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Climate Change Impacts on Sugarcane Production in Thailand

Pipitpukdee, Siwabhorn and Attavanich, Witsanu and Bejranonda, Somskaow (2020): Climate Change Impacts on Sugarcane Production in Thailand. Published in: Atmosphere , Vol. 4, No. 11 (19 April 2020): pp. 1-16.

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Abstract

This study investigated the impact of climate change on yield, harvested area, and production of sugarcane in Thailand using spatial regression together with an instrumental variable approach to address the possible selection bias. The data were comprised of new fine-scale weather outcomes merged together with a provincial-level panel of crops that spanned all provinces in Thailand from 1989–2016. We found that in general climate variables, both mean and variability, statistically determined the yield and harvested area of sugarcane. Increased population density reduced the harvested area for non-agricultural use. Considering simultaneous changes in climate and demand of land for non-agricultural development, we reveal that the future sugarcane yield, harvested area, and production are projected to decrease by 23.95%–33.26%, 1.29%–2.49%, and 24.94%–34.93% during 2046–2055 from the baseline, respectively. Sugarcane production is projected to have the largest drop in the eastern and lower section of the central regions. Given the role of Thailand as a global exporter of sugar and the importance of sugarcane production in Thai agriculture, the projected declines in the production could adversely affect the well-being of one million sugarcane growers and the stability of sugar price in the world market.

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