|A wooden farmer’s house in a rural area of
Roi-Et province in Isan
Poverty is still a big problem in Thailand.
In their report the World Bank states: Currently less than 35 percent of Thais live in a household making more than 14,000 baht ($450) per month.
Or in other words: two-third of Thai households earn less.
The poorest area in Thailand is Isan in the North-East and accommodates 20 million people or about one-third of Thailand’s population.
I have no exact recent data, but from what I read, extrapolating these figures with annual growth, in Isan an average family will earn about ฿6,500/€150/$215 per month.
Outside the cities, agriculture or rice farming is the major activity and areas near rivers will normally yield two crops a year, other dryer and therefor poorer areas will have to settle with just one crop per year.
As a Dutchman it’s hard to understand why there are no small canals with water locks of course, in the dry areas which are mainly flatland, but so be it.
Last month however was a good month for the people in the dry areas, since their only crop was not affected by the flooding. Besides the human tragedy, this year farmers in the wet areas lost their entire second crop. Apart from selling lottery tickets which is a popular (additional) source of income for older people, a large part of the community in these area’s rely for the rest of the year on their son’s and daughter’s sending money back home.