RAOT plans to develop the rubber industry for 20 years
Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) has had a master plan to increase the annual export value of rubber from 250 billion Baht (7.9 billion USD) to 800 billion Baht (25.2 billion USD) and to establish a rubber industrial park in Rayong province, part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
Strategies are designed to help Thailand grow into a middle-income country and will soon be submitted to the Cabinet, said Yium Tavarolit, RAOT's Acting Director.
University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) was hired by RAOT to study the 20-year plan (2017-2036) to promote the development of the agricultural sector.
Based on these strategies, Thailand's rubber exports will increase from 250 billion Baht (7.9 billion USD) per year to 800 billion Baht (25.2 billion USD), while rubber productivity will increase from 224 kg / rai (1.400 kg / ha) to 360kg / rai (2.250 kg / ha) and domestic rubber content will increase from 13.6% to 35%. This will push up the annual rubber revenue from 11.984 Baht / rai (2.396 USD / ha) to 19.800 Baht / rai (3.959 USD / ha). At the same time, the planted area will decrease from 23 million rai (3.68 million ha) to 18.4 million rai (2.9 million ha).
In the first 5-year period, legal regulations will be adopted to address issues related to rubber sector, promote investment in rubber processing, rubber use of state agencies and farmer organizations and transform from rubber production and preliminary processing to rubber product production. In addition, Thailand will set up rubber product distribution centers in major tourist destinations and organize exhibitions and events across the country and target countries.
The goal in the next 6 - 10 years is to improve the quality of rubber products to meet Thai industry standards and to use research results for commercial purposes. Rubber export growth will be boosted through the establishment of exhibition and distribution centers and branding and fiscal measures.
In the period of 11-20 years, appropriate technologies will be used and developed to replace the rubber production workforce, and to establish an integrated service center related to rubber and rubber products.
A committee will also be established to ensure the smooth operation of the long-term plan. The committee will be run by the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Wichian Kaewsombat, Assistant Director of UTCC's Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, said reducing rubber plantations would be done by establishing an economic zone, only rubber farmers designated in the regions may receive government support privileges.
Rubber industrial park will be located in Rayong. Support privileges will be concentrated mainly in southern Thailand, the main rubber growing area. The rubber industry is planned to promote preliminary processing of rubber for export and is expected to increase export value from 200-300 billion Baht (6.4 - 9.6 billion USD) to 800 billion Baht (25.2 billion USD) in the future.
When RAOT implements these strategies, it is likely that rubber market prices will remain low and may need support for rubber farmers. Meanwhile, when the strategy reaches the 20th year, rubber farmers are not expected to need support.
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