Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
 
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Early Rattanakosin Period



Agriculture under the Royal Patronage of Thai Kings

During the Rattanakosin period, the administration of the Kingdomís agriculture still consistently remained within the economic mandates of the Crown. Where tracts of wasteland were detected, or where it was found that any agricultural parcels were left unattended Their majesties would graciously command that their subjects be allowed to till the land to earn their living. This was clearly spelt out in the provisions of the Laws of the Three Seals as follows Ė "the parcels outside the capital city which lie within the realm of Ayutthaya (i.e. the Kingdom Thailland) ... shall not be left unattended to no avail, and the village headsmen, the district sheriffs, the sub-district officials, as well as the octroi officials shall arrange that those parcels be populated ..Ē This policy not only ensured the enhancement of the populaceís livelihood, but also enhanced the the collection of state revenue.
 
With the changing times, and the advent of western technologies, Thailand was compelled to initiate further developments to be on the par with the outside world. This is particularly true immediately after the concluding of the Bowing Treaty with the United Kingdom in B.E. 2398 (1855), which was a major condition determining Thailandís steps towards trade liberalization, culminaiting in a rapid growth of the Thai economy, and its increasing economic links to the world economy. Thailandís imports and exports doubled in both value and volume terms. As such, Thailandís agricultural sector had to undergo a transformation process - from the then self-reliance approach to a new concept of export-orientated production. In this process, rice has increasingly become the primary export item consistently, which has tremendously brought in foreign exchange to the kingdom.

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