BANGKOK: Data from a recently-published info-graph underlines a five-year negative correlation between the use of agricultural chemical fertilizers and yield productivity for three key cash-crops in Thailand – rice, rubber and cassava.
The trend was in contrast to increased corn yields over the same period.
The infograph, titled “Eco Agriculture & Goals of the Country” (in Thai, Kaset Niwet Lae Bpao Mai Khawng Phrathet เกษตรนิเวศ และเป้าหมายของประเทศ) published and disseminated by the Bio Thai organization, displays three data graphs, citing the National Statistics Office.
The first image is a pie chart (top left) which shows the proportion of (Thai) “households” that use chemical fertilizer (red, 51.9%) compared to biological and organic fertilizers (5.7%) and chemical & others category (yellow, 35%).
The second image features a graph (bottom left) highlighting that from 2006 to 2011, chemical fertilizer consumption (black line) in Thailand increased as much as 80% in the face of stagnating productivity of rice (red), para rubber (yellow) and cassava (purple), while yield productivity of corn (green) increased over the same five-year period.
The third image (bottom right) charts the trend of chemical fertilizer costs doubling between 1980 and 2010, an up-trend poised to continue at a rate that could see the price triple in 20 years, from US$500 per ton in 2010 to as much as $1,500/ton by 2030.
In the upper right section of the info-graph, there is a message that reads:
“The National Strategy Information Center has found that the import of chemical fertilizer has not resulted in increased productivity per rai in any way.”
“In 2013, as much as 66 billion baht worth of chemical fertilizer was imported, [with a] market value of more than 100 billion baht.
“To increase the proportion of area utilized for ecological agriculture from 5.7% to more than half of available area is the solution to debt, environment and commercial competitive problems of the agriculture sector.”
Related, see Thailand-USA cash-crop economics statistics and intelligence.