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Vol. 24 No.1
January - March 2007

ISSN 0125-0159

Editor's Note
Special Feature
Sufficiency Economy
Dr. Sumet Tantivejkul: The Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy for the World
Pattani Salt: The Fair Trade Culture of Buy Ten and Get One Free
The Mekong: The River of Life and Culture
Biodiesel Comes to Fuel Users’ Rescue
In Focus
Recycling for Art’s Sake, at Wat Suwannaram
Apae Amor, the Outstanding Akha Guide at Akha Hill House
Thai Touch
The Diving Paradise of Ko Tao
Keyword Search

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Sufficiency Economy

Development that is based on Sufficiency Economy is development that is based on sustainability and consideration. This kind of development emphasizes moderation, rationality, immunity, and the application of knowledge, carefulness, and morality in making decisions and taking actions.

The philosophy of Sufficiency Economy provides a guide to appropriate ways of living and behaving. It was developed from the traditional Thai lifestyle and can be applied to all situations. It derives from an understanding of the always-changing world and aims at protection from dangers and crises for the sake of stable and sustainable development.

The elements of Sufficiency Economy make it applicable to what we do at all levels of society. Actions based on Sufficiency Economy focus on moderation and gradual development. The following elements make up the core:

Moderation: What we do should be neither too little nor too much, but adequate in a way that does not adversely affect ourselves or others. Sufficient production and consumption are examples.
Rationality: Deciding on the level of sufficiency must be done rationally. Such decisions must be carefully reached and based on relevant factors, and the possible results of actions need to be considered.
Immunity: We should be prepared for possible changes in both the near and distant future.

Decisions and actions that reflect sufficiency require knowledge and morality as their bases. Knowledge means adequate information and thoughtfulness to integrate fields of knowledge in order to make plans. Morality means honesty, patience, perseverance, and wisdom as the fundamentals of life.

The philosophy of Sufficiency Economy will lead to balanced and sustainable development, and those who apply it will be ready to cope with all kinds of changes concerning the economy, society, the environment, knowledge, and technology.

Sufficiency and the New Theory of agriculture enable the gradual development of independence at various levels. In combination, these practices help reduce risks posed by natural uncertainty and changing factors, as well as promoting reciprocity, unity, and the other qualities already mentioned.

Because the meaning of Sufficiency Economy is broader than that of the New Theory, Sufficiency Economy guides the New Theory. The New Theory, which features gradual agricultural development, is an example of how to employ the principle of Sufficiency Economy.

There are two levels in the implementation of Sufficiency Economy: basic and progressive implementation.

Sufficiency at the individual and family level. This is the basic implementation that will enable farmers to have enough rice and other crops for household consumption. Rice that they do not need for their own use can be sold to generate income to pay for what they cannot produce. This system creates immunity for families. However, farmers may still need appropriate assistance at times from communities, the government, foundations, and the private sector.

Sufficiency at the community level. This is the progressive implementation that covers the second stage in the application of the New Theory of agriculture. It encourages farmers to form their own organizations or cooperatives. When members of families or organizations enjoy individual sufficiency, they should group for mutual benefits and assistance.

Sufficiency at the national level. This is the second part of the progressive implementation, covering the third stage. It encourages communities to join forces with other organizations in the nation. The cooperation will increase the transfer and exchange of wisdom, knowledge, and technology and trigger collective development in line with the principle of Sufficiency Economy. Doing so will turn the nations communities, organizations, and enterprises into a network of sufficiency-based communities that refrain from offending one another but interact with, help, and coexist with one another happily and permanently.

Story: Wudhichai Assawinchaichote
Photos: Apichai Suananantapoom

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