OAE: Severe flooding forced agricultural economic growth down 1.5%


BANGKOK, 24 March 2012 – The authorities in charge of agriculture have revealed that last year’s severe flooding was the main reason that Thai agricultural economic growth suffered a sizable fall in Q1-2012. 

Office of Agricultural Economics Secretary General Apichart Jongskul said on Friday that Thailand’s agricultural economic growth rate shrank 1.5% on average in the first quarter of 2012.

Mr. Apichart stated that the impact of last year’s flood crisis was the main reason for the growth shrinkage.

He said that, in Q1-2012, rice farmers have been hit the hardest by severe flooding, with a large number of rice fields completely inundated and the off-season rice growing forced to be delayed. Consequently, rice crops have plunged and led to a 3% fall in the growth of the country’s crop output.

Mr. Apichart added that the 2012 agricultural economics is expected to grow at the rate of 4.0-5.0%, even though the pressure and the impact from the 2011 flood will continue to persist throughout the first quarter of this year.

In addition, he said that the agricultural sector will have to beware of possible risk factors, including plagues, drought and flooding as well as rising energy prices, until the end of this year.

He went on to say that the fallout from the debt crisis in Europe will cause the world economy to be fragile, the situation that may inevitably hurt Thai farm exports.