain
Thailand's agricultural economy by supporting wet-rice
cultivation and providing waterways for the transport of
goods and people. In contrast, the distinguishing
natural features of peninsular Thailand are long
coastlines, offshore islands, and diminishing mangrove
swamps.

The elevations of the North, Northeast, and Central
Regions are presented in Figure 3. Maize in Thailand
covers flat plains, uplands, and highlands (both with
and without slopes), most of which are rainfed. In this
study, two survey sites (Tueng District, Chiang Rai in the
Upper North Region and Phichit in the Lower North
Region) grow maize in the dry season after paddy rice.
In Chiang Rai, farmers pump water from nearby streams
and reservoirs to irrigate their maize crop. In Phichit,
farmers invest in individual water wells, which were at
one time subsidized by the government.

The Phase II study sites (Table 2) are more marginal
production environments, yet they remain diverse in
topography and soil conditions. These areas are either
hilly sloping land (e.g., Dan Sai, Loei), narrow flat strips
mostly adjacent to some hills (e.g., Chon Dan,
Phetchabun), or highland plateaus (e.g., Chiang Dao,
Chiang Mai). Some survey sites run along rivers but
these are rather small tracts of land in the villages.





North


I Figure 3. Elevation in North, Northeast,
and Central Thailand.


2.2 Agro-ecology-Specific Maize
Production Systems

The major maize production areas of Thailand can be
grouped into two broad agro-ecozones: the rainfed
uplands and the rice-based irrigated agro-ecozones.
Upland agriculture makes up around 17% of the total
agricultural production in Thailand. In the North,
Northeast, and parts of the Central Plains, maize is
grown in the uplands, lower mountain slopes, foothills,
and highlands with altitudes greater than 500 masl.
Maize does not like too much water, and the high rainfall
in the South makes it unsuitable for maize production.



2.2.1 Rainfed uplands
Rainfall distribution is the major factor in rainfed upland
agro-ecological zones. The rainy season in Thailand
usually begins in May and lasts until the end of
September. Maize is normally grown as the main first
crop in every region at the beginning of the rainy season
and is harvested after 100-120 days. The second crops
are shorter-period crops that vary across locations even
within the same region. In bimodal rainfall pattern areas,
maize is planted in early April and harvested in July/
August, followed by another crop of maize in a maize-
maize cropping pattern. Other second crops grown are
mung bean, groundnut, sorghum, red pea, and
soybean.

Lopburi, Nakorn Sawan, Phetchabun, Nakom
Ratchaseema, and parts of Chiang Rai grow first-season
maize from April to June, which are periods of early rain.
Eighty-seven percent of maize in Thailand is produced in
the first season, while 10% is produced as a second-
season crop in the late rains of July and August, in Loei
and other parts of Nakorn Ratchaseema and Chiang Rai.



2.2.2 Rice-based irrigated agro-ecozones
In these agro-ecozones, maize is planted in paddy fields
in December or January after harvesting rice, making dry
season irrigation necessary. Currently, only 3% of
Thailand's total maize production comes from these
areas, but the trend has been increasing in recent years.
This practice was observed in the villages surveyed in
Teung, Chiang Rai, and Sam Ngam, Phichit.

Some maize farmers have encroached on strictly
reserved forest areas in Tak, Loei, and Chiang Mai. In
these areas, farmers have neither secure land tenure nor
guaranteed land entitlement. In Chiang Rai and Nakorn
Ratchaseema, the government has awarded some maize
farmers land reform certificates that guarantee them
land use rights in land reform areas.











Historically, farmers have extensively used forestlands
and forest areas for maize production. In the past 20
years, population growth, coupled with agricultural
commercialization, has forced poor farmers to further
exploit these frontier lands, and little forestland is left
today, although some areas remain as forestlands
legally. Given past patterns of land use, maize farmers
often find themselves cultivating sloping land, which is
vulnerable to erosion. Due to topographic and physical
conditions of the lands, maize is still the only viable
crop for farmers living in these areas. Alternative crops
are either more risky or physically or socioeconomically
unsuitable to these marginal farmers.



2.3 Biophysical Environment

2.3.1 Climate

Most survey sites averaged 400 masl in altitude, but the
marginal production areas surveyed in Phase II were at
100-780 masl. Air temperatures averaged 25-270C,
with March-April as the hottest months and December-
January as the coolest months (Table 3). In the last three
to five years, rainfall averaged 1,100-1,500 mm/year.
Rains start in April/May and peak in August/September.
Recent years have seen occasional and periodic dry
spells but no severe drought in the study sites. There
are supplementary water sources such as wells, natural
streams, reservoirs, and deep wells. Supplementary
water is not, however, used for irrigating field crops but
only for limited vegetable production and household
use. In more favorable production areas, farmers have


access to deep wells, allowing them to sometimes grow
maize in the dry season. Dry season maize often gives
good yield and fetches higher prices, a luxury farmers in
marginal areas do not usually have.



2.3.2 Soil types

Table 4 shows the various soil types that support maize
production in the Phase I and Phase II study sites, with
farmer-reported advantages and disadvantages for
maize cultivation.

Heavy-textured soil, such as clay and clay loam, was the
most common soil type found across the surveyed
maize production areas. Forty-three percent of the
farmer-respondents in Phase I reported having heavy-
textured soil such as clay and clay loam in their fields,
27% reported their soil as being fine-textured with
mixed gravels, and 20% had medium-to-coarse
textured soil. Only 10% of the farmer-respondents
reported having fine-textured soil, which is most
suitable to maize production. More than 30% of farmer-
respondents reported having fine-textured soil in their
land in areas such as Kao Chai Tong and Suk Sumrarn
sub-districts, in Nakorn Sawan province and Ta Kam
sub-district, Phetchabun province and Ta Kien sub-
district, Nakorn Ratchaseema. Kamphaeng Phet,
meanwhile, had low fertility fine-textured sandy loam
soil, which has poor water-retention capacity and dries
quickly after rains. In Phichit, where farmers grew dry
season irrigated maize, the soil was sandy loam with
good drainage.


Table 3. Terrain, altitude, rainfall, and temperature in Phase I and II study sites, Thailand, 2000.
Terrain (estimated % of the region)
Rainfed + Rainfed Rainfed Average Rainfall Average
Region/Province irrigated lowland/upland highland/sloping altitude (masl) (mm/year) temperature (oC)
Commercial maize production areas
Central Plains
Lop Buri 0-10 77-85 5-23 60-100 1,200 28.4
Sra Kaew 120-150 1,473 26.9
Upper North
Chiang Rai 5-65 35-95 416 1,790 24.4
Tak 116 1,289 27.7
Upper Northeast
Loei 0-20 30-65 25-50 400 1,289 26.0
Lower North
NakornSawan 10-20 60-90 10-30 35 1,110 28.4
Phetchabun 0-15 60-90 10-35 114 1,422 27.2
Kamphangphet 0-60 40-100 43-107 1,287 27.6
Pichit 65 35 1,198 27.0
Uthai Thani 120-150 1,474 26.5
Lower Northeast
Nakorn Ratchaseema 0-15 65-90 10-35 150-300 1,069 27.8
Semi-commercial maize production areas
Upper North
Chiang Mai 310 1,140 25.6
Source: Estimates of terrain distribution from village-level secondary information and farmer interviews; rainfall from the Meteorological Department, Ministry of Communication. Rainfall was
averaged for two years (1999-2000), three years (1997-1999), or 10 years, depending on data availability.












Table 4. Types of soil and their farmer-reported advantages and disadvantages, across surveyed villages, by region,
Thailand, 2000.

Soil type Selected local names Advantages Disadvantages

Central Plains


Clay Chaibadan, Bureeram, Lopburi
(Lop Buri)
Dark clay Pakchong, Hangchat, Kaoyai,
Chiangkong (Sra Kaew-90%);
Clay loam Muang Kom (Lop Buri)
Clay + lateritic soil Chiangkhan, Phusana, Kabinburi,
Surin, Baitong (Sra Kaew-10%)


Lower North
Clay




Clay loam

Sandy loam




Upper North
Sandy loam
Sand


Sandy clay

Brown loam

Brown clay loam

Black clay loam



Lower Northeast


Paktoa, Paisalee, Muangsri, Pakchong (Nakorn Sawan);
Chaibadan, Lopburi, Wang Chompoo, Loei, Banmee,
Smorthod, Lamnarai, Nakorn Pathom, Lomsak, Muaklek,
Takli, Bungchanung (Phetchabun); Loei, Waghai(Uthai Thani)
Lamnara, Takli, Pakchong, Tabtong, Lopburi(Nakorn Sawan);
Pichit, Koke Samrong, Chai Badan, Loie (Phetchabun)
Nakhonpathom, Pakkad, Dermbang, Tatum, Phichit
(Kamphangphet); Kamphaengsan, Kamphaengpet,
Tapanhan, Lamsonthi (Pichit); Sanpatong, Kaoplong,
Hupkrapong, Yangtalad, Chumphang (Uthai Thani)

Mae-Ing soil series (Chiang Rai)
Namphong, Chantuek (Chiang Rai)


Pakchong, Hangchat, Chiangkong (Chiang Rai)

(Tak)

Banchong, Chiang Khong, Mae Taeng, Pak Chong
(Chiang Mai-80%)
Hang Dong, Pan, Lae Ngoo, Ta Toom, Sukhothai,
Phichit, Nakhonpathom (Chiang Mai-20%)


Clay loam Tali, Sobprab, Pisali (Nakorn Ratchaseema)
Black loan Tadi, Buengchanung (Nakorn Ratchaseema)
Sandy loam Petchaboon, Pranburi, Sriracha, Korat, Satuk, Varin, Yasotorn,
Dan Sai, Mabbon (Nakorn Ratchaseema);

Clay (including red Ban Chong, Chiang Khong, Mae Taeng, Pak Chong, Sung
and brown clay) Nern, Pakchong, Hangchat, Kaoyai, Chokchai, Sungnern,
Banchong, Chiangkong, Nongmod, Maetaeng
(Nakorn Ratchaseema-70%)
Sandy clay (Nakorn Ratchaseema-10%)

Sand Kumbong (Nakorn Ratchaseema)
Upper Northeast
Sandy loam Hang Dong, Pan, Ratchaburi, Mae Lai (Loei)
Brown clay loam Lei, Wang Hai, Thatpanom, Dan Sai(Loei)
Clay Tamuang, Mae sai, Hang dong, Chiang Rai, Loei,
Chieng karn, Wang sapung (Loei)
Clay loam Lei, Wang Hai, Thatpanom, Dan Sai, San Pa Tong,
Hang Chat, Korat (Loei)
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Sunreys 1999-2000.


Good water-holding capacity

Suitable for growing maize, jackfruit, mango, longan
with good yield; less chemical fertilizer application
Suitable for growing maize
Good yield if there is no drought; can grow
cassava with big roots and good weight;
easy harvesting


Good water-holding capacity; good soil
fertility; less fertilizer requirement; high
water-holding capacity


Good water-holding capacity; fair soil fertility

Easy to plow; good soil if there is enough
rain; seeds can germinate fast




Easy to plow; seeds germinate quickly
No hard-pan; easy to plow; minimal soil clodding


Suitable for growing maize; low soil erosion

Easy plowing; suitable for growing maize, mung bean,
and groundnut; allows easy harvesting of groundnut
Suitable for growing any crop

More suitable for planting maize than reddish
loam soil; absorbs more water than reddish loam
soil; can be used for planting rice


Good water-holding capacity
Suitable for maize
Good drainage



Good water-holding capacity; more soil
nutrients; good maize yield



Good maize yield; easy for seed planting;
fast seed germination
Good drainage


Easy to plow; good drainage; suitable for paddy rice
Good water-holding capacity
Good water-holding capacity

Suitable for every crop especially maize; easy to plow


Difficult to plow; poor water drainage;
prone to soil erosion
Unsuitable for growing oranges-sour taste
and poor yield
Poor water drainage
Poor water-holding capacity; requires too much
fertilizer; drought-prone; low percentage of
starch in cassava yield; difficult to plow


Difficult to plow; poor water drainage;
wet/muddy in the rainy season causing
poor yield


Poor water drainage; low soil fertility;
difficult to plow; wet/muddy in the rainy season
Poor water-holding capacity; poor soil fertility;
poor crop yield; requires too much fertilizer;
poor water drainage



Poor water-holding capacity; poor water drainage
Poor water-holding capacity; not suitable for
maize; risk of infertile soil
Holds too much water during rainy season,
making maize prone to stem rot
Weevils; poor groundnut yield (poor weight)

Provides less yield than black clay loam soil

Difficult to plow; not suitable for groundnut




Some laterite in soil
Poor water-holding capacity in the dry season
Poor water-holding capacity in the dry season;
requires organic fertilizers

Less porous soil; difficult to plow and lumpy
in the rainy season; tends to lose moisture
rapidly when there is no rain


Tends to waterlog when raining; prone to drought

Poor soil fertility


Poor soil fertility
Difficult to plow
Poor soil; poor water drainage; difficult to plow

Found on sloping areas and prone to soil
erosion; fair drainage










Many Phase II survey sites were found to have gravelly
heavy-textured soils. Flat terrain near hilly lands
sometimes had black or reddish fine-or fine-to-
medium-textured soil. Maize also grew well in areas
with sandy loam soils and good drainage. A few areas
had reddish and black loam soil, which was considered
good for crop production, although these areas were
not widespread. Some farmers reported experiencing
declining soil fertility due to erosion, and were worried
about the future of maize production in these erosion-
prone areas. Most farmers were interested in
technologies that promote better soil conservation.
Farmers reported that mechanized farming was
common and worsened the soil erosion problem in
sloping areas.



2.4 Institutional Environment

2.4.1 Line agency offices

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE), and
the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural
Cooperatives (MOAC), with their sub-district offices,
handle agricultural extension services for all crops in
Thailand, including maize. The DOAE has had programs
of hybrid seed and fertilizer use promotion, which
initially came with government subsidies and have
been credited with increased hybrid maize use in
Thailand.

