The Chao Phraya Basin and Thailand

  • David Catling


The Thais, an overwhelmingly agricultural people first settling in the Chao Phraya Valley many hundreds of years ago, have developed the Central Plain into one of the world’s great rice bowls comparable with those of the Ganges-Brahmaputra, Mekong and Irrawaddy Deltas. Rice is the staple of the rural economy, and it is the largest primary product in the economy that is not foreign-controlled (Tate, 1979). It makes up a large share of the export trade, and since 1982 Thailand has been the world’s largest exporter of rice, shipping 3–6 million tons annually to various parts of the world. The rice export industry has helped to make rice farmers of the Central Plain the most affluent among the deepwater rice countries in Asia.


Floating Rice Central Plain Acid Sulphate Soil Water Conservation Area Deepwater Rice 
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Copyright information

© International Research Institute (IRRI) 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Catling

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