Uncertain future for small Thai poultry farmers

14-10-2013 | | |
Uncertain future for small Thai poultry farmers
Uncertain future for small Thai poultry farmers

Thailand’s Poultry Industry is set to enjoy sustained growth that will place it at the heart of the government’s aim of making Thailand the “kitchen of the world”.

Thailand’s 2012 Poultry production exceeded 1.3 million tonnes, which was last achieved in 2033 prior to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak that devastated the industry.

However, a report from Ipsos Business Consulting suggests that the small farmers, who account for 90% of the farms in Thailand, are not well placed to take advantage of this growth opportunity. To secure future growth the industry needs to invest in technology and equipment such as climate control housing and biosecurity production techniques, all of which requires significant capital investment. With current government policy focused on the large players within the market, it is likely that there will be reducing opportunities for small farmers in Thailand.

In 2004, 63 million birds were killed to curb HPAI outbreak at an estimated loss of THB96 billion. Prior to the outbreak, Thailand accounted for 8.3% of world poultry exports and was the number one exporter to the EU and Japan, falling to third place after the outbreak.

No the Thai Poultry Industry is moving towards industrialised farms and a vertically integrated farm structure. The average farm size is 37,147 birds, a 66% increase on 2008 average size and vertically integrated commercial farms now account for 70% of poultry production.

The top five companies CPF, CP, Betagro, Cargill, GFPT and Laemhthong, account for almost 75% of exports of poultry. Domestic consumption accounts for more than 65% of national poultry production.