The Department of Agriculture (DOA), MOAC, and
universities such as Kasetsart University also conduct
maize agronomic and plant breeding research.
Ekasingh et al. (2001a) outline the development of
maize breeding research in Thailand. For farming
capital, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural
Cooperatives (BAAC) extends credit to maize farmers,
who rely heavily on such financial assistance each
production season.



2.4.2 Cooperatives and user groups

Some farmers organized themselves into farmer
cooperatives and groups, mainly to request and obtain
production credit and material inputs, especially seeds
and fertilizers. Loans are paid with interest after
harvesting and sale of output. These farmer
cooperatives often do not deal with output marketing,
which each farmer does individually through extensive
networks of private merchants. Most outputs are sold
to local private traders.


2.4.3 Sources of material inputs

Material farm inputs (seeds, fertilizers, and other
chemical inputs) are commonly obtained through cash
purchase or credit from BAAC, farmer groups, and local
merchants. Farmers relied more on BAAC for seed and,
to a lesser extent, fertilizers, and obtained other inputs
from local merchants (Appendix, Table 1). The major
reason for this practice is that farmers can purchase
fertilizer and other chemical inputs from merchants on
credit, but have to pay cash if obtaining them from the
BAAC. Generally, no explicit interest was charged for
purchasing on credit from merchants, but the price
actually included implicit interests. A few farmers
obtained some inputs, especially seed, from
government programs located in their district, such as
District Agricultural Extension Office, DOAE, or the Field
Crop Research Center, DOA.

When asked about problems related to purchased
inputs, most farmers said they were unhappy with the
high prices of hybrid seed and fertilizers, and some
questioned the quality of these inputs, especially
fertilizers.



2.4.4 Credit institutions

In general, maize farmers in Thailand depend heavily on
borrowed capital. Only 13% of the farmer-respondents
in this study used their own capital in crop production.
About 35% of farmers borrowed farm capital from either
BAAC or local merchants, while another 51% used a
combination of their own and borrowed capital. As such,
an overwhelming majority (87%) of farmer-respondents
depended somehow on borrowed farm capital
(Appendix, Table 2a). Of the total amount borrowed, at
least 70% was obtained from BAAC and 20-70% was
obtained from local merchants. Maize farmers in Tak and
Chiang Mai (Upper North) also borrowed farming capital
from their village funds (Appendix, Table 2b).

When farmers borrowed from local merchants, some
had to pay 3-5% interest a month on top of the higher
price of required inputs they bought through credit. In
contrast, the loan interest rate from BAAC, agricultural
cooperatives, or farmer groups was only 9-12% per year.



2.4.5 Prices of farm inputs and outputs

Table 5 summarizes the range of input and output prices
reported from the survey areas. After extensive
programs of hybrid seed promotion, most farmers in
Thailand are now growing hybrid maize. In 1998-99,











hybrid maize seed prices were high at 80-90 baht/kg
(US$ 2.00-2.25/kg), compared to 15 baht /kg (US$
0.38/kg) for seed of open pollinated varieties (OPV).
Taking an average output price of 3.50 baht/kg (US$
0.09/kg) in 1999, the grain-to-seed price ratio for maize
in Thailand was as high as 1:26. However, farmers
quickly learn that using improved maize seed does not
cost more, it pays more. In Thailand, an increase of only
0.4 t/ha yield (at 4 baht/kg, or US$ 0.10/kg) will pay for
the cost of single-cross hybrid seed to sow 1 ha (at 80
baht/kg or US$ 2.00/kg and a seed rate of 18 kg/ha),
provided all other input costs remain the same
(Ekasingh et al., 2001b).

Fertilizer prices were around 350-400 baht per 50-kg
bag. The most common fertilizers used in maize
production were urea (46-0-0), Triple 15 (15-15-15),
and 16-20-0, which cost 310.75, 414.43 and 399.30
baht per 50-kg bag, respectively. The price of the same
formula fertilizer can be quite different depending on
the brand.




Table 5. Average prices of maize seed, urea, and
agricultural labor, Phase I study sites, Thailand, 2000.
No. of Average Average Wage
farmers maize seed urea rate
inter- price price (baht/
Study site viewed (baht/kg) (baht/kg) person-day)
Central Plains-Lopburi
Chai Badan, Chai Badan 12 85.2 6.36 120
Pattananikom, Pattananikom 10 75.0 6.23 120
Chon Noi, Pattananikom 9 71.3 7.13 120
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari 7 84.6 6.03 100
Wang Koi, Pisari 7 83.3 5.67 100
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa 8 78.6 6.55 100
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa 8 79.4 6.51 120
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai 8 80.7 6.00 120
Bua Wattana, Nong Pai 10 88.9 6.86 120
Chon Dan, Chon Dan 8 75.1 5.98 100
Ta Kam, Chon Dan 8 83.7 5.88 100
Upper North-Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung 15 78.6 8.79 100
Ngaw, Teung 16 72.2 5.47 100
Lower Northeast-Nakorn Ratchaseema
Pak Chong, Pak Chong 9 75.8 7.00 100
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 8 79.1 6.24 100
Huay Bong, Dan Khun Tod 5 85.0 7.60 100
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod 8 84.3 7.20 100
Upper Northeast-Loei
Nam Suay, Muang 15 84.4 5.79 100
Na Din Dum, Muang 20 85.8 6.03 100
Dan Sai, Dan Sai 12 85.8 6.50 100
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai 15 85.0 5.40 70
Total/average all sites 218 81.5 6.21 104
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey 1999-2000.


Agricultural wages were around 120 baht/person-day
(US$ 3.00/person-day), depending on location and
off-farm opportunities. In some areas wage rate
variation depended on gender, i.e., male laborers
received 100-120 baht, while female laborers received
80-100 baht per day.

The price of maize grain in Thailand depends on its
moisture content, which can vary depending on
season, month, and harvesting method. In 1999, the
average farm gate price for maize was 3.64 baht/kg
(US$ 0.09/kg, the lowest being 2.98 baht/kg (US$
0.08/kg) in September and the highest 4.58 baht/kg
(US$ 0.12/kg) in May/June. In 2000, the farm gate
price of maize ranged from as low as 2.20 baht/kg
(US$ 0.06/kg) in a remote Upper North site in August
to as high as 4.60 baht/kg (US$ 0.12/kg) in a Lower
North site in December/January, when maize is dried
in the fields before harvesting. Grain output prices also
depended on grain quality and on how far a given site
was from Bangkok. Maize from the Upper North
usually fetched a lower price compared to that from
the Lower North and the Lower Northeast.

Farmers observed that input prices have increased in
recent years, while output prices have remained more
or less at the same level or even declined. Ekasingh et
al. (2001 b) reported that profit from maize farming
has been minimal. The highest profit from maize
farming in the study area was 5,110.90 baht/ha (US$
127.80/ha) and the lowest profit was 762.80 baht/ha
(US$ 19.10/ha).



2.5 Infrastructure

2.5.1 Accessibility and irrigation facilities

Maize farmers have good access to product markets
because transportation infrastructure and systems are
good in Thailand. In remote maize production areas,
difficult road situations have forced farmers to harvest
and sell their maize in the dry season, even if the
output is ready for harvest in the rainy season. This is a
rare situation, and occurs primarily because farmers
cannot sell their rainy season grains for a good price
after harvest. Most farmers have access to reasonable
roads, and merchant services are readily available.

Most maize in Thailand is cultivated in the uplands,
making the need for irrigation minimal. Only baby
corn and sweet corn are normally planted in irrigated
fields after the main season wet-rice cultivation, and
only selected maize-producing areas in Phichit and
Chiang Rai have access to irrigation facilities.










2.5.2 Post-harvest facilities


Maize farmers in Thailand store their output in sacks
inside storage barns. Storage facilities are often quite
basic, usually composed of farm sheds. Most farmers
sell their output after milling in their fields, for which
they contract a milling machine from merchants. The
machine is brought to the village, and milling is
normally done on wet grains right after harvesting.



2.5.3 Markets and marketing practices
The 1999 RRA survey found that about 55% of maize
farmers sold their output immediately after harvest.
About 25% kept the output for a month or two before
selling, 15% kept it for two to three months, and about
5% kept it for more than three months. The longest time
farmers stored the output while waiting for better
market prices was five months.

In all sites except Sra Kaew (Central Plains) and Nakorn
Ratchaseema (Lower Northeast), small merchants would
come into the villages and offer to buy farmers' maize
production. If the farmers provided threshing labor, the
small merchants would thresh the grain at no extra cost.

Most merchants who came to the villages had lent
farmers some capital for household or farm production
use; the farmers were therefore obliged to sell their
output to the merchant-financiers. In a few cases,
farmers themselves performed the merchants' task of
assembling the outputs for delivery. In some cases,
merchants from other districts would come and trade in
the villages. Small pick-ups or large trucks transported
the maize grain after assembly. In Sra Kaew and Nakom
Ratchaseema, the normal practice was for farmers to use
carts fixed to small tractors to transport their maize grain
to the merchants. Some maize farmers in Uthai Thani
(Lower North) sold their output to BAAC, and those in
Nakorn Ratchaseema (Lower Northeast) sold their grain
to cooperatives.



2.6 Socioeconomic
Characteristics

2.6.1 Households and ethnicity

Most maize farmers in Thailand are ethnically Thai, and
only a minority belongs to hill tribes. The hill tribes grow
yellow and white dent and semi-dent maize in the
highlands for food and home-based animal feed. The
Thai maize farmers grow yellow flint and semi-flint
maize for the commercial animal feed market. A
minority of the Thai group grows white dent maize and
sweet corn for sale and home use.


2.6.2 Literacy and level of education

Most family members have either primary (4-6 years of
schooling) or secondary education. Only about 1% of
them have tertiary education. On average across
Thailand, Thai people attended school for 7.2 years, and
38.9% in the 6-24 year age range is illiterate (National
Statistics Office, 2000).



2.6.3 Landholdings and tenure systems

In 1999, the average size of maize farms across all
surveyed areas was 7.3 ha. About 33% of the farmer-
respondents had a small farm (average: 2 ha). Almost
36% of farmers had a medium-size farm (5 ha), and 31%
had large farms (average: about 16 ha) (Appendix, Table
3). Only Pattananikom district, in Lopburi province, and
Pak Chong district, in Nakorn Ratchaseema province,
had farmers with large farms of more than 16 ha. The
largest farm size found was 80 ha, in tambon Pak
Chong, Nakorn Ratchaseema province. Maize farmers in
the Central Plains, Lower North, and Lower Northeast
farmed larger plots than those in the Upper North.
Maize farm areas in Pattananikom district, Lopburi, Pisari
district, and Nakorn Sawan and Pak Chong district,
Nakorn Ratchaseema, averaged 20.8 ha, 12.3 ha, and
26.1 ha, respectively. In contrast, maize farmers in
Wieng and Ngaw sub-districts in Chiang Rai province
(Upper North) only had 2.2-3.4 ha on average. The large
farmers in these areas had 6 ha.

In the uplands and highlands, most farmers do not have
land certificates, and land can be used only once a year.
In the plains, most farmers have their own land and land
certificates. They use land one to three times a year,
while farmers who have neither land nor land
certificates will rent land from others for growing crops.

In1998-1999, 145 (67%) of the 218 maize farmers
interviewed owned their farmland, 49 (22.5%) were
part owners, and 23 (10.6%) were tenants (see
Appendix, Table 3, for details). Large farmers have a
higher proportion of rented land than smaller farmers.
For example, maize farmers in Pak Chong sub-district,
Nakorn Ratchaseema and Pattananikom in Lopburi who
have more than 16 ha rented over 60% of their
farmland for maize cultivation. In terms of area
involved, farmers in Lopburi and Pak Chong, Nakorn
Ratchaseema, had more rented area under maize than
their own land.











2.6.4 Utilization of maize


Maize in Thailand is predominantly used for animal
feed, with 80-100%/ production being sold to
commercial poultry and livestock feed mills. It is a
highly commercial crop, handled by an extensive
network of merchants. Maize sold as animal feed is
mainly used domestically, and only a small fraction is
exported.

Meanwhile, about 5-20% of all maize grown in Thailand
is consumed as food, either as white corn or sweet
corn. Among the survey areas, traditional maize
consumers were reported in Pop Pra district, Tak
province and Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai province
(Upper North), and in Pak Chong district, Nakorn
Ratchaseema province (Lower Northeast).



2.6.5 Types of farmers

One exercise conducted in this study was the
classification of maize farmers within the community by
income group, for which farmer-respondents were
asked to provide descriptions and general
characteristics. Farmers in the survey sites were
classified into three income groups-poor, medium,
and rich farmers-and each group was characterized in
terms of farm size, income source, household size, and
number of owned livestock, among other parameters
identified by the farmer-respondents themselves.

Poor farmers were characterized as those having farms
not exceeding 10 rai (1.6 ha). Medium farmers have
about 20-50 rai (3.2-8 ha), while well-to-do farmers can
have 50, 100, or more rai (8-16 ha). The majority
(69.3%) of farmers were either medium or poor, and




Percent


33.5


Small Medium
(<3.2-8.0 ha) (3.2-6.4 ha)


Large
(>8.0 ha)


Figure 4. Farmers in the study area, as classified by farm
size, Thailand, 1998-1999.


only a few (30.7%) were well-to-do. Ownership of land
(especially paddy land) and other assets such as
tractors, vehicles, and income are among factors
differentiating farmer groups (Figures 4 and 5).

Farmers' incomes tended to vary according to location.
Maize farmers in the flat terrain of the Central Plains,
Lower North, and Lower Northeast of Thailand have
relatively larger average farm sizes at 77.4, 40.8, and
74.5 rai (12.4, 6.5, and 11.9 ha), respectively, and their
income is higher than that of farmers in the Upper
North and Upper Northeast. Poorer farm households
earned an average 30,000 baht (US$ 750) per
household per year. Medium farm households earned
an average of 50,000-80,000 baht (US$ 1250-2,000)
per household per year, and well-to-do farmers
averaged more than 100,000 baht (US$ 2500) per
household per year. The main source of income of well-
to-do farmers was maize production, but poorer
households depended mostly on salaried employment
for their livelihoods. Well-to-do farmers, on the other
hand, obtain a larger proportion of their income from
non-farm occupations. Table 6 summarizes the
characteristics of the maize farmers in the marginal
uplands of Thailand by wealth status.



