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The long road to becoming a farmer: Thai agricultural students' plans

Filloux T., Faysse N., Pintobtang P.. 2019. Outlook on Agriculture, 48 (4) : p. 273-281.

DOI: 10.1177/0030727019879933

In past decades, young people in newly industrialized Asian countries have become progressively less involved in farming. In Thailand, providing support to young people to start farming is one possible way to ensure that some farms will continue to innovate and play an active economic role in the future. This study investigated if and how Thai agriculture students plan to become farmers. We interviewed a total of 187 agriculture students taking vocational courses or working towards a university degree focused on training future farmers. Among these students, 61% planned to become full-time farmers at some point in the future and 32% planned to farm part-time as a secondary income-generating activity. Most of the students aimed to set up farms that were diversified, knowledge-intensive and capital-intensive. Therefore, although many students came from a farming family and would be able to access some of their parents' land in the future, most considered that they did not have yet the necessary resources, such as capital and farming skills, to become farmers. Consequently, many students planned to spend time, often up to 10 years and sometimes more, acquiring these resources before starting a farm. Public policies could provide support to shorten this period if graduates in agriculture are to be among young people who engage in farming.

Mots-clés : jeunesse rurale; formation professionnelle; Éducation; politique de développement; politique agricole; thaïlande; politique publique

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