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Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy

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Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | The Thaiger
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Thailand suffers calamities at both ends of the annual weather spectrum – both drought and flood. But as the demands on agriculture grow, with a growing population and the rise of tourists and development, the effects of these two extremes are becoming more apparent.

Which leads us to this year’s outlook of lower rains which is exposing the poor management of the Kingdom’s water resources. Greater development and growing population bases hasn’t been met with more or larger water catchments.

So Thai farmers are expected to face a tough 2019 as forecasters say the drought will be more acute than usual, lowering the water levels in reservoirs in the central and northeastern provinces especially.

Int eh south, Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and surrounded by water, has an acute water shortage as of Songkran and, without adequate monsoonal rain between now and November, will be facing a water crisis if it has to rely on its own island resources.

The Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension Samran Saraban says the drought this year is exacerbated by El-Nino weather cycle which causes temperature to rise 1-2 degrees higher than normal and cause the water levels in major reservoirs to drop to worrisome level. Higher temperatures mean more evaporation and more usage of reserves.

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for farmers not to grow off-season rice as drought is predicted to spread into northeastern and eastern regions. That there will likely be a new administration coping with political instability will not help leaders focus on the country’s looming water shortage.

The long dry season will lower certain farm outputs, pushing up their prices. However, an overall farm income is set to decline because the drought will leave other negative affects to farmers who are also the consumers as well. This will affect the purchasing power of farm households, which account for one-third of Thais.

Etc, etc, etc.

Economists estimated the damage from the drought on the economy this year could be high. Kasikorn Research Center estimate the drought could cost at least 15.3 billion baht. Whilst Anusorn Tamajai, Dean of Economics Faculty, Rangsit University, estimates the drought to cost even more – 20-30 billion baht -because it would affect the outputs of off-season rice, sugarcane and tapioca.

“It will dampen the purchasing power of farmers in the second quarter.”

Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence chief Yanyong Thaicharoen said that the lackluster farm income can slash the growth rate of domestic consumption this year to 3.5% versus 4.6% growth last year, in addition to other factors, namely, high household debt and slower demand for durable goods.

Spending power from farmers, according to SCB, is crucial to sustain the growth of the economy. However, the grassroots economy is bracing for negative outlook this year.

There will be intense pressure on this season’s management of Thailand’s valuable water resources, through the remaining hot season and as the catchments gather water during the monsoon.

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger | Wikipedia

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Thailand

A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai

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A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Representational

A wild elephant killed an 80 year old man camping in Khao Yai National Park early this morning. Park officials believe the bull elephant was in musth, which is when the elephant has rise in reproductive hormones and becomes aggressive.

80 year old Prayot Jitbun was sleeping in his tent when the elephant attacked. Other nearby campers alerted park officials saying the elephant had walked around the Prayot’s car before becoming angry and stomping on his tent, then throwing the man into a tree.

Fresh fruit was inside the man’s car and park officials believe the smell of the fruit attracted the elephant. Park officials suspect the animal became angry and attacked when it couldn’t reach the fruit.

The wild elephant, known as “Phlai Due” had been fitted with a tracking collar earlier this month. The officials say this is the first person attacked by an elephant in the park this year and ensure it won’t happen again.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar

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Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

The north-eastern province of Roi Et has confirmed its first Covid-19 case since last month’s resurgence of the virus. Governor Chayan Sirimas says the patient is a female employee from a karaoke joint in the Sri Racha district of Chon Buri province, in the east of the country.

“She had close contact with another patient from Chon Buri province (her younger sister) who tested positive earlier on January 9. She then took a test on January 10 at Roi Et Hospital and found that she was also infected. Both patients have symptoms of coughing and sore throat with no fever.”

According to the Nation Thailand report, the travel history and timeline of the woman’s positive test is as follows:

January 1: She travelled with her sister and the sister’s husband from Sri Racha in Chon Buri to the Muang district of Roi Et. The journey was undertaken in a personal car.

January 4 – 6: The woman visited a local market while wearing a face mask.

January 5: Her sister and sister’s husband left Roi Et and returned to Chon Buri in their car.

January 7: The woman is contacted by Sri Racha health officials, who tell her she is “high risk”, after a customer at the karaoke business where she works has tested positive for the virus. The woman does not get tested that day, but her sister, also employed at the karaoke joint, is tested at Chon Buri hospital the next day.

January 9: The sister’s test result comes back positive.

January 10: The sister’s husband also tests positive. The woman then gets tested and is also confirmed as positive.

According to Sri Racha health officials, 10 employees from the karaoke business have tested positive for the virus. 9 family members who had close contact with the 2 sisters have all tested negative. There are 7 people who had close contact with the sister’s husband. Of those, 3 have tested negative and 4 are waiting for their results.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Schools and lottery market in Loei close after family tests positive for Covid-19

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Schools and lottery market in Loei close after family tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

Schools and a lottery market in the Northeastern province Loei were ordered to close after a family tested positive for Covid-19. The province is marked as a “yellow zone” under high surveillance with a total of 6 reported Covid-19 infections.

Schools will be temporarily closed from today until 24 January, while the lottery market will be closed from today onwards.

The family who tested positive are a 78 year old woman, a 13 year old 7th grad student, and a 6 year old kindergarten student. The provincial authority says the family all went to a school and the market lottery, resulting in the closure of schools and a lottery market today.

The cases were detected in a proactive testing campaign which tested more than 1,200 people. There are 35 people at “high risk” waiting for test results.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | CCSA

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