2.6.6 Poverty and level of income

The profitability of maize production in Thailand was
calculated based on primary yield and input/output
price data collected during individual farmer interviews
in 1999. At that time, farmers could obtain a profit of
1,230-4,087 baht/ha from maize cultivation. Table 7
shows that maize production in the late rainy season,
the dry season, and on smaller farms gave higher
profits than during the early rainy season or on medium
and large farms.


Hectares
90- Mean
80- Standard deviation
70- Minimum
60 Maximum


2.1 0.8 0.6 3.2
~F-1


3.5 6.4
17 '9- M


Small (<3.2-8.0 ha) Medium (3.2-6.4 ha)


159 13.7



Large (>8.0 ha)


Figure 5. Mean, standard deviation, minimum, and
maximum maize cultivation area, classified by farm size,
Thailand, 1998-1999.


K;..,

K?:.
: f-..


:11-.

;.".
881


v











In terms of total household income, however, large
farms earned higher profits than medium and small
farms did. Large farms enjoyed a return on cash costs
of around 52,000 baht per household, while medium
farms averaged 25,000 baht/household and small
farms averaged 12,500 baht per household. The
income of a Northern Thai farmer averaged around
81,191 baht per household, while the income of
Central Plains and Northeast farmers averaged around
80,161 and 79,101 baht per household, respectively,
in 1999.

Analyses at the sub-district level showed that in 1998-
99 many maize production sites in Thailand
experienced low grain yields and high production
costs, such that farmers earned very little profit, or
even incurred losses, from maize cultivation (Table 8).
Some of these areas were Dan Sai and Kok Ngam sub-
districts, Loei province (Upper Northeast),
Pattananikom and Chai Badan sub-districts, Lopburi
province (Central Plains) and Bua Wattana and Chon
Dan sub-districts, Phetchabun province (Lower North).

Nevertheless, maize remains the main source of
income in the study sites, contributing an average of
70% of total household income across the 24 sub-
districts surveyed. The remaining 30% is accounted for
by production of other crops, livestock, and off-farm
employment (Appendix, Table 4). Maize production in


Huay Bong sub-district, Nakorn Ratchaseema province
(Lower Northeast), contributed the smallest proportion
(35.7%) of total household income, while in Dan Sai
sub-district, Loei province (Upper Northeast) it
contributed the most (94.7%) to household income.

Farmer-respondents reported that maize was easy to
grow and had low production risks compared to other
crops. Maize was drought tolerant, had no insect or
disease problems, and allowed double cropping.
Maize was also the best crop for the rainfed uplands
with good rainfall. BAAC would lend money to maize



Table 7. Measures of maize production profitability,
Thailand, 1998-1999.

Average Return on Return on
profit cash costs cash costs
(baht/ha) (baht/ha) (baht/household)
Crop season
Early rainy 1,494 4,663 35,066
Late rainy 4,087 6,681 56,655
Dry 3,544 9,731 21,797
Average farm size
Small (<3.2 ha) 2,181 6,019 12,520
Medium (3.2-6.4 ha) 2,000 5,094 25,266
Large (>6.4 ha) 1,232 3,269 51,781
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT RRA/PRA Surveys, Thailand, 1998-99.


Table 6. Farmer classification and characteristics by wealth group, Phase II study sites, Thailand, 2000.
Farmer group by wealth status
Survey site Poor Medium Rich
Chiang Khong district, Chiang Rai Farm size: < 1.6 ha(upland + paddy fields) Farm size: 1.6-4.8 ha(upland + paddy fields) Farm size: 4.8-11.2 ha (paddy fields
(Upper North) Income: 15,000 baht/household/year Income: 30,000-40,000 baht/household/year 3.2-9.6 ha and upland 2.4 ha)
Income: 70,000-80,000 baht/household/year
Pop Pra district, Tak (Upper North) Farm size: < 3.2 ha Farm size: 3.2-6.4 ha Farm size: > 8 ha
Low income No capital, or low, inadequate capital
Not enough land; some need to rent more land
Chon Dan district, Phetchabun Farm size: < 1.6 ha Farm size: 3.2 8 ha Farm size: > 8 ha
(Lower North)
Ban Rai district, Uthai Thani Farm size: < 1.6 ha Farm size: 3.2-4.8 ha Farm size: >16 ha; own tractors
(Lower North)
Dan Sai district, Loei Farm size: < 3.2 ha Farm size: 4.8-8 ha Farm size: 8-16 ha
(Upper Northeast) Capital: < 10,000 baht Capital: 30,000-50,000 baht Capital: >50,000 baht
Pak Chong district, Nakorn Ratchaseema Farm size: 1.6-3.2 ha Farm size: 3.2-8 ha Farm size: > 8 ha
(Lower Northeast)
Klong Had district, Sra Kaew Farm size: < 1.6 ha Farm size: 3.2-6.4 ha Farm size: > 8 ha
(Central Plains) Income: high percent from wages Income: 70% from crops; 30% from wages Income: 80% from crops, 20% from wages
Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai Farm size: 0.8 ha Farm size: 1.6-3.2 ha Farm size: > 4.0 ha
(Upper North) Income: <10,000baht/year Income: 15,000-20,000 baht/year Income: 20,000-30,000 baht/year
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT PRA Surveys, Thailand, 2000.











farmers more easily, and good markets were available
for the output. When output prices were high, all maize
farmers enjoyed good income. For the past 10 years,
however, the price of maize grain has been stagnant,
while production costs have been increasing. For
example, in Chiang Khong sub-district, Chiang Rai


province, droughts or extended dry spells and maize
grain price pegged at 2.50 baht/kg for the last 10
years have caused farmers to switch from maize
cultivation to planting fruit trees. Farmers thus
reported that while they favor growing maize, they
might decide to quit planting the crop if better
alternatives present themselves.


Table 8. Yield, grain price, and production costs by sub-district, Thailand.

Study site Yield (t/ha) Grain price (baht/kg) Production costs (baht/kg) Net profit (baht/ha)
Central Plains- opburi
Chai Badan, Chai Badan 3.37 3.26 3.27 842.4
Pattananikom, Pattananikom 2.95 3.12 3.53 -354.4
Chon Noi, Pattananikom 4.44 3.41 2.68 3,240.3
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari 4.34 3.36 2.60 3,296.0
Wang Koi, Pisari 3.60 3.57 3.51 2,017.4
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa 3.90 3.46 2.60 3,359.4
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa 4.60 3.41 2.30 5,110.9
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai 3.75 2.99 2.75 1,274.6
Bua Wattana, Nong Pai 3.61 3.31 3.55 469.8
Chon Dan, Chon Dan 3.83 2.98 3.91 957.8
Ta Kam, Chon Dan 3.79 3.54 2.62 3,486.3
Upper North-Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung 4.20 3.34 3.12 1,008.9
Ngaw, Teung 5.10 3.47 2.46 3,582.0
Lower Northeast-Nakorn Ratchaseema
PakChong, PakChong 4.46 3.72 2.62 4,910.8
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 3.54 3.62 3.42 707.6
Huay Bong, Dan Khun Tod 3.27 3.74 3.61 424.6
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod 3.14 4.07 3.60 1,478.1
Upper Northeast-Loei
Nam Suay, Muang 3.18 4.03 3.25 2,480.9
Na Din Dum, Muang 3.84 4.07 3.13 3,614.9
Dan Sai, Dan Sai 2.18 4.24 5.10 762.8
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai 2.06 4.58 4.00 1,193.4
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT RRA/PRA Surveys, Thailand, 1998-99.











3. Maize Production Trends and Systems


3.1 Maize Production Trends

During the production year 1997/98, Thailand
produced 3.83 million tons of maize from 1.4 million
ha (Office of Agricultural Economics, 1999). Using
geographic information system tools to study land
suitability for maize at the district and provincial
levels, a study found that some 14.6 million ha
(28.6%) of all areas in Thailand was suitable for
growing maize (Office of Agricultural Economics,
2000). Maize is currently planted in 1.3-1.4 million
ha, yet the 2000 study found that 4.4 million ha
were suitable for growing the crop. This indicates
that Thailand has the land potential to expand its
maize area by another three million ha, although the
potential success of growing maize on this land will,
of course, depend on both biophysical and
socioeconomic conditions.

Maize area in Thailand declined from about 1.8
million ha in 1990 to stabilize at around 1.2 million
ha today. Low maize grain prices and high
production costs are the major reasons for the
decline. Some areas in Chiang Rai (Upper North)
now plant only one maize crop a year, when before
they grew two. In Nakorn Ratchaseema (Lower
Northeast), Phetchabun (Lower North), and Loei
(Upper Northeast), some maize areas are now
planted to fruit trees. In Sra Kaew province (Central
Plains), some maize farmers have switched to
sugarcane and cassava (Appendix, Table 5). In Tak
(Upper North) farmers continue to grow maize, but
only because there are no good crop substitutes. In
Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai, maize area slightly
increased in the last couple of years with the
adoption of hybrid maize. Chiang Dao farmers,
however, have small farms planted to a variety of
crops; hence, the increase in maize area was not
substantial. In general, farmers' decisions to continue
maize cultivation depend heavily on favorable maize
grain prices compared to those of competing crops.
As of 2001, the maize area in Thailand was stable at
around 7 million rai (1.2 million ha) (Figure 6).


Several studies have looked at maize production and its
general constraints. Saran and Sanit (1997) found that the
majority (63.7%) of maize farmers in Pak Chong district,
Nakorn Ratchaseema (Lower Northeast), tended to
maintain the same farm size over time due to land and
labor constraints, while 19% tended to reduce theirs due
to high production costs. A range of factors was found to
constrain increased maize production, including drought
or extended dry spells, soil degradation, high input
(fertilizers, maize seed), low grain prices, and unfair
treatment from grain merchants (Saran and Sanit, 1997;
Tipatorn et al., 1994; Mullika and Bumpen, 1997).



3.2 Maize Production Systems

3.2.1 Major farm enterprises
Thai farmers usually plant maize as their major farm
enterprise. In addition, most maize is grown in the
uplands, where there is limited opportunity to pursue any
other enterprise. Some minor or secondary crops can be
grown either before or after maize, but they would
provide an even lower income than maize. Other sources,
including wage employment, contribute about 30% of
maize farmers' incomes.


6-

5- Production (M tons)

4-?

3- i

A
2- /. l a
/ V ~ Planted area M ha)
1-



1966 70 74 78 82 86 90 94 98

Figure 6. Maize area and production, Thailand, 1966-2000.











3.2.2 Crops and cropping patterns

Most maize areas surveyed in this study had two
cropping seasons, but only six (out of 31) sub-districts
planted maize in both seasons. In most of the Lower
Northeast, Upper Northeast, and some parts of the
Lower North, farmers planted only one crop of maize
per year during the early rainy season from April to June
(Table 9). In Ngaw sub-district, Chiang Rai, dry season
maize was planted after wet season paddy rice. In Loei
province (Upper Northeast), farmers planted only one
crop of maize in the rainy season, but some would plant
it between rows of fruit trees. Some farmers also
integrated maize into young banana plantations, or
rotated it with cassava. In Kamphangphet (Lower
North), farmers planted the first maize crop in the early
rainy season, followed by second and third maize crops
when there was sufficient water. In Uthai Thani (Lower
North) and a few other areas, maize is grown in the late
rainy season (Figure 7).


Province


After maize, Central Plains and Lower North farmers
commonly plant sunflower, sorghum, or mung bean,
and Upper North farmers grow groundnut, black bean,
or garlic. In Phichit (Lower North), farmers grow dry
season irrigated maize after their wet season paddy
rice, a practice that is being promoted by the District
Agricultural Office. Other crops grown after maize
include soybean, chili, cotton, cassava, Job's tears, and
rice-beans.

In Chiang Mai (Upper North), farmers plant both maize
and groundnut in the early and late rainy seasons.
Maize is less risky than groundnut but is grown
primarily to feed backyard animals because its market
price is often low and unprofitable. Groundnut,
meanwhile, tends to have more variable yields but
better prices.

To fully exploit field moisture and shorten growth
periods, farmers sometimes plant the new crop while
maize is still standing in the fields. This was observed
especially in late season rice, beans, cotton, and
mung bean.


Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb


Chiang Rai Maize Groundnut & kidney beans

Maize(1MiMaize (2)

Chiang Mai Groundnut (1) Groundnut (2)

Upland rice

Tak Maize Mung bean

Petchabun Maize Mung bean

Uthai Thani
Maize
Loei Upland rice

Nakorn Maize (1) Maize (2)
Ratchaseema
Kamphangpet Maize (1) Maiz(2)

Nakornsawan Maize Sunflower
Maize

Pichit Maize (1) Maize (2)


Lopburi Maize Sunflower

Maize (1) Maize (2)

Sra Keaw Cotton
Sunflower

Figure 7. Maize-based cropping systems in Phase I and Phase II study sites, Thailand.











