The art of Buddhist connectivity: Organic rice farming in Thailand
This article analyses the interplay between the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) standard, Buddhist socio-economic imaginaries, and values within the global production network (GPN) of organic rice. It asks, “How do transnational standardisation and local values interact in the global production network of organic rice?” Little research has been conducted on the imaginaries and values embedded in the GPNs of organic food. This research aims to fill this gap by examining the transition to organic agriculture among two prominent organic rice farming communities in Thailand, namely the Naso Producer Group and the Ban Thap Thai Organic Agricultural Cooperative. The article draws on a combination of desk research; interviews with governmental and non-governmental officials, standard experts/certifiers, and representatives of the IFOAM; focus group discussions and photo-elicitation sessions with organic rice farmers; on-site observations; and participant observations of mindfulness meditation courses and interviews with Buddhist monks. The results show that Buddhist socio-economic imaginaries have informed the way in which Thai organic rice farmers reconnect to their arable land through an organic farming method, enabling them to live meaningfully and mindfully. This implies that the connectivity of the GPNs of organic rice is not created purely by standards and certifications formulated by transnational private actors; rather, it is also shaped to a large extent by community values and shifts in local mindsets. This article contributes to the literature on food philosophy in the developing world and the governance of the GPNs of organic rice.
© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agriculture and Human Values, 2022, available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-022-10363-w . Keywords: organic rice; global production network(s); standardisation; Buddhist socioeconomic imaginaries; values.
Limprapoowiwattana, C. The art of Buddhist connectivity: Organic rice farming in Thailand. Agric Hum Values (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-022-10363-w