There is a growing body of studies in rural development today that examine alternative forms of agriculture and food systems and the implications to the Global South. The issue is quite relevant in Thailand, a country where a large proportion of the population is still engaged in agriculture, in one way or the other, despite the steady growth in industrial sectors.
Out of several different forms of alternative agriculture models, the focus of this article is organic agriculture, which has become popular in agricultural development alternatives, especially in reference to smallscale farmers in the Global South.
Specifically, I will challenge the common dictum that organic agriculture, as narrowly defmed by certification standards, is a viable alternative for small-scale farmers in the Global South, making reference to a Thai example from fieldwork in northern Thailand, and provide additional recommendations.
(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 3/2010, Page 135-154)
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