Table 9. Maize-based cropping patterns in selected regions,
Thailand.
Major cropping Minor cropping
Location pattern pattern


Central Plains
Lop Buri
Chai Badan, Chai Badan
Pattananikom, Pattananikom
Chon Noi, Pattananikom
Sra Kaew
Thai Udom, Klong Had


Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari
Wang Koi, Pisari
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai
Bua Wattana, Nong Pai
Chon Dan, Chon Dan
Ta Kam, Chon Dan
Budhabhat, Chon Dan

Kamphangphet
Na Po Kam, Muang
Nong Pling
Pichit
Nong Sano, Sam Ngam

Uthai Thani
Muang Karung, Ban Rai

Upper North
Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung
Ngaw, Teung
Huay Saw, Chiang Khong

Tak
Chong Kap, Pop Pra

Chiang Mai
Muang Na, Chiang Dao


Lower Northeast
Nakorn Ratchaseema
Pak Chong, Pak Chong
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong
Wang Kra Ta, Pak Chong

Huay Bong, Dan KhunTod
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod
Upper Northeast
Loei
Nam Suay, Muang
Na Din Dum, Muang
Dan Sai, Dan Sai
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai
Wang Yao, Dan Sai


Maize-sunflower
Maize-sunflower
Maize-sunflower

Maize-maize;
maize-cotton;
maize-sunflower


Maize-sunflower
Maize-sorghum
Maize
Maize

Maize-mung bean
Maize-mung bean
Maize-mung bean
Maize
Maize


Maize-maize, banana
Maize, cassava

Maize-maize
Paddy rice-maize

Maize



Maize-maize
Paddy rice-maize
Maize
Maize and fruit trees

Maize-mung bean


Maize-sorghum
Maize
Maize-sorghum

Maize-soybean;
maize-mung bean



Maize-chili
Maize
Maize-sunflower
Maize-sunflower


Maize
Maize

Maize-mung bean;
maize-black bean

Maize-maize-maize
Mung bean

Maize-maize-maize


Maize, paddy rice (in
lowlands); maize, fruit trees


Maize
Maize
Maize-groundnut;
maize-black bean; maize-maize

Maize; maize-garlic; maize/
groundnut intercropped


Maize, upland rice, groundnut, vegetables in the early
rainy season
Groundnut, maize, vegetables in the late rainy season


Maize
Maize-maize
Maize-maize

Maize
Maize


Maize
Maize
Maize
Maize
Maize, upland rice


Maize-maize
Maize
Mung bean-maize; maize and
fruit trees
Maize-cassava



Maize <-> fruit orchards
Maize <-> fruit orchards
Maize-mung bean
Maize-groundnut
Maize-rice-beans;
maize-rice-beans;
upland rice-rice-beans;
maize-Job's tears


Fruit trees were the primary competing crops of maize,
especially in highland areas such as Chiang Rai and Tak
(Upper North), Loei (Upper Northeast), and Phetchabun
(Lower North), where maize yields and grain prices
were quite low. Fruit trees grown include lychee,
longan, tamarind, and mango. While government
extension officials promoted these fruit trees, only a
few farmers actually adopted them because of capital
and irrigation constraints. Farmers who grew fruit trees
struggled with lack of irrigation water and consequent
poor yield levels.

Growing fruit trees in the rainfed uplands is recognized
as an ecologically sound practice, but there are still
practical problems such as the identification of suitable
species and varieties, and there is also concern that fruit
tree based land use systems can be jeopardized if not
carefully planned with sufficient technical support. To
date, fruit trees are not yet widely adopted in the
rainfed uplands of Thailand, and farmers were found to
have limited options to switch from maize to other
crops.

In the Central Plains and Lower North lowland areas
(e.g., Sra Kaew and Uthai Thani provinces), sugarcane
and cassava were the crops competing with maize.
Physically, farmers could switch to the two competing
crops. Sugarcane requires a large area, high capital, and
good market outlets, which were often controlled by a
sugarcane mill. Cassava requires less capital than
sugarcane, but has a low output price, similar to that of
maize. Consequently, lowland farmers still preferred to
plant maize because it is easy to grow, has a short
growing cycle, and the grain can be stored for higher
prices. Both sugarcane and cassava need to be sold
right after harvest.



3.2.3 Maize cropping calendar

In Thailand, the first crop of maize is usually grown in
May. Land preparation and sowing begins in April/May
after the first rain, and harvesting is done beginning in
August and through September. The second maize crop
starts in September and ends by December. The rainy
season starts in April and lasts until October, after which
there is very little rain. The second season of maize gets
only a few weeks of rain, and crop production is often
subject to high risk of drought. Farmers harvest their
product dry in the fields in either December or January.

The third maize season, from January to April, is only
possible in paddy fields with irrigation. Since only a
limited area can be planted with third season maize,
the small output often fetches a relatively high price.


Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Surveys 1998-99 and 2000.











3.2.4 Maize varieties grown and farmer
preferences

In 1999/2000, only 4 of the 218 farmer-respondents
(barely 2%) across 24 sites in 8 provinces were still
growing OPV maize. These four respondents reported
having temporarily switched from hybrids to OPV
maize due to lack of farming capital to purchase
(single-cross) hybrid seed, which is four to six times
more expensive than OPV seed (Table 10). CPDK 888
was the most popular single-cross hybrid variety,
followed by C919 and C717 from Cargill group. CPDK
888 is better harvested when dry in the field, while
both C919 and C717 mature early and give good fresh
grain weight. A few farmers planted Novartis and
Pioneer hybrids.

Across all survey sites, maize farmers, even those who
only grow the crop for household animal feed,
preferred hybrid seed from private companies. They
specifically preferred maize varieties with high yield
potential and good grain weight (Table 11). Cropping
patterns determine the characteristics of the maize
varieties that farmers will plant. If farmers grow late
rainy season maize followed by early rainy season
maize, for the first season they prefer early maturing
varieties that will give good fresh grain weight. If
farmers will not be planting any crop following maize,
they choose a variety with good dry grain weight.

In many sites, maize farmers also try to grow new
hybrids as recommended by seed company salesmen
and BAAC officials. Farmers stop using the new
hybrids when the crop fails. New hybrids that
performed satisfactorily were used repeatedly,
sometimes for up to 10 years, until farmers found new
or better ones. For instance, CPDK 888 has been in the
market for more than 10 years, and farmers reported
that its seed quality is seen to be declining. Farmers
felt that the seed quality of such expensive varieties
ought to be maintained through time. In some


instances, farmers stated a preference for hybrids that
were released earlier and have since become
unavailable on the market.

In general, maize farmers prefer to buy and plant
reasonably priced seed that produce early maturing,
high yielding hybrids with large ears and good grain
color. More specifically, farmers like their maize plants
to yield two or three big pods with large grains and
small well-filled ears. Other farmer-identified
characteristics desired in a maize plant included high
germination rate, good plant height, drought tolerance,
insect and disease resistance/tolerance, resistance to
lodging, and ease of harvesting (Table 12; see also
Benjavan, 1996, and Tippatorn, 1994). Farmers also
look for good fresh weight in early maturing varieties,
and good dry weight for the late maturing ones. Some
farmers also reported planting government subsidized
hybrids, while still others chose hybrids with cheaper
seed to lower their maize production costs.

Table 11. Maize varieties commonly planted by farmers
and reasons for their adoption, Thailand, 2000.

Commonly grown
maize varieties Reasons farmers chose a variety
C333 Promoted by government extension officials (no longer
planted)(Muang Karung, Ban Rai district Uthai Thani)
C717 Good grain yield and color; cheap seed; small ears; easy to harvest
C727 Suitable for the soil (Central Plains)
C919 Good/high yields and fresh grain weight; good grain color; early
maturing; easy to harvest; small ears
C949 High yield; good grain color; small ears; easy to harvest
CPDK 888 Good/high yield; suitable for the soil (Upper North, Lower North);
healthy plants; drought tolerant; good dry grain weight; can be
harvested dry; produces two ears per plant; no lodging
CPDK 989 High yield/good weight; drought tolerant; no lodging; suitable for the
soil (Lower North, Central Plains)
CPDK 999 High yield; suitable for the soil (Upper North)
Pioneer 3012 Promoted by government extension officials (Thai Udom, Klong Had
district Sra Kaew)
White glutinous maize Used for home consumption
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Surveys, 2000.


Table 10. Hybrid and open pollinated varieties (OPVs) used by maize farmers and their seed
prices in Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1998-99.
Farmer-respondents Maize seed price (baht/kg)
Maize seed type Number % of total Minimum Maximum Mean Standard deviation
Single-cross hybrids 265 97.8
CPDK888 141 52.0 50 100 82.5 8.54
Cargill 717 14 5.2 67 80 73.7 5.07
Cargill 919 51 18.8 45 110 83.4 11.29
Pioneer 22 8.1 49 98 81.1 15.05
Pacific 7 2.5 28 72 43.3 24.44
Novartis 301 11.1 49 90 74.6 14.07
OPV maize 6 2.2 15 15 15.0 --
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Surveys 1999-2000.
122 farmers in tambon Ngaw (Upper North) planted these in the dry season.
Note: Percentages shown in this table are not a result of a random representation of all maize farmers in Thailand and should be used with care.











Table 12. Characteristics of maize varieties most desired by
farmers, Thailand, 2000.
Farmer-identified Farmer-respondents
maize characteristics Number %
Lower seed prices 133 61.0
High yield 38 17.4
Drought tolerance 23 10.6
Good quality 18 8.3
Insect pest resistance 17 7.8
High germination rate 15 6.9
Early maturity 8 3.7
Seeds can be kept for another season 4 1.8
Other (good shape, size, color, easy to harvest) 15 6.9
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 2000.


3.2.5 Land preparation and crop
management practices

Table 13 summarizes the farm operations and practices
found in the eight sub-districts surveyed during the
Phase II study. For some areas surveyed, land
preparation consisted of land clearing, burning crop
residues, and tillage by tractors. Land clearing and
burning of crop residues were often done in February-
March, and tillage was mostly done in April, just before


sowing. All survey sites used large tractors for land
preparation-tilling the soil twice in the plains and once
on sloping lands. Soil tillage was done less frequently
in sloping areas because it exposes the land to soil
erosion and is more costly. In the uplands of Uthai
Thani (Lower North), farmers had small farms, which
they tilled twice, first with large tractors and then with
their own small tractors.

In Phase I, 15 of the 24 survey areas were using
mechanical seeders to plant maize, especially on large
farms in the Lower North, Lower Northeast, and
Central Plains Regions. These seeders are of many
types: some allow combined seeding and fertilizer
application, some are attached to a two-wheel tractor,
and still others can be attached to large four-wheel
tractors. In Ta Kam sub-district in Chon Dan,
Phetchabun (Lower North) a mechanical seeder
attached to a two-wheel tractor was used, while in
smaller farms of eight sub-districts in the Upper North,
Upper Northeast, and Lower North Regions, maize was
planted using manual labor (Table 13).

Planting is done from mid-April to early May for the
early rainy season, and in July for the late rainy season.
In Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai (Upper North) and in


Table 13. Operations and practices used in maize production, Thailand, 2000.

Huay Saw, Chong Kap, Budhabhat, Muang Karung, Wang Yao, Wang Kra Ta, Thai Udom, Muang Na,
Chiang Rai Tak Phetchabun Uthai Thani Loei N. Ratchaseema Sra Kaew Chiang Mai
Land preparation
Land clearance Slash & burn of Plow crop Plow crop Slash & burn of Slash & burn of Plow crop Burn Slash & burn of
crop residues residues under residues under crop residues crop residues residues under residues crop residues
Tillage operations (No.) 1-2 1 2 3-4 1 2 2 1
Planting method
Manual V V V V
Seeder with tractor V V V -
Seed rate (kg/ha) 15.6-21.9 15.6-18.9 18.9-23.0 18.9-21.9 17.5-21.9 15.6-20.0 15.6-20.6 18.8-21.9
Plant spacing (cm) na' 30 x 80 25 x 75 20 x 70 75 x 75 na na 25 x 80
Weeding
Weeder with small tractor -
Pre-emergence -
Post-emergence
Fertilizer use
No. of times applied 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 1
Timing of fertilizer During 20-30 days 1sduring sowing 1stduring sowing During 1s during sowing; 1st during sowing; 1st 45-60 days
application sowing after sowing or -20 days after; or -20 days after; sowing 2"'45-60 days 2"d45-60 days after sowing
2nd45-60 days 2n 45-60 days or -20 days after sowing after sowing
after sowing after sowing after
Fertilizer type 46-0-0 16-20-0 15-15-15 15-15-15 16-20-20 16-20-0 46-0-0 46-0-0
46-0-0 16-20-0 46-0-0 15-15-15
46-0-0
Rate of fertilizer use (kg/ha) 150 220 250-375 250-375 125-150 300-375 250-375 100-300
Harvest method Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual
Exchange labor
Hired labor V V V
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 2000.
na = not available.










Loei (Upper Northeast), where maize areas are
somewhat sloping and farms are small, maize was still
planted manually with exchange farm labor. In other
sites, planting was done using a planter fixed to a small
tractor.

Farmers planted their maize at distances of either 25-30
x 75-80 cm or 75-80 x 75-80 cm, using around 19-22
kg/ha of seed, with 2-3 seeds/hill. Seed rate tended to
be greater when maize was planted manually than
when a mechanical seeder (normal seed rate: 2 seeds/
hill) was used. Some farmers replanted spaces where
seeds did not germinate and thinned to allow at least
one to two plants per hill one month after sowing in
case of drought.

In Chiang Rai (Upper North), Kamphaengphet and
Phichit (Lower North), farmers had access to irrigation
water pumped from rivers, reservoirs, or deep wells.
They would irrigate three to four times per season, i.e.,
once before sowing and at 20, 50, and 70 days after
sowing. Farmers reported having better yields yet
higher fuel costs with irrigation. In total, the average
net profit of rainy season maize production (2,187.50
baht/ha) was lower than that during the dry season
(3,556 baht/ha).

Weed control was reportedly more important than
insect and disease control in maize cultivation in
Thailand. Farmers would spray pre-emergence
herbicide after planting and do mechanical weeding
when the maize plants were about 30-40 days old.
Mechanical weeding was sometimes done
simultaneously with the second round of fertilizer
application. Post-emergence herbicide was also used
when weeds were occasionally abundant.

Across Thailand, mechanization of farm operations is
becoming a necessity for maize farmers, especially for
land preparation, sowing, fertilizer application, and
weeding. Small trucks are also used for transporting
farm inputs and output. Mechanized land preparation,
however, leads to soil erosion on sloping land, and
maize cultivation in such areas may not be sustainable
in the long term. Farmers recognize this production
constraint but report that they unfortunately have very
few means to combat it.



