Factors influencing long term tomato seed production under contract farming

Chalee Gedgaew, Suchint Simaraks, A. Terry Rambo


Hybrid tomato seed production under contract farming in Northeast Thailand has been declining after three decades of initial introduction. However, some growers in some villages remain as long-term growers. This study was designed to identify factors influencing their long-term production decision making process. A purposive sampling technique was used to select the study sites and key informants for in-depth semi-structured interviews. Group interviews were conducted to validate the data. The contract hybrid tomato seed production system is a centralized model. It is based on a two-way contractual relationships between the company and the individual grower. The companies specify production systems and produce quality standards at a fixed time and price. They support a complete package of inputs credit, loans and extension services to the growers. Costs of all inputs and loans are deducted from the seed payment. These costs are usually forgiven when the crop fails through no fault of the growers. The growers cannot produce hybrid tomato seeds without a contract due to the proprietary germplasm. The quality of the product and marketing are also controlled by the companies. The companies must depend on the farmers’ knowledge however, for the management and technical skills. Therefore, the companies must allow considerable flexibility and leniency in enforcing the terms of the contracts. As a result, knowledgeable and skillful growers are vital factors in sustaining long term hybrid tomato seed production. Furthermore, grower’s personal characteristics stand out as an important factor for long term production. This is why the companies are lenient and flexible with the growers to sustain their mutual benefit. 


sustainable production; intensification; skilled labor; farmer decision making; contract farming; tomato

Full Text:



Benziger, V. (1996). Small Fields, Big Money: Two Successful Programs in Helping Small Farmers Make the Transition to High Value-Added Crops. World Development 24(11): 1681-1693.

Da Silva, C.A.B. (2005). The Growing Role of Contract Farming in Agri-food Systems Development: Drivers, Theory and Practice. Rome: FAO.

Delforge, I. (2007). Contract Farming in Thailand: A view from the farm. Focus on the Global South CUSRI. Bangkok, Thailand: Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute.

Eaton, C. and A.W. Shepherd. (2001). Contract Farming: Partnerships for growth. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin 145. Rome: FAO.

Gedgaew, C., S. Simaraks, and A.T. Rambo. (2017). Trends in Hybrid Tomato Seed Production under Contract Farming in Northeast Thailand. Southeast Asian Studies 6(2): 339-355.

Kerdsuk, W., S. Chartbunchachai, S. Usanawarong, J. Reungchayachatuporn, C. Yenchai, S. Boonsanure, P. Saenchaisuriya, and P. Ketsomboon. (1996). Self-Care Behavior of the Northeast Farmers Involved in The Dry Season Seed Production: Case Study in 2 villages. Research report. Khon Kaen, Thailand: Research Development Institute, Khon Kaen University.

Limpinuntana, V. (2001). Physical factors related to agricultural potential and limitations in northeast Thailand. In Natural Resource Management Issues in the Korat Basin of Northeast Thailand: An Overview, ed. S.P. Kam, C.T. Hoanh, G. Trebuil, and B. Hardy, 3-17. International Rice Research Institute.

Martwanna, N., and K. Lertrat. (2007). Contract Farming: Seed Production of Seed Companies in Thailand. Thailand Research Fund report. Bangkok, Thailand: Thailand Research Fund.

Meteorological Department. 2014. Climatological data of Thailand for 30 year period (1981 – 2010). Meteorological data report No. 551-586-01-2556. Bangkok, Thailand: Meteorological Department.

Rosset, P., R. Rice, and M. Watts. (1999). Thailand and the World Tomato: Globalization, New Agricultural Countries (NACs) and the Agrarian Question. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food 8: 71-94.

Saenjan, V. (1998). Future Prospect of Small and Medium Size Agribusiness in Thailand. In Proceedings of the Second International Seminar on Agribusiness and Its Impact on Agricultural Production in Southeast Asia (DABIA II), ed. A. Patanothai, and P. Keerati-Kasikorn, 159-