Published: Saturday 15 February 1997

-- The land of white elephants has been named among one of the four honoured Asian countries which have managed to achieve self-sufficiency in food for growing and increasingly affluent populations. The other countries are China, India and Indonesia. The outstanding track records of these countries are documented in a recent Food and Agriculture Organization (fao) study entitled Success Stories in Food Security. The fao analysis gives a detailed account of the "success components". It states strong leadership, macroeconomic stability, an outward-looking development strategy and universal primary education to be among the ingredients of Thailand's economic success. The nation's annual food production growth paralleled overall economic development at seven per cent over the last three decades and contributed to the stability of the baht, the currency of Thailand. But increasing production intensity, improving diversity and reducing poverty still remain important policy issues to be addressed by the Thai government, says the analysis.

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