3.2.6 Labor use

In order of magnitude, harvesting, weeding, manual
sowing/planting, and fertilizer application required the
most labor in maize production. Larger farms usually
use family and hired labor, while smaller farms, such as
those in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai (Upper North) and


Loei (Upper Northeast), used only family and exchange
labor. Hired labor in general was paid 80-120 baht/
person-day; labor for herbicide application was paid at
80-100 baht/rai, while that for harvesting was paid 20-
25 baht/sack of maize ears harvested.

In all sites, men and women farmers helped each other
in maize production. The men prepared the land and
carried/transported farm inputs and outputs. They also
drove small tractors during crop establishment
(planting), while the women planted the seed and
applied fertilizers. In some sites, women farmers would
do more manual planting, weeding, and harvesting
than the men. But the men would help the women
carry and handle the sacks of maize grain.



3.2.7 Material input use

Thai farmers planted maize using an average seeding
rate of 16.9 kg/ha (Table 14). About 52.3% of the
farmer-respondents seeded maize at 12.5-18.8 kg/ha,
and about 25% of maize farmers, mostly from
Phetchabun and Nakom Ratchaseema, seeded at a rate
higher than 18.8 kg/ha to protect against low seed
germination.

The most popular fertilizers used in maize production
were ammonium phosphate (16-20-0), urea (46-0-0),
and complete fertilizer (15-15-15). More than 65% of
farmer-respondents used either ammonium phosphate
or urea, and 30% of them used complete fertilizer.
Farmers applied fertilizers either once or twice in maize
production. For a one-time application, fertilizers were
applied at 20 days after sowing, but most farmers
applied fertilizers twice. The first fertilizer application
was done simultaneously with sowing, using a
mechanical seeder. The second application was done
either at flowering or 45-60 days after sowing.
Fertilizers were placed next to the maize plants without
soil cover. In Uthai Thani (Lower North), two-wheel
tractors were used to cover the fertilizers with soil.
Where maize is sown manually, farmers applied
fertilizers either at planting or 20 days after sowing.

Farmers fertilized their maize at a range of 100-375 kg/
ha with an average of 215 kg/ha. Of the farmer-
respondents, 40% fertilized at 125-250 kg/ha, and 26%
at 250-375 kg/ha. Farmers in Loei province fertilized at
the lowest rate (125-187.5 kg/ha), while those in
Nakorn Ratchaseema applied the highest (300-375 kg/
ha). On average, the recommended fertilizer application
rate was 187.5-312.5 kg/ha. On average, Thai maize
farmers applied 57.8 kg/ha of nitrogen, 25.6 kg/ha of
phosphorus, and 5.4 kg/ha of potassium (Table 14).











Richer maize farmers in traditional maize growing areas
such as Phetchabun and Uthai Thani (Lower North) and
Nakorn Ratchaseema (Lower Northeast) applied a
higher rate of fertilizer than the other farmers did. All
farmer-respondents claimed that higher maize yield
would not be possible without chemical fertilizers, but
concurrently recognized the decline of soil fertility with
continuous maize cropping.



3.2.8 Harvest and post-harvest practices

In all surveyed villages, maize harvesting was done
manually using family, exchange, and hired labor.
Harvesting teams were contracted from outside the
villages, sometimes coming from as far as other
provinces or regions. Many Northeasterners made their
living harvesting maize, making 20-25 baht/sack of
maize ears. When the maize ears were too hard to
separate from the plant, laborers asked for higher
wages, causing farmers to avoid such maize hybrids.
Farmer-respondents reported that the labor costs for
harvesting was a substantial economic factor in maize
production. In Teung sub-district, Chiang Rai, and Dan



Table 14. Seed and fertilizer use in farmers' maize fields,
Thailand, 1998-1999.
Seed Total Equivalent nutrients
rate fertilizer (kg/ha)
Survey site (kg/ha) rate (kg/ha) N P K
Central Plains-topburi
Chai Badan, Chai Badan 14.8 175.0 38.1 23.8 11.3
Pattananikom, Pattananikom 14.9 201.3 47.5 27.2 9.8
Chon Noi, Pattananikom 16.8 210.6 71.3 12.8 9.4
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari 16.8 316.9 91.9 34.9 2.0
Wang Koi, Pisari 17.7 296.9 85.6 34.0 -
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa 17.1 240.0 59.4 32.5 5.0
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa 15.1 263.8 70.6 32.4 2.9
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai 18.2 179.4 54.4 18.1 1.9
Bua Wattana, Nong Pai 19.8 320.6 108.8 26.3 -
Chon Dan, Chon Dan 19.5 301.9 85.6 35.9 -
Ta Kam, Chon Dan 21.0 168.8 35.6 28.1 -
Upper North-Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung 19.4 168.8 55.6 14.3 0.8
Ngaw, Teung 14.7 288.8 92.5 26.6 2.2
Lower Northeast-Nakorn Ratchaseema
PakChong, PakChong 20.0 339.4 101.9 36.4 2.6
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 18.2 181.3 61.3 34.9 2.0
Huay Bong, Dan Khun Tod 20.0 188.1 31.3 22.5 19.6
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod 15.3 225.6 44.4 36.9 5.5
Upper Northeast-toei
Nam Suay, Muang 17.3 176.3 49.4 20.6 15.0
Na Din Dum, Muang 19.1 189.4 35.0 28.8 15.0
Dan Sai, Dan Sai 11.2 106.3 20.0 17.0 7.0
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai 13.6 152.5 24.4 23.6 7.9
All sites 16.9 215.0 57.8 25.6 5.4
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 1999-2000.


Sai sub-district, Loei, farm sizes were small, and
exchange labor was used to harvest maize, thereby
reducing cash costs.

Maize was harvested in one of two ways, depending on
whether another maize crop would follow or not.
Farmers who grew a second maize crop harvested the
first in July right after maturity, when the fresh grains
still had 20-30% moisture content ("wet"). Maize
harvested this way had to be sold immediately even at
low prices because fungi attacks the fresh grain when
stored. Farmers reported that maize weight would be
very much reduced if stored, such that the higher prices
obtained at a later date might not cover the loss of
income due to the lower grain weight. Farmers also felt
that storage requires additional grain handling and
management.

Meanwhile, farmers who grew only one maize crop left
the plants to dry in the field until harvest in September,
October, or even November. Maize grains were then
harvested "dry" (15-20% moisture content). Some
farmers sold the grain immediately after harvest, and
others kept the grain in storage barns while waiting for
better prices. Most farmers had their own storage barns.

Most maize farmers did not keep their output and
instead immediately sold it, especially grain harvested
in the rainy season. This practice allowed farmers to
avoid the post-harvest aflatoxin problem. The grain,
however, had high moisture content and was often sold
at low farm gate prices. A few farmers kept their "wet"
grain in sacks in storage sheds, but aflatoxin often set in.
Most farmers sold their grain to merchants after milling
with a machine that was also contracted from
merchants. The mill is hauled to the village, where
milling is done immediately after harvest. The
merchants dried and stored the milled grain in their
silos. Large feed mill companies to whom merchants
sold the grain also stored it in their facilities. As most
maize is now consumed domestically, people no longer
consider aflatoxin a major problem.



3.2.9 Yields and reasons for the yield gap

In 1999, the national average maize yield in Thailand
was 2.74 t/ha, with early and late rainy season average
yields of 2.72 t/ha and 2.88 t/ha, respectively (Office of
Agricultural Economics, 1999). This national average
yield was considered quite low, considering that 87% of
farmers use private sector hybrid seed (mostly single-
cross). In 2000, the national average maize yield
increased to 3.49 t/ha (Office of Agricultural Economics,
2000), although actual yield levels varied by production
area (Table 15).











In this study, maize yields across all surveyed sites
averaged about 3.66 t/ha, with about 87 maize farmers
(40%) producing 3.13-4.69 t/ha, and 34 (15%)
harvesting 4.69-6.25 t/ha. Eleven (5%) of the farmer-
respondents obtained at least 6.25 t/ha, but 21 (10%)
obtained an unusually low yield of less than 1.88 t/ha.
Another 65 (30%) of the farmer-respondents obtained a
relatively low yield of 1.88-3.13 t/ha. A comparison
across seasons shows that the average dry season
maize (irrigated) yield was the highest, at 4.97 t/ha
(Appendix, Table 6a), while the average early rainy
season maize yield was 3.52 t/ha, and the late rainy
season average was 3.75 t/ha (Appendix, Table 6b).

In terms of fresh yield (>30% moisture content), farmers
in the study sites obtained 800-900 kg/rai (5.0-5.6 t/
ha), except in Huay Saw sub-district, Chiang Khong,
Chiang Rai (Upper North), where fresh yields were only
500-600 kg/rai (3.1-3.7 t/ha). Farmers in Huay Saw
sub-district apply fertilizer only once and only one kind


Table 15. Average hybrid maize yield levels in different
locations, Thailand.
Production Hybrid maize
Location period yield (t/ha) Reference
Upper North Region 1994 4.30 Tipatorn etal., 1994
Nakorn Sawan (Lower North) 1994 3.67 Benjavan, 1996
Phetchabun, Chiang Rai and 1996/97 4.06-5.31 Mallika and
Chaiyaphum (paddy areas) Bumpen, 1997
Pak Chong, Nakorn Ratchaseema 1997 2.96 (early rainy) Saran and Sanit, 1997
(Lower Northeast) 2.91 (late rainy)
Pak Chong, Nakorn Ratchaseema 2000 4.08 (early rainy) Saran and Sanit, 2001
(Lower Northeast) 4.19 (late rainy)
Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai 2000 5.60 Surasak, 2000
(Upper North)


Table 16. Maize yield and disposal, Thailand, 2000.
Region/Sub-district Maize yield (t/ha)
(District/Province) Minimum Maximum Average Sa
Commercial maize production areas
Upper North
Huay Saw (Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai) 1.56 7.50 3.1-3.751 10
Chiong Kap (Pop Pra, Tak) 1.69 6.90 4.90
Lower North
Budhabhat (Chon Dan, Phetchabun) 4.37 8.75 5.0-5.60 / 1
Muang Karung (Ban Rai, Uthai Thani) 0.88 6.66 4.37 1I
Upper Northeast
Wang Yao (Dan Sai, Loei) 1.25 4.88 2.5-3.10 10
Lower Northeast
Wang Kra Ta (Pak Chong, Nakorn Ratchaseema) 3.10 7.50 5.00
Central Plains
Thai Udom (Klong Had, Sra Kaew) 3.10 9.37 5.62 / 1
Semi-commercial maize production areas
Upper North
Muang Na (Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai)b 1.25 5.62 3.1-3.75


of fertilizer over the years. Maize growing areas that
have grown maize repeatedly for some 20 years show
soil fertility problems (Table 16).

When farmers harvested their maize dry, yields were
lower, about 400-800 kg/rai (2.5-5.0 t/ha). In Wang Yao
sub-district, Loei (Upper Northeast) and Muang Na sub-
district, Chiang Mai (Upper North), for example, yields
were rather low at 400-500 or 500-600 kg/rai (2.5-3.75
t/ha), for reasons similar to those in Chiang Rai
(mentioned above). Farmers applied fertilizers only
once, used the same kind repeatedly, and used a low
fertilizer rate of application. In Wang Yao, farmers had
termite and rat problems while drying maize in the field
and during storage in the barns.

In contrast, farmers in Muang Karung sub-district, Uthai
Thani (Lower North) and Wang Kra Ta sub-district,
Nakorn Ratchaseema (Lower Northeast), applied
fertilizers twice and used more than one kind of
fertilizer. Farmers in Chiong Kap sub-district, Tak (Upper
North), applied fertilizer only once but used a high rate
and more than one kind of fertilizer together.

In seven out of eight study sites in Phase II, farmers sold
all their maize to merchants and did not keep any for
home use or for seed. In Muang Karung sub-district,
Uthai Thani, some farmers collected fallen (leftover)
maize grain in the fields for chicken feed. In Chiong Kap
sub-district, Tak and Wang Kra Ta sub-district, Nakorn
Ratchaseema, a few farmers kept some low-quality
maize grain for pig feed. Farmers said that hybrid maize
gave them higher yields, and the high output allowed
them to keep some grain as animal feed after they sold
the majority. In Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai, hill
farmers normally plant yellow maize for
animal feed, leaving the remaining
output for sale. In the last three years,
however, hill farmers switched to hybrid
Use (%) maize and enjoyed higher yields, so they
ale Home use changed their cropping patterns. Early
rainy season maize was planted for the
market, and only a small proportion of
00 seed was kept for planting in the late
95 5
rainy season or the following year. In the
00 late rainy season, when only 30% of the
00 land was planted to maize, harvested
grain was used for animal feed.
00

)5 5

30


80 20


Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 2000.
Fresh grain price at 30-40% moisture content. The rest was dry grain price.
b In Muang Na sub-district, Chiang Mai, early rainy season grain was sold, and late rainy season grain was used for animal feed.











4. Constraints to Increasing Maize

Production Growth









4.1 Biotic and Abiotic Constraints 4.1.1 Major maize pests and diseases


Farmer-respondents in the Phase I study reported
drought and dry spells as the most important problem
during the 1998-99 production year. Drought was
especially damaging to maize plants when occurring
after planting or during flowering. In other years, there
was too much rain, and this variability in climatic
conditions adversely affected maize yields. Other maize
production constraints reported included insect and
pest problems. Farmer-respondents also complained
about low yields and high seed costs (Table 17).

In Chiang Mai, Surasak (2000) found that agricultural
extension, farmer education and skill enhancement,
expansion of credit, and good supervision of such
credit (in addition to farm size and climatic conditions)
contributed to better efficiency in maize production.
Better and faster transfer of general and market
information was another important factor in the
promotion of efficient maize farming, underscoring the
necessity for improving farm infrastructure and
management.




Table 17. Reported biotic and abiotic constraints to maize
cultivation, Phase I, Thailand, 1998-1999.
No. of farmers Percent of all
Maize production constraint reporting surveyed farmers
Drought/dry spells 136 62.4
Insects and pests 63 28.9
Diseases 55 25.2
Low output prices 49 22.5
High seed prices 46 21.1
Too much rain in certain periods 31 14.2
Low soil fertility 27 12.4
High fertilizer costs 21 9.6
Labor scarcity in some periods 20 9.2
Rats 17 7.8
Other 22 10.1
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 1999-2000.


Major diseases and pests identified by farmers included
downy mildew, rust, rats, and stem borers, although
maize is more tolerant to diseases than other upland
crops. About 28.9% of farmer-respondents reported
insect and pest problems in their maize crop, and
25.2% of them reported disease problems (Table 17).



4.1.2 Soil fertility and crop management

Although most farmers use single-cross hybrids, maize
yields are still low because of poor soil fertility. Some
farmers cannot apply appropriate fertilizer levels
because of limited farming capital, again causing low
maize yields. Labor scarcity also causes problems of
inadequate crop care. It is interesting to note, however,
that farmers refuse to use low cost hybrid or OPV seed,
even when they cannot use enough fertilizer to realize
the potential of their preferred hybrid maize. Regardless
of whether their refusal is due to ignorance or simple
preference, it does lead to high maize production costs.

Soil erosion and soil infertility are the main problems in
highland areas and sloping land, making it important to
introduce soil technologies such as land conservation,
crop rotation, and soil improvement methods such as
incorporation of green manure crops, to farmers in
these areas.

In these marginal areas, it is also important to improve
yield and reduce production costs to increase farm
profits. Some farmer practices can be improved to help
reduce maize production costs. For example, planting
methods can be adjusted to economize on seed use.
Minimum tillage should also be developed as a
conservation farming practice to enhance soil fertility
and stabilize maize production systems.










4.2 Institutional Constraints

4.2.1 Information constraints
Agricultural extension/information dissemination
services in the Thai Government system require
improvements in quality and extent, especially to reach
marginal and remote areas. It is important to provide
farmers in these areas with information on the
government's annual alternative or assistance programs
such as the Good Seeds Program and Price Support
Program. The availability of services and information
from BAAC is very different for better-off and marginal
farmers, and poor infrastructure facilities aggravate the
difference in access to information. BAAC staff work in
close-to-town areas more than in remote and less
accessible areas; thus farmers in close-to-town areas
have more access to services and information.



4.2.2 Labor and material inputs supply
constraints

Farmers lamented that prices of maize production
inputs (seed, fertilizer, tractor hire, harvest labor) have
been increasing through the years, while output prices
have either remained the same or decreased, resulting
in lower farm profits, especially for farmers in remote
areas. Because of distance from markets, these farmers
pay more for their inputs and receive less for their
product. Poor and marginal, they are the first to quit
maize cultivation when profits diminish or disappear. Of
all inputs, harvest labor is the top expenditure, followed
by fertilizers, tractor hire, and seed.



4.2.3 Credit sources and constraints
Almost all farmer-respondents in Phases I and II
depended on short-term loans for maize production,
because their own capital was usually not sufficient for
their farm production and home consumption needs.
Planting, fertilizer application, and harvesting are the
production stages when farmers need the most capital.
The two most important sources of farm credit were the
Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives
(BAAC) and the merchants (usually seed and
agricultural input suppliers). BAAC provided low-
interest, short-term 30,000 baht production loans,
which farmers often found inadequate. Farmers also
reported that BAAC services were not as good or
convenient as those provided by merchants. In 2001,
the Thai government initiated a BAAC program of a
three-year debt moratorium, but its benefits to maize
farmers are yet to be seen.


Farmers supplemented inadequate BAAC credit with
loans from merchants who charge higher interest rates.
Merchants extended two types of credit: cash credit
and in-kind farm input credit. Maize farmers commonly
took the in-kind farm input credit, even though inputs
were often more expensive than those bought on the
market. In this case, farmers are obliged to sell their
output to merchants (who also provide threshing
facilities) and repay all loans immediately after maize
harvest. Normally, net settlements are made at the time
of threshing and output sale. A high interest rate of 5%
per month was charged for cash loans and if loans were
paid late. Poor farmers, however, could not borrow
from merchants due to their lack of credit worthiness.
Local merchants established close relationships with
farmers by providing all kinds of assistance related to
family welfare. High-interest loans from merchants,
however, further reduced maize farmers' small profits.

When maize grain prices are low, farmers often find
themselves debt-ridden and short of cash. They usually
"solve" this problem by getting credit from one source
to repay another, a practice that in the long term
seriously erodes agricultural production capital. For
instance, loans from BAAC were priority loans, and
farmers would often borrow from merchants to repay
these loans and maintain their credit worthiness. Fresh
loans could be obtained from BAAC within a few days.
Farmers would use the new BAAC loan to repay
merchants even before maize was planted. Thus capital
is not really used for farm production or investment, but
only to repay old debts.

In one study site in Putthabat sub-district, Phetchabun
province, farmers formed groups and borrowed among
themselves to repay BAAC. Once a farmer's loan was
repaid, he or she could borrow from BAAC again. The
money was then lent to another farmer to repay a
BAAC loan, so a new loan could be obtained. This cycle
continued until all members in the group could repay
and re-borrow from BAAC.



4.3 Other Constraints

Maize farmers reported facing input/output
transportation problems. During the rainy season,
feeder roads are inaccessible by trucks, making it
difficult for farmers to sell their output. In some sites,
labor and agricultural machinery were also reported to
be scarce. If land preparation is not done in time,
planting is delayed and this can adversely affect maize
yields.










Thai maize farmers commonly reported low output
prices as an important constraint to maize production.
This led to maize farmers receiving low returns for their
labor and capital, and sometimes experiencing losses.

Special attention is given to maize production in the
highlands, uplands, and remote areas where farmers
suffer many disadvantages. The land in such areas is
prone to low soil fertility and high soil erosion. Due to
transportation problems, input prices are higher and
output prices are lower. Farmers in these remote areas
receive less extension service and information from
government and BAAC officials. They also do not have
many options in choosing other crops, as other crops
also have disadvantages. Profit from maize cultivation is
meager, and many farmers have quit maize farming and
switched to non-farm employment. Some farmers
migrate to towns before and after maize cultivation or
even during slack labor periods while maize is grown.
Lowland farmers and those living near market centers
or the so-called "corn belt," such as those in Nakorn
Ratchaseema in the Northeast, Lopburi and Saraburi in
the Central Plains Region, and Nakorn Sawan in the
Lower North, enjoy good levels of profit from maize
farming.

This study found that maize farmers in Thailand were
responsive to modern technology, such as seed,
mechanization, and chemical input use. Most farmers
planted single-cross hybrid maize seed even if it was
more expensive than OPVs. They also mechanized land
preparation and planting, used adequate fertilizers, and
readily applied herbicides for weed control. The
profitability of maize production has, however, not been
generally impressive. More dependence on purchased
inputs, higher production costs, low or stagnant output
prices, and high capital requirements all tax the
livelihood of maize farmers. Because many farmers
found no better alternative to maize, they reported
having no choice but to grow maize, although some
wanted to stop growing it in the long run.

Nevertheless, this study found that maize is quite
profitable when grown in the dry season, under
irrigation, and when maize prices are high. Phichit
(Lower North) and Chiang Rai (Upper North) farmers
who grew dry season maize were quite happy with
maize cultivation. In contrast, farmers who grew maize
under rainfed conditions needed to modify their
cropping practices to either improve yields or reduce
production costs. Currently, extension services to
disseminate good maize practices are still lacking.


Farmers are not yet comfortable with soil conservation
or soil improvement methods. Farmer knowledge of
how to better manage production inputs and the
environment leaves much to be desired, and this
ignorance contributes to poor farm profits and low
national average maize yield. Research programs,
extension services, and policies in support of maize
cultivation therefore need to be designed and
implemented with care.

In general, Thai farmers' maize production potential is
greatest when there is good soil, adequate rainfall,
more than one crop per year, larger farm sizes, more
capital, adequate equipment and machinery, and
proximity to feed mills. Under those conditions,
medium and relatively richer farmers, but not poor
farmers, survive well with maize cultivation. Poor
farmers still plant maize because competing crops do
not offer better alternatives. If maize production
conditions remain the same in Thailand, maize
cultivation will certainly decrease in marginal areas
despite the country's need for greater maize supply in
the future.

This study found that many maize farmers would prefer
to grow fruit trees such as tamarind, mango, lychee,
and longan, which have the potential to generate more
income. Some farmers have actually transformed a
small area of their farms into fruit tree orchards. Many
production constraints, however, also confront fruit tree
production. These include capital, land suitability for
fruit tree farming, availability of irrigation, and ready
output market. Fruit trees also take longer to yield
output and income, yet farmers need regular income
annually. Some farmers would like to grow other crops
such as sugarcane or cassava, but sugarcane production
requires more capital, and some soils are not suitable
for cassava. Maize farmers were often not
knowledgeable about yields or market prices of other
field crops they could grow. Therefore, maize-
generally easy to grow, insect and drought-tolerant,
and non-labor-intensive-is still the crop for many
farmers, particularly poor farmers, in the study sites.

To summarize, maize will continue to be an important
crop both in favorable and marginal areas of Thailand.
Maize has many advantages over competing crops and
substantial potential impacts on farmer welfare. In
reality, however, socioeconomic and biophysical factors
can influence the type and extent of welfare derived
from maize production. These factors, in turn, can be
influenced through appropriate policies and research,
which will be critical to the future of maize producers
and of the maize industry in Thailand.











5. Setting an Agenda for Maize

Research and Development in Thailand


5.1 Methodology for
Identifying Priority Constraints

Given the many constraints reported in each agro-
ecozone, one must find a way to combine and compare
constraints across agro-ecozones to obtain some idea of
a prioritized agenda for maize research and
development in Thailand. This study used the
methodology developed at CIMMYT (see Pingali and
Pandey, 2001, for details) to help prioritize productivity
constraints across maize systems in tropical ecologies
and geographic regions. Three criteria are used for
prioritizing public research: efficiency, the extent of
poverty, and the extent of marginality in the production
agro-environment. An efficiency index estimates the
returns a given research investment would yield, i.e.,
the biggest bang for the research buck. It approximates
how the alleviation of constraints by either research or
extension-cum-research would most likely contribute to
total production gains. A poverty index modifies the
efficiency index to give some weight to poor farmers
and their food security situation. With a higher
proportion of poor people, the poverty index
associated with the constraint is higher. Constraint
ranking based on the poverty index should be closely
looked at when poverty alleviation is a major concern
for researchers and policymakers. The subsistence
farming index similarly modifies the efficiency index by
targeting public investments toward more subsistence
oriented agricultural areas, the presumption being that
more commercially oriented areas are, or will be,
served by the private sector. The combined index is the
weighted average of the three indices, in which weights
of 0.5, 0.3, and 0.2 were given to efficiency, poverty,
and subsistence farming, respectively.

Since most of Thailand's maize production systems are
commercially oriented, research prioritization for maize
will only apply the efficiency and poverty indices (Table
18). The efficiency index remains defined as above. The
poverty index is constructed by applying incidence of
poverty, which in turn is defined as the proportion of
poor people to total rural population in a particular


ecological region. This study used the Thailand
Development and Research Institute 2000 data on the
proportion of poor people in each district. These
proportions were then aggregated to the agro-
ecological zone level. Twelve agro-ecological zones for
maize production in Thailand were identified by this
study (Appendix, Table 7).

To conduct the initial maize research and development
prioritization exercise, a workshop was organized on 2-
3 August 2001 in Chiang Mai University for 26 maize
technology experts from the public and private sectors
in Thailand. Two social scientists from CIMMYT also
attended. The workshop applied all three indices in the
prioritization exercise. A follow-up workshop was
conducted on 13-14 February 2003 to discuss the
results and actions taken from the 2001 workshop.
Thirty-two public and private sector experts, many of
whom attended the 2001 workshop, attended the 2003
workshop. Research priorities identified by the study
were confirmed and refined at this workshop, which
used only the efficiency and poverty indices. The 2003
workshop participants expressed satisfaction with the
results and the follow-up of the 2001 workshop. Some
agencies reported having acted on the maize research
priorities identified in the 2001 workshop, and
committed to using the refined results from the 2003
workshop.



Table 18. Method used for prioritizing maize productivity
constraints in Thailand.
Efficiency index Poverty index Combined index,
Is a product of: Is a product of: Is the sum of:
* Importance of constraint Efficiency index and 0.7 efficiency index
* Yield gain associated with incidence of poverty in a and
constraint alleviation particular ecology and 0.3 poverty index
* Total production by maize geographic region (poverty
ecology and region incidence is defined as an
* Probability of success in average percentage of poor
finding a solution to the people in the respective
constraint region in 2000)
' Weights can be revised.











5.2 Priority Constraints
Identified in this Study

Table 19 shows the priority maize production
constraints identified during the August 2001
workshop. Drought was reported as a priority
constraint in many agro-ecozones except in the Upper
North. Soil infertility was reported as a priority problem
in marginal upland and highland environments. Rust,
ear rot, stem borers, stalk rot, insect damage to
seedlings, and downy mildew were reportedly
prevalent in most environments. Poor seed quality was
a commonly named constraint despite the availability
of commercial brand hybrid seed. Noticeably, many
important maize production constraints were related to
poor agronomic practices (e.g., inappropriate fertilizer
selection and application, inappropriate land
preparation, and poor water management), which can
be alleviated through better extension services.



