Adoption of Improved Varieties of Vegetable Crops with Pesticide Use in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand (2014)

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The increasing urban demand for vegetables in Thailand has been met through peri-urban areas in the central plains, northern valleys and highland rural areas. Use of modern technology like improved varieties, fertilizer, pesticides, growth hormones, and modern cultivation practices is the common feature of commercial vegetable production in recent periods. Improved varieties of the vegetable crops are considered as the important bio-innovation that affects the livelihood and health aspects of the farmers. This study focused on various aspects related to the adoption of improved or hybrid varieties of vegetable crops in northern Thailand. We analysed the effects of hybrid varieties on household income, self-employment and human health aspect. In addition, we studied about farmers’ opinions of pesticide using in group of pesticide and non- pesticide use and expressed the gender role in different vegetable production activities. The paper is based on the study of commercial vegetable production areas around Chiang Mai city, which is covering two research sites: Mae Wang and Saraphi. Mae Wang is one of the rapidly transforming areas in Chiang Mai valley that provide the situation of fast growing commercial vegetable cultivation mostly in rural settings. Saraphi is the adjoining district to the Chiang Mai city that represents peri-urban commercial vegetable production both conventional as well as pesticide free vegetable production areas. Farmers are getting higher household income from the adoption of improved or hybrid varieties of the vegetable crops. In many cases local farmers have been able to embrace vegetable cultivation as self-employment opportunity as well. Since people are well aware about the negative effects of excessive chemical use in the commercial production, the production of vegetable without pesticide use is on rise in the selected study areas. But, interestingly, the farm-gate and market price was almost similar with or without pesticide use vegetable. However, the non-pesticide farmers confirmed that they still choose to produce the vegetables without pesticide because they believe they save money from the medical payment due to agrichemical poisoning, which generate higher income over all. There is not much difference in involvement of women and men farmers in different production activities. However, less women farmers are less motivated to promote their products to the market by marketing since they believe it would only increase their work, but the outcome from the promotion is low. Another crucial aspect in promotion of commercial production is the proper marketing management. Production areas near the Chiang Mai city are in relatively better situation for getting proper market and price for their produce. But the irony is that organic vegetable producers, despite working in groups, are not involved in organized marketing efforts and thus not been able to tap the market demand and better price for their pesticide free production.
Year: 2014
Language: English
In: Procedia Environmental Sciences, 20 (0): 418-424 p.

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 Record created 2014-12-02, last modified 2014-12-02