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Asia-Pacific Development Journal

The Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) is published twice a year by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The primary objective of the APDJ is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region and aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation. The APDJ provides a scholarly means for bringing together research work by eminent social scientists and development practitioners from the region and beyond for use by a variety of stakeholders. The Journal aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation in the region.

English

Opportunities and constraints of organic agriculture in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

The application of chemicals in conventional agriculture to increase productivity can result in environmental degradation, bring about economic problems and cause harmful effects on farmers, labourers and consumers. Responding to these problems, a number of nongovernmental organizations and government agencies have been promoting organic agriculture in the province of Chiang Mai in order to assure food safety and at the same time alleviate the poverty of farmers. The present study discusses the organic agriculture movement in Chiang Mai and compares organic agriculture with conventional agriculture in terms of yields, socio-economic considerations and human health aspects. The findings show that organic agriculture could generate significant benefits. However, constraints inherent to organic farming practices and other factors, including off-farm works and perceptions of organic agriculture, complicate the process of organic certification and standards, and to some extent weaken extension efforts in promoting organic agriculture. In order to improve organic farming, there is a need for all stakeholders, namely, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, consumers and farmer organizations, to work together.

English

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