Table 19. Priority constraints determined during the August 20

Irrigated Rainfed upland Rainfed upland
environment favorable environment marginal environs
Upper 1. Incorrect land 1. Lodging 1. Soil infertility
North preparation 2. Stem rot 2. Inappropriate land I
2. Inappropriate water 3. Rust 3. Drought
management 4. Drought 4. Low seed quality
3. Low seed quality 5. Downy mildew 5. Ear rot
4. Seedlings damaged 6. Waterlogging 6. Downy mildew
by insects 7. Low seed quality
5. Stems eaten by rats 8. Soil infertility
6. Post harvest fungi 9 Termites ants
(aflatoxin) 1. Drought 1. Drought
Lower 7. Lodging 2. Flooding in some areas 2. Soil infertility
North (strong wind) 3. Degradation of soil fertility 3. Rust
8. Thrips 4. Rust
5. Stem borers
Upper 1. Downy mildew
Northeast 2. Drought
3. Low seed quality
4. Rust
5. Stem borer
6. Fungi (aflatoxin)
7. Too much rain
Lower 1. Drought 1. Drought
Northeast 2. Rust 2. Lack of land conser
3. Inappropriate land preparation rehabilitation
4. Unsuitable fertilizer application 3. Unsuitable fertilizer
5. Lack of land conservation and 4. Inappropriate land I
rehabilitation 5. Inappropriate maize
6. Unsuitable seed use variety choice
7. Too dense plant intervals
8. Aflatoxin
Central 1. Unsuitable fertilizer application 1. Drought
Plains 2. Leaf blight, sheath blight 2. Soil degradation
3. Stalk rot 3. Unsuitable fertilizer
4. Inappropriate variety choice 4. Inappropriate land I
5. Inappropriate land preparation 5. Too dense plant inte
6. Aflatoxin 6. Inappropriate varied
7. Too dense plant intervals 7. Seedlings damaged
8. Flooding 8. Aflatoxin
9. Ear rot 9. Waterlogging


5.2.1 Priority constraints comparing each
region and agro-ecological zone

Table 20 shows the top 30 priority constraints by region
and agro-ecological zone. While the ranking of
constraints differed when the efficiency index was
applied and the poverty index was used, the list (set) of
priority constraints was very similar, and ranking differed
only slightly. Favorable upland areas in the Upper and
Lower North Regions and marginal upland areas in the
Lower Northeast and Central Plains received higher
priority when poverty criteria were incorporated. Diseases
(rust, banded leaf/sheath blight, stalk rot) and problems
related to agronomic practices dominated the list.

Using the combined index, constraints in the Lower North
such as rust, corn borer, soil infertility, drought, and
waterlogging received high priority due to the
importance of the region (Table 21). The Upper North and
Central Plains Regions were ranked next, with lodging,
downy mildew, stalk rot, rust, and
poor seed quality prioritized for the
01 workshop. Upper North, and soil infertility,
inappropriate fertilizer use,
Highland inappropriate land preparation, and
lent environment
variety choice for the Central Plains.
The Lower Northeast ranked fourth
preparation and the Upper Northeast ranked
last in importance for priority
constraints. Soil infertility,
inappropriate fertilizer use,
inappropriate variety choice, rust,
and inappropriate land preparation
1. Leaching were priority constraints in the
2. Inappropriate Lower Northeast, while downy
land preparation mildew was a priority constraint in
3. Drought
4. Rust the Upper Northeast (Table 21).
1. Soil infertility
2. Ear rot
3. Low seed quality
4. Drought 5.2.2 Priority constraints
5. Downy mildew for the country
6. Rats
7. Beetles The February 2003 workshop also
prioritized maize production
ovation and constraints across the whole of
Thailand. Here, ranking was done
application
preparation by problems regardless of agro-
e ecozones. Averages of ranking,
yield gains, and probability of
finding a solution were obtained for
all agro-ecozones for each
problem. Only the efficiency index
application was calculated for each problem.
preparation Results show that rust is the top
rvals
ras. maize production constraint in
ty choice
by insects Thailand, followed by soil infertility
and drought. Table 21 shows the











overall priority constraints for Thailand using an
adaptation of this method. These priorities will be useful
for agencies planning their research and extension
programs, and the participants expressed their
satisfaction with this method.



5.3 Recommendations for
Future Action

The experts' opinions in the workshop were extended
to creating recommendations for responding to
particular maize production problems/constraints (Table
22). Most policy and technology options outlined to
address the priority constraints had a high probability of
success. Technology options to address the problems of
rust, downy mildew, and corn borers, for example, had
a 75-95% probability of success. These ranged from
conventional breeding, chemical control, and
management practices to genetic engineering. Resistant
varieties were perceived as being more successful if


Table 20. Priority constraints to maize production in
Thailand, 2003.
Region and Priority ranking by index
agro-ecological Production
zoned constraint Efficiency index Poverty index
LN-FU Rust 1 1
LN-FU Soil infertility 2 2
LN-FU Drought 3 3
UN-FU Lodging 4 4
UN-FU Banded leaf/sheath blight 8 5
LN-FU Waterlogging 5 6
C-FU Inappropriate fertilizer use 6 7
UN-FU Rust 10 8
C-MU Soil infertility 7 9
C-MU Inappropriate fertilizer use 9 10
C-FU Inappropriate variety choice 12 11
LNE-MU Soil improvement 13 12
C-MU Inappropriate land preparation 11 13
LNE-MU Inappropriate fertilizer use 14 14
C-MU Drought 15 15
LNE-FU Rust 16 16
LNE-MU Inappropriate land preparation 17 17
LNE-FU Inappropriate land preparation 18 18
LNE-FU Inappropriate fertilizer use 19 19
UNE-FU Downy mildew 23 20
LNE-FU Drought 20 21
C-FU Banded leaf/sheath blight 21 22
LNE-MU Drought 22 23
C-FU Stalk rot 24 24
LN-H Rust 25 25
UN-MU Seed quality 27 26
LN-MU Rust 26 27
UNE-FU Seed quality 28 28
UN-MU Drought 29 29
UNE-FU Drought 30 30
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand National Maize R&D Priority-Setting Workshop, February 2003.
Regions: UN Upper North; LN Lower North; UNE Upper Northeast; LNE Lower Northeast; C -
Central Plains. Agro-ecological zones: FU favorable uplands; MU- marginal (unfavorable)
uplands; H highlands.


developed by genetic engineering rather than
conventional breeding. Most private sector workshop
participants were very optimistic of genetic engineering
methods. Public sector participants were more cautious
of such technology options. Policy and administrative
changes were suggested to solve seed quality
problems.

The most difficult constraints to solve appeared to be
those related to drought and, to a lesser extent, to
excess rain. While planting dates and practices can be
adjusted by farmers, the probability of success in
addressing drought and flooding was deemed by
workshop participants to be very low.


Table 21. Maize production priority constraints based on
combined index, Thailand, 2003.
Priority ranking across Priority ranking by
regions and agro-ecozones, region and agro-ecozone
Agro- Agro-
Rank ecozone Constraint ecozone Constraint Rank
1 LN-FU Rust LN-FU Rust 1
2 LN-FU Corn borer LN-FU Corn borer 2
3 LN-FU Soil infertility LN-FU Soil infertility 3
4 LN-FU Drought LN-FU Drought 4
5 UN-FU Lodging LN-FU Waterlogging 10
6 C-FU Inappropriate fertilizer use C-FU Inappropriate fertilizer use 6
7 UN-FU Downy mildew C-MU Soil infertility 8
8 C-MU Soil infertility C-MU Inappropriate fertilizer use 11
9 UN-FU Stalk rot C-FU Inappropriate variety choice 14
10 LN-FU Waterlogging C-MU Inappropriate land 15
11 C-MU Inappropriate fertilizer C-MU preparation
use Inappropriate variety choice 18
12 UN-FU Rust C-MU High plant density 19
13 LNE-MU Soil infertility C-MU Drought 20
14 C-FU Inappropriate variety C-FU Inappropriate land 21
choice preparation
15 C-MU Inappropriate land C-FU High plant density 27
preparation
16 UN-FU Seed quality UN-FU Lodging 5
17 LNE-MU Inappropriate fertilizer use UN-FU Downy mildew 7
18 C-MU Inappropriate variety choice UN-FU Stalk rot 9
19 C-MU High plant density UN-FU Rust 12
20 C-MU Drought UN-FU Seed quality 16
21 C-FU Inappropriate land LNE-MU Soil infertility 13
preparation
22 LNE-MU Inappropriate varietal LNE-MU Inappropriate fertilizer use 17
choice
23 LNE-FU Rust LNE-MU Inappropriate variety choice 22
24 LNE-MU Inappropriate land
preparation LNE-FU Rust 23
25 LNE-FU Inappropriate land LNE-MU Inappropriate land 24
preparation preparation
26 LNE-FU Inappropriate fertilizer LNE-FU Inappropriate land 25
use preparation
27 C-FU High plant density LNE-FU Inappropriate fertilizer use 26
28 LNE-FU Inappropriate variety use LNE-FU Inappropriate variety choice 28
29 LNE-FU Soil infertility LNE-FU Soil infertility 29
30 UNE-FU Downy mildew UNE-FU Downy mildew 30
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand National Maize R&D Workshop, February 2003.
SRegions: UN Upper North; LN Lower North; UNE Upper Northeast; LNE Lower Northeast; C -
Central Plains. Agro-ecological zones: FU favorable uplands; MU marginal (unfavorable)
uplands; H highlands.












5.4 Conclusions


The two priority setting workshops provided a venue


and field-level data were provided to the experts
during the workshop. The exercises helped public and
private sector researchers see the whole picture of


for dialogue and discussions among maize experts in research needs and prioritization across all maize
Thailand and were viewed as a success by all production agro-ecological zones in Thailand. Each
participants. The priority setting exercise was assisted expert was able to carry some of the recommendations
by the RRA and PRA studies because farmers' opinions suggested by the workgroup back to their home offices.


Table 22. Policy and technology options to address maize production constraints, probability of success, and potential
partners, Thailand.


Problem/
constraint Policy/technology options
Rust 1. Resistant variety developed by conventional breeding

2. Change planting time
3. Chemical control
4. Molecular genetic engineering
5. Crop rotation
Downy mildew 1. Resistant variety developed by conventional breeding
2. Chemical control
3. Change planting time
4. Molecular genetic engineering
5. Crop rotation
Corn borers 1. Genetic engineering (biotechnology)
2. Marker-assisted selection (biotechnology)
3. Chemical control (Furadan)
4. Change planting time
5. Biological control
6. Crop rotation
7. Resistant variety developed by conventional breeding
Soil fertility Use recommended fertilizer
-Crop rotation
-Use manure
-Soil conditioning
-Green manure cover crop
-Conservation tillage
Inappropriate land Use of a subsoiler
preparation -Contour bunding
-Land leveling
-Minimum tillage
-Appropriate use of farm equipment
-Farmers' training
Waterlogging Prepare land using correct methods
-Use drainage system
-Use of fertilizer for recovering
-Retain appropriate maize population per area
-Use resistant varieties developed by conventional breeding
Inappropriate use 1. Generate farmers' training in seed selection by:
of maize variety comparing results of maize variety study for each ecozone;
-selecting suitable maize varieties in each ecozone to make guidebook
-demonstration plots


Probability
of success Potential partners
95% Department of Agriculture (DOA), Kasetsart University (KU)'s Suwan Farm,
Private seed companies
80% KU's Suwan Farm, DOA, private seed companies
80% Chemical companies, DOA, Kasetsart University
90% Kasetsart University, DOA, BIOTEC, private seed companies
75% Kasetsart University, DOA, Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE)
90% DOA, KU's Suwan Farm, private seed companies
95% Chemical companies
80% Kasetsart University, DOA, DOAE, private sector
90% Kasetsart University, DOA, BIOTEC, private seed companies
75% Kasetsart University, DOA, DOAE
100% BIOTEC, Kasetsart University, private seed companies
90% Kasetsart University, DOA, private seed companies
90% Chemical company, DOA
80% Kasetsart University, DOA, DOAE, private sector
80% Kasetsart University, DOA, DOAE, private sector
75% Kasetsart University, DOA, DOAE
50% Kasetsart University, DOA, private seed companies


80%
80%
50%
5%
40%
30%
20%
10%
30%
20%
80%
80%
60%
60%
30%
35%
20-70%
80%


extend selected variety to farmers
2. Educate farmers to select maize variety by themselves 90%
Poor seed quality 1. Law enforcement to prevent impurity in seed production 80%
2. Change seed law to increase germinating percentage from 70% to 80% 80%
Inappropriate Develop seed information and technology practice in each ecozone 60%
maize planting and transfer to farmer by:
density training and demonstration on each variety seed rate
-field days
-provide handbooks or recommendations with seed bag
Drought 1. Adjust planting date related to rain distribution by using rainfall 35%
data in each ecozone
2. Use appropriate maize variety fit to rain distribution 50%
3. Improve soil fertility and structure to hold more water 40%


Department of Land Development (DLD)
DLD
DOA, private sector
DOAE
DLD
DOA
DOAE
DOAE, DOA
DOAE, DOA
DOA, DOAE
DOA, DOAE
DOA
Public sector, private sector, farmer
DOA, private sector
DOA, DOAE, universities, Private sector (set up central organization to
operate on farm variety trial)




DOA
DOA
DOA, DOAE, universities
Private sector



Public sector, private sector, farmers

Public sector, private sector, farmers
Public sector, private sector, farmers


Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand National Maize R&D Workshop, February 2003.













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Pak Chong, Nakorn Ratchaseema, Production Year 2000/2001.
Paper presented at the 30th Annual National Conference on
Maize and Sorghum. Ubon Ratchathanee, 19-23 August, 2001
(in Thai).
Saran Wuttanutchariya, and Sanit Koa-ian. 1997. Economic
Analysis of Maize Production in Amphoe Pakchong, Nakorn
Ratchaseema Province, Production Year 1996/1997 (in Thai).
Sorasak Kaeu-Thai. 2000. Social Returns of Maize [P. .i r.. .i,
Improvement, Amphoe Mae Chaem, Chiang Mai Province.
M.Sc. Thesis in Economics. Graduate Program, Chiang Mai
University, Chiang Mai, Thailand (in Thai).
Tipatorn Masjaroon, Narong Wuttiwan, Nikom Tip-Aksorn, and
Wattana Rodprasert. 1994. Comparison of economic returns in
maize cultivation using hybrids and open pollinated varieties in
the Upper North of Thailand. Northern Office of Agricultural
Extension (in Thai).












7. Appendix







Table 1. Important sources of farm inputs, Thailand, 1999.
Seed Fertilizer Chemical inputs
Input sources No. of farmers % No. of farmers % No. of farmers %
Merchants 74 33.9 105 48.2 128 76.6
Bank of Agriculture (BAAC) 78 35.8 58 26.6 13 7.8
Cooperatives 29 13.3 29 13.3 18 10.8
District Extension Office' 32 14.7 2 1.2
Farmers' group 22 10.1 6 3.6
Combination of sources 5 2.3 4 1.8 -
Total 218 100.0 218 100.0 167 100.0

Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Surveys 1998-1999.
1 Served a government program that provided subsidized seed (50% subsidy).


Table 2a. Farmer use of capital in maize production, Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1998-99 (in % households).
Study sites Used own capital Borrowed all capital needed Combined own and borrowed capital Total
Central Plains
Lop Buri
Chai Badan, Chai Badan 8.3 33.3 58.3 100
Pattananikom, Pattananikom 30.0 20.0 50.0 100
Chon Noi, Pattananikom 11.1 33.3 55.6 100
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari 14.3 14.3 71.4 100
Wang Koi, Pisari -- 28.6 71.4 100
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa 12.5 25.0 62.5 100
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa -- 62.5 37.5 100
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai -- 62.5 37.5 100
Bua Wattana 30.0 20.0 50.0 100
Chon Dan, Chon Dan -- 75.0 25.0 100
Ta Kam, Chon Dan 37.5 62.5 100
Kamphaengphet
Na Po Kam, Muang n.a.a n.a. n.a. n.a.
Pichit
Nong Pling, Sam Ngam n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Nong Sano, Sam Ngam n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Upper North
Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung 60.0 0.0 40.0 100
Ngaw, Teung 25.0 6.3 68.8 100
Lower Northeast
Nakorn Ratchaseema
PakChong, PakChong 22.2 22.2 55.6 100
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 25.0 -- 75.0 100
Huay Bong, Dan KhunTod -- 60.0 40.0 100
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod 12.5 12.5 75.0 100
Upper Northeast
Loei
Nam Suay, Muang -- 73.3 26.7 100
Na Din Dum, Muang 5.0 35.0 60.0 100
Dan Sai, Dan Sai -- 58.3 41.7 100
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai -- 66.7 33.3 100
Average across all sites 13.3 35.3 51.4 100
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 1998-19 99.
Sn.a. = not available.











Table 2b. Sources of capital used in maize cultivation, Phase II study sites, Thailand, 2000.

Own-to-borrowed Sources of capital (%)
Study sites capital ratio BAAC Agricultural Village funds Merchants Relatives Cooperative

Commercial maize production areas
Upper North
Chiang Rai
Huay Saw, Chiang Khong n.al 100 30 10
Tak
Chong Kap, Tak 30:70 20 10 70 10
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari n.a 86 -- 14
Wang Koi, Pisari n.a 78 12 -
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa n.a 10 30 40 20
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa n.a 33 42 25
Phetchabun
Budhabhat, Chon Dan 60:40 75 10 20 5 -
Uthai Thani
Muang Karung, Ban Rai 20:80 70 10 -60 5
Upper Northeast
Loei
Wang Yao, Dan Sai 30:70 90 -- 10 -
Nam Suay, Muang -- 100 -
Na Din Dum, Muang -- 100 -
Dan Sai, Dan Sai 85 15
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai 13 -- 87
Lower Northeast
Nakorn Ratchaseema
Pak Chong, Pak Chong 18 36 10 36
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 20 40 -- 40
Huay Bong, Dan KhunTod 60 -- 20 20
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod n.a. n.a. 25 --
Central Plains
Sra Kaew
Thai Udom, Klong Had 30:70 90 10 10 -
Lop Buri
Chai Badan, Chai Badan n.a. 62 30 8
Pattananikom, Pattananikom n.a. 86 -- -- -- 14
Chon Noi, Pattananikom n.a. 100 -
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 2000.
n.a. = not available.











Table 3. Landholdings and land tenure system, Phase I study sites, Thailand, 1998-99.

Farmer landholdings (ha) Land tenure (% land) Land tenure (% of households)
Study sites Average Min Max Owned Rented Landowners Part owners Tenants


Central Plains
Lop Buri
Chai Badan, Chai Badan
Pattananikom, Pattananikom
Chon Noi, Pattananikom
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari
Wang Koi, Pisari
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai
Bua Wattana, Nong Pai
Chon Dan, Chon Dan
Ta Kam, Chon Dan
Upper North
Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung
Ngaw, Teung
Lower Northeast
Nakorn Ratchaseema
Pak Chong, Pak Chong
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong
Huay Bong, Dan KhunTod
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod
Upper Northeast
Loei
Nam Suay, Muang
Na Din Dum, Muang
Dan Sai, Dan Sai
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai
All sites


3.4 0.7
2.2 0.8


6.7 48.7 51.3 66.7 33.3
5.9 51.9 48.1 43.8 31.3


76.1 66.7
46.4 37.5
-- 100.0
24.1 75.0


-- 80.0
43.9 95.0
-- 100.0
37.0 73.3
58.8 67.0


Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 1999-2000.


-- 25.0
37.5 37.5












Table 4. Total and maize household income, Thailand, 1998-99.

Total income Maize income Contribution of maize
Study sites (baht/household) (baht/household) income to total income (%)

Central Plains
Lop Buri
Chai Badan, Chai Badan 165,767 115,580 69.7
Pattananikom, Pattananikom 214,044 143,784 67.2
Chon Noi, Pattananikom 131,111 50,644 38.6
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari 233,371 179,824 77.1
Wang Koi, Pisari 118,857 78,132 65.7
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa 63,937 38,960 60.9
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa 168,375 129,321 76.8
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai 98,845 44,621 45.1
Bua Wattana, Nong Pai 206,198 148,743 72.1
Chon Dan, Chon Dan 83,363 54,950 65.9
Ta Kam, Chon Dan 70,544 51,256 72.7
Upper North
Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung 50,669 34,619 68.3
Ngaw, Teung 60,629 36,945 60.9
Lower Northeast
Nakorn Ratchaseema
Pak Chong, Pak Chong 506,978 408,633 80.6
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 69,150 40,676 58.8
Huay Bong, Dan KhunTod 159,000 56,750 35.7
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod 113,263 89,193 78.7
Upper Northeast
Loei
Nam Suay, Muang 85,120 72,201 84.8
Na Din Dum, Muang 52,750 32,550 61.7
Dan Sai, Dan Sai 54,246 51,363 94.7
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai 100,549 78,125 77.7
All sites 122,313 86,054 70.4
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Survey, 1999-2000.


Table 5. Area planted to maize in selected provinces by region, 1990-2002 (000 ha).
Central Plains Lower North Lower Northeast Upper North
Nakorn Petcha- Kamphaeng Uthai Nakorn Chiang Chiang Sra
Year Lop Buri Sawan bun phet Phichit Thani Ratchaseema Loei Mai Rai Kaew Tak


1988 174.6 130.2 270.9 62.5 19.5
1989 155.9 116.4 247.4 67.1 19.7
1990 154.6 101.8 237.8 66.0 19.0
1991 114.8 93.7 168.3 74.3 15.7
1992 102.4 77.3 189.5 57.2 10.8
1993 101.5 84.8 174.6 57.2 13.3
1994 131.2 95.1 188.4 50.1 14.5
1995 111.7 94.0 219.0 47.9 14.2
1996 113.7 93.2 221.9 51.0 14.5
1997 109.0 98.8 194.6 38.9 14.0
1998 114.1 108.6 204.6 45.3 8.4
1999 98.0 91.0 174.0 36.5 8.6
2000 98.5 91.4 175.7 36.5 8.8
2001 96.9 89.6 169.9 37.6 8.9
2002 94.3 88.2 169.5 34.0 9.2


84.0 167.2 168.9
90.3 166.6 172.7
71.0 178.7 161.1
71.0 104.1 156.7
40.5 132.9 133.5
40.5 149.4 105.7
42.5 165.3 106.2
27.2 140.0 109.1
38.1 152.5 111.4
47.3 171.6 114.1
45.5 177.6 109.8
44.2 157.0 72.7
44.9 157.2 69.2
46.1 157.3 70.0
44.0 154.7 68.3


7.5 40.1 60.6
2.8 39.8 60.1
3.4 39.8 65.7
6.4 39.4 75.9
1.6 39.1 57.2
2.9 48.2 59.0
4.7 46.5 88.0 57.7
4.7 44.0 86.8 57.7
3.4 45.2 89.0 59.9
2.8 47.9 102.2 58.0
2.9 49.0 104.3 73.9
3.1 49.9 85.8 67.9
5.3 54.1 87.1 72.5
6.1 53.7 83.1 71.8
6.6 54.0 58.6 75.6


Source: Statistical Agricultural Economic Office, 1988-2003.











Table 6a. Maize yields (t/ha) in the late-rainy season and irrigated (dry season) areas, selected sites,
Thailand, 1998-99.
Study sites N Mean Standard Deviation Minimum Maximum
Late-rainy season
Central Plains-Lop Buri
Chai Badan, Chai Badan 1 3.13 3.13 3.13
Lower North
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa, Nakorn Sawan 1 5.21 5.21 5.21
Ta Kam, Chon Dan, Phetchabun 1 5.00 5.00 5.00
Lower Northeast
Nakorn Ratchaseema
PakChong, PakChong 6 5.11 1.24 3.75 6.88
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 2 4.45 1.17 3.62 5.27
Huay Bong, Dan Khun Tod 5 3.27 1.41 2.01 5.56
Ta Kien, Dan Khun Tod 8 3.15 1.23 1.48 4.69
Upper North
Wieng, Teung, Chiang Rai 7 3.70 1.17 1.90 5.47
Upper Northeast-Loei
Na Din Dum, Muang 9 3.32 0.86 1.71 4.38
All sites 40 3.75 1.28 1.48 6.88
Irrigation area (dry season)
Upper North-Ngaw Teung, Chiang Rai 14 4.97 1.21 0.28 7.00
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Surveys, 1999-2000.



Table 6b. Maize yields (t/ha) in the early-rainy season, selected sites, Thailand, 1998-99.

Study site N Mean Standard Deviation Minimum Maximum
Central Plains-Lop Buri
Chai Badan, Chai Badan 11 3.39 1.32 1.95 6.25
Pattananikom, Pattananikom 9 2.95 1.26 1.38 5.10
Chon Noi, Pattananikom 9 4.44 1.28 2.50 6.25
Lower North
Nakorn Sawan
Po Prasart, Pisari 7 4.34 0.89 2.64 5.35
Wang Koi, Pisari 7 3.60 1.56 1.67 5.36
Kao Chai Tong, Tak Fa 7 3.72 1.00 2.50 5.21
Suk Sumrarn, Tak Fa 8 4.60 0.88 3.42 5.86
Phetchabun
Nong Pai, Nong Pai 8 3.75 0.75 2.73 4.88
Bua Wattana, Nong Pai 10 3.61 1.29 2.26 7.00
Chon Dan, Chon Dan 8 3.83 1.20 1.88 5.63
Ta Kam, Chon Dan 7 3.62 1.32 2.34 6.09
Upper North-Chiang Rai
Wieng, Teung 8 4.64 1.65 2.66 6.95
Ngaw, Teung 2 6.00 0.45 5.69 6.33
Lower Northeast-Nakorn Ratchaseema
Pak Chong, Pak Chong 3 3.18 1.51 1.46 4.32
Nong Sarai, Pak Chong 6 3.23 1.39 1.39 4.69
Upper Northeast-Loei
Nam Suay, Muang 15 3.18 0.96 1.82 4.88
Na Din Dum, Muang 11 4.28 1.83 2.80 8.75
Dan Sai, Dan Sai 12 2.18 1.02 0.94 4.02
Kok Ngam, Dan Sai 15 2.06 0.64 0.80 3.24
All sites 163 3.52 1.41 0.80 8.75

Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Surveys, 1999-2000.











Table 7. Survey sites (listed as sub-district, district, province) classified by agro-ecological zones identified in the study,
Thailand, 1998-2000.
Rainfed environments
Irrigated Uplands Highlands
Region environments Favorable a' Marginalb/
Upper North Irrigated North (NI): Upper North Favorable Upland (UN-FU): Upper North Marginal Upland (UN-MU):
Ngaw, Teung, (Chiang Rai); Wieng, Tueng (Chiang Rai); Huay Saw, Chiang Khong (Chiang Rai);
Sam Ngaw, Nongsano Chong Kap, Pop Pra (Tak) Muang Na, Chiang Doa (Chiang Mai)
(Phichit)
Lower North Lower North Favorable Upland (UN-FU): Lower North Marginal Upland (UN-MU): Lower North Highland (UN-H):
Po Prasat and Wang Koi, Paisali Nong Pling, Muang (Kamphangphet) Chon Dan, Budhabhat and Ta
(Phetchabun); Koa Chai Tong and Kham, Chon Dan (Phetchabun)
Suk Samran, Tak Fa (Nakorn Sawan);
Nong Pai and Bua Wattana, Nong Pai
(Phetchabun); Na Bor Kam, Muang
(Kamphangphet); Muang Karung,
Ban Rai (Uthai Thani)
Upper Northeast Upper Northeast Favorable Upland (UNE-FU): Upper Northeast Highland(UNE-H):
Nam Suay and Na Din Dam, Dan Sai, Wang Yao and Kok
Muang (Loei) Ngam, Dan Sai (Loei)
Lower Northeast Lower Northeast Favorable Upland (LNE-FU): Lower Northeast Marginal Upland (LNE-MU):
Pak Chong and Wang Ka Ta, Nong Sarai, Pak Chong;
Pak Chong (Nakorn Ratchaseema) Huay Bong and Ta Kian,
Dan Kun Toad (Nakorn Ratchaseema)
Central Plains Central Plains Favorable Upland (C-FU): Central Plain Marginal Upland (C-MU):
Chon Noi, Pattananikom (Lop Buri); Chai Badan, Chai Badan and
Thai Udom, Klong Had (Sra Kaew) Pattananikom, Pattananikom (Lop Buri)
Source: IFAD-CIMMYT-Thailand RRA/PRA Surveys, 1998-99 and 2000.
SFavorable uplands: agro-ecological zones (districts) with high average maize yields.
b Marginal uplands: agro-ecological zones (districts) with lower average maize yield.




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