Acknowledgement on Free Trade Agreement of Thai Farmers in Rural Area
The objective of this research was to study the acknowledgement on free trade agreement of Thai farmers in rural area. The population was farmers from the north, northeast and central regions. The sample size of 249 Thai farmers in rural area was obtained by purposive sampling. Research instruments comprised of 1) free trade agreement acknowledgement questionnaire, and 2) questions used with 36 focus groups discussion. The data were analyzed using frequency distribution, percentage, mean, t-test and content analysis. The results showed that the average scores of acknowledgement on free trade agreement between before and after attending focus group discussion were no statistically significance difference at level 0.05. Most of the farmers had heard of free trade agreement from television but did not understand the meaning of it. They were uncertain whether the free trade agreement had any effect on them. Farmers from the northeast region knew more about free trade agreement in details than the other regions. Minority of farmers thought they had been negatively affected from the free trade agreement, specifically, Thai-Chinese free trade agreement. The majority thought consumers got benefits from free trade agreement because they could purchase imported products at lower price, which could shift purchasing demand in Thailand from domestic to foreign products. The majority of farmers in rural area of all regions demanded more of free trade agreement knowledge. In addition, they requested to take part in free trade agreement consideration before the agreement was signed between the governments of each country.
Keywords: acknowledgement, free trade agreement, Thai farmers, rural area