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Problem Solving and Development of Southern Border Provinces

The problem in southern border provinces is the ‘violence’ that has arisen from the conflicts in the area. There have been many violent incidents such as assault raid or ambush, arson, bombing and chaos continuously arisen that the government has determined that such situation is a problem that needs urgent solution. The government has now determined to apply the mechanisms to supervise the solution and development of the areas in deep south provinces that are harmonized with the Geo-social condition, with flexibility and diversification on religions, cultures, and firmly holding to the creation of unity and the understanding, accessibility, development principle. As well, the southern border provinces have been determined to be a special development zone that has both financial and treasury support measures, and some concerned laws and regulations have to be improved to facilitate more investments and business enterprises.  

In addition, the southern border provinces have high potentially to develop, especially in agriculture, which is the main economy. But at present much of such areas have become abandoned rice fields. The main causes of the abandonment are that: farmers lack the capital for land development, low fertility acid and severely acid soils. These problems make rice farming or fruit tree growing not productive as it should be and many farmers desert their farms in vain and turned to do other occupations, resulting in the loss of economic value of land. Farming areas of the southern border provinces have encountered problems throughout the time.

The development and economic rehabilitation in the southern border provinces is therefore another urgent policy of the government to speed up the integrated operation coordination of several agencies together, linking with the areas in the southern border provinces, to create the actual and continuous effectiveness to solve the problems, and to develop the southern border provinces, as well as to prepare to enter the Asian Economic Community (AEC).The Land Development Department is the government’s main agency that concerns land development. It has participated in the integration by preparing the project to improve and rehabilitate the deserted rice fields in five border provinces, i.e. Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Satun and Songkhla. This will enable the land to be used for agriculture, whereby the department supports soil and water conservation, soil management, application of soil improvement materials, managing cropping systems, adjusting the area to suit rice and oil palm, and also transferring various development knowledge bodies to farmers in the area. All these undertakings will create the opportunity to farmers to have more choices in performing their occupation that create the revenue and strengthen the economy of the southern provinces, basing on the efficient and sustainable soil management.From the operation in the past, farmers could gain benefits in many aspects, e.g. they could use their land efficiently and suitably, the deserted rice fields were improved so that rice and other economic crops could grow on them, and farmers can increase the efficiency and production of some important renewable energy plants that enable them to earn more income and to have sustainable and improved living conditions.
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