Transforming Rural and Indigenous Farming Communities in Thailand: Household Food Security and Globalization in the Twenty-First Century

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Prominentenzimmer (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Food security policies planned nationally and globally challenge the farming lives of rural and indigenous communities. This paper presents five qualitative case studies: two rural and three indigenous villages in the forests of Thailand. National policies affected by globalization not only restrict the rural and indigenous villagers from managing their own lands and natural resources, but also challenge them to secure their own living. Limited access to farm lands and forest reservations results in insecure and unstable food availabilities in those villages. Transforming their lifestyles today depends highly on the market economy. How can they have stable access to food in the market system? How can we make the system as fair as possible in a rapidly changing society? Studies show how lack of social capital, along with the loss of local culture and shift to a modern consumption-oriented lifestyle, could affect the living conditions of local villagers. They suffer from insufficient household food productions and limited food availabilities from the forests. My findings suggest that community food sovereignty is important to sustain household food security. Moreover, I argue that the supports from both local and national governments are crucial for the villagers to successfully secure food, particularly at a developmental stage of such village transformations. This study provides a critical perspective toward the global trend which drives the governments to implement policies with few concerns for negative impacts on everyday food productions in local farming communities.