This was from a 2002 newsletter:
Young people today are more aware than ever how the farming life does not pay the kind of money city jobs do. There is a growing dissatisfaction with working the land. Lower prices given for rice, pineapples, and rubber are some of the main reasons for this. To take an example, the rubber liquid taken from rubber trees fetched 12 RMB in 1996 and only 3.8 RMB today. Pineapples were 8 RMB and now 2 RMB and rice was 1.1 RMB and now only 0.6 RMB. A good percentage of the people have cut down some of their rubber trees to plant various crops, usually pineapples. They’ve also tried other crops such as corn or watermelon planted on the land used for rice, but done after the fall harvest and before the spring rice planting when the land would normally lie fallow. Even so, many have not been able to sell those crops at a good enough price to offset all the work and time they’ve put into growing them.
Farming Today (at least in my wife’s area)
Some people still go to the city (Jinghong) to work. They may do it for a period of time, months or a few years. There are some who have moved to the city and may not return. Some examples of city work are; in hotels, stores, tailor shops, restaurants.
Few people cut rubber trees down, there are more of them than ever before. Pineapples are still grown. Winter crops are still peppers and watermelon. Other things people grow would be tea.Tak Province (W. Thailand)
Today’s Selling Prices: