The Alternative Agriculture Network Isan and Its Struggle for Food Sovereignty – a Food Regime Perspective of Agricultural Relations of Production in Northeast Thailand

Alexandra Heis

Abstract


This paper uses the food regime analysis to visualize relations of domination and exploitation within the realm of food production and supply. Starting with an outlook on how the food regime plays out in the Thai context, the author goes on to elaborate its critical aspects fundamental for a food sovereignty critique: growing concentration of power on the side of transnational corporations, exploitative relations of production in agro-industry, and devastating effects for nature, small-scale producers, and increasingly also for consumers. In Northeast Thailand, the Alternative Agriculture Network Isan (AAN Isan) is struggling to secure income and subsistence agriculture for its members. This is achieved through a number of activities, some of which are introduced here in detail. Producer cooperatives, organic farming, green markets, or a local herb medicine center all aim at empowerment within the present market situation by using aspects of the health discourse to support their arguments and at the same time reinforcing a specific local politics of identity, rooted in notions of culture and religion.

Keywords


Alternative Agriculture; Food Regime; Food Sovereignty; Peasant Identity Politics; Northeast Thailand

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alternative Agriculture Network Esan (n.d.). About the AAN. Retrieved from http://aanesan.wordpress.com/about/

Baker, C. (2000). Thailand's assembly of the poor: Background, drama, reaction. South East Asia Research, Vol. 8(1), 5–29.

Banwell, C., Dixon, J., Seubsman, S. A., Pangsap, S., Kelly, M., & Sleigh, A. (2013). Evolving food retail environments in Thailand and implications for the health and nutrition transition. Public Health Nutrition, 16(4), 608–615.

Bernstein, H. (2006). Once were/still are peasants? Farming in a globalising ‘South’. New Political Economy, 11(3), 399–406.

Bernstein, H. (2014). Food sovereignty via the ‘peasant way’: A skeptical view. Journal of Peasant Studies, 41(6), 1031–1063.

Boonying, K., & Shannon, R. (2014). Transformations in Thailand’s retailing landscape. In M. Mukherjee, R. Cuthbertson, & E. Howard (Eds.), Retailing in emerging markets: A policy and strategy perspective (pp. 7–35), Abindon, UK: Routledge.

Burch, D., Dixon, J., & Lawrence, G. (2013). Introduction to symposium on the changing role of supermarkets in global supply chains: From seedling to supermarket: Agri-food supply chains in transition. Agriculture and Human Values, 30, 215–224.

Büthe, T., & Harris, N. (2011). Codex Alimentarius Commission. In T. Hale & D. Held (Eds.), The handbook of transnational governance: Institutions and innovations (pp. 219–228). Cambridge, UK: Polity 219.

Campbell, H. (2009). Breaking new ground in food regime theory: Corporate environmentalism, ecological feedbacks and the ‘food from somewhere’ regime? Agriculture and Human Values, 26(4), 309–319.

Delforge, I. (2007). Contract farming in Thailand: A view from the farm, Bangkok: Focus on the Global South. Occasional paper series No. 2, Bangkok: Focus on the Global South. Retrieved from http://focusweb.org/sites/www.focusweb.org/files/occ2.pdf

Desmarais, A. A. (2008). The power of peasants: Reflections on the meanings of La Vía Campesina. Journal of Rural Studies, 24(2), 138–149.

Dixon, J. (2009). From the imperial to the empty calorie: How nutrition relations underpin food regime transitions. Agriculture and Human Values, 26(4), 321–333.

Dixon, J. (2014). The public health contribution to the discursive struggles surrounding food security and food sovereignty. Dialogues in Human Geography, 4(2), 200–204.

Friedmann, H. (1993). The political economy of food: A global crisis. New left review I/197, 29.

Friedmann, H. (2005). From colonialism to green capitalism: Social movements and emergence of food regimes. In F. H. Buttel & P. McMichael (Eds.), New directions in the sociology of global development: Research in rural sociology and development (Vol. 11, pp. 227–264). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Ltd.

Friedmann, H., & McNair, A. (2008). Whose rules rule? Contested projects to certify ‘Local Production for Distant Consumers’. Journal of Agrarian Change, 8(2–3), 408–434.

Glassman, J. (2002). From Seattle (and Ubon) to Bangkok: The scales of resistance to corporate globalization. Environment and Planning D, 20(5), 513–534.

Goss, J., Burch, D., & Rickson, R. E. (2000). Agri-food restructuring and Third World transnationals: Thailand, the CP Group and the global shrimp industry. World Development, 28(3), 513–530.

Heft-Neal, S., Otte, J., Pupphavessa, W., Roland-Holst, D., Sudsawasd, S., & Zilberman, D. (2008). Supply chain auditing for poultry production in Thailand. Pro-poor Livestock Policy Initiative Research Report. Rural Development Research Consortium: University of California. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/pplpi/docarc/rep-0809_thaipoultrychain.pdf

Hildebrand, B. (2007). Anselm Strauss. In: U. Flick, E. von Kardoff, & I. Steinke (Eds.), Qualitative Forschung (pp. 32–41). Reinbeck bei Hamburg, Germany: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag.

Jarosz, L. (2014). Comparing food security and food sovereignty discourses. Dialogues in Human Geography, 4(2), 168–181.

Kasem, S., & Thapa, G. (2012). Sustainable development policies and achievements in the context of the agriculture sector in Thailand. Sustainable Development, 20(2), 98–114.

Kaufman, A. H. (2012). Organic farmers’ connectedness with nature: Exploring Thailand’s Alternative Agriculture Network. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 16(2), 154–178.

Konsulwat, V. (2002). The nutrition and health transition in Thailand. Public Health Nutrition, 5(1A), 183– 189.

Lohmann, L. (1991). Peasants, plantations and pulp. The politics of Eucalyptus in Thailand. Bulletin of Critical Asian Scholars, 23(4), 3–18.

McMichael, P. (2009). A food regime genealogy. Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(1), 139–169.

McMichael, P. (2012). The land grab and corporate food regime restructuring. Journal of Peasant Studies, 39(3–4), 681–701.

Missingham, B. (2003). Forging solidarity and identity in the assembly of the poor: From local struggles to a national social movement in Thailand. Asian Studies Review, 27(3), 317–340.

National Statistical Office, & Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. (2003). 2003 agricultural census Northeastern Region. Retrieved from http://web.nso.go.th/eng/agriculture/agri_northeast.pdf

Od-ompanich, W., Kittisiri, A., & Thongnoi, M. (2007). Organic and inorganic rice production – A case study in Yasothon province, Northeast Thailand. Penang, Thailand: Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific.

Panuwet, P., Siriwong, W., Prapamontol, T., Ryan, P. B., Fiedler, N., Robson, M. G., & Barr, D. B. (2012). Agricultural pesticide management in Thailand: Status and population health risk. Environmental Science & Policy, 17, 72–81.

Parnwell, M. J. G. (2006). Eco-localism and the shaping of sustainable social and natural environments in north-east Thailand. Land Degradation and Development, 17(2), 183–195.

Piboolsravut, P. (2004). Sufficiency economy. ASEAN Economic Bulletin, 21(1), 127–134.

Pye, O. (2003). Khor Jor Kor: Forest politics in Thailand. Dissertation, Technische Universtität Dresden, Germany.

Ratanakul, P. (2004). Buddhism, health and disease. Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics, 162–164.

Robinson, D. (2010). Local agricultural and environmental knowledge: Working with Thai institutes and communities. In J. Jennings, R. Packham, & D. Woodside (Eds.), Shaping change: Natural resource management, agriculture and the role of extension (pp 1–14) Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN), Australia. Retrieved from http://www.apen.org.au/images/PDF%20documents/APEN%20Forum07%20papers/Robinson___Local_Agricultural_and_Environmental_Knowledge_in_Thailand.pdf

Scott, S., Vandergeest, P., & Young, M. (2009). Certification standards and the governance of green foods in Southeast Asia. In J. Clapp, & D. Fuchs (Eds.), Corporate power in global agrifood governance (pp. 61–92). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Shankar, B., Posri, W., & Srivong, T. (2010). A case study of a contract farming chain involving supermarkets and smallholders in Thailand. Canadian Journal of Development Studies/Revue canadienne d’études du développement, 31(1–2), 137–153.

Shannon, R. (2009). The transformation of food retailing in Thailand 1997–2007. Asia Pacific Business Review, 15(1), 79–92.

Somchai, P. (2002). The politics of the NGO movement in Northeast Thailand. In Asian Review 15, Popular Movements, Institute of Asian Studies, Bangkok: Chulalongkorn Universtiy, 21–36.

Somchai P. (2008). The Thai Rak Thai party and elections in North-Eastern Thailand. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 38(1), 106–123.

Sangkumchaliang, P., & Huang, W. C. (2012). Consumers’ perceptions and attitudes of organic food products in Northern Thailand. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(1), 87–102.

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research, Grounded Theory procedures and techniques. Thousansd Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Supa, Y. (2005). Farmer’s network for sustainable agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Foundation, Thailand. Retrieved from http://www.sathai.org/autopagev4/show_page.php?topic_id=358&auto_id=24&TopicPk=

Tegbaru, A. (1998). Local environmentalism in Northeast Thailand. In A. Kalland & G. Persoon (Eds.), Environmental movements in Asia (pp. 151–178). Richmond, UK: Curzon.

Walker, A. (2012). Thailand’s political peasants: Power in the modern rural economy. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Wittman, H. (2009). Reworking the metabolic rift: La Vía Campesina, agrarian citizenship, and food sovereignty. Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(4), 805–826.

Wittman, H. (2010). Mobilizing agrarian citizenship: A new rural paradigm for Brazil. In P. McMichael (Ed.), Contesting development: Critical struggles for social change (pp. 165–181). New York, NY: Routledge.

Wittman, H. (2011). Food sovereignty: A new rights framework for food and nature? Environment and Society: Advances in Research, 2, 87–105.

Wittman, H., Desmarais, A., & Wiebe, N. (2010). The origins and potential of food sovereignty. In H. Wittmann, A. Desmarais, & N. Wiebe (Eds.), Food sovereignty: Reconnecting food, nature and community (pp. 1–14). Halifax, NS: Fernwood Press




DOI: https://doi.org/10.14764/10.ASEAS-2015.1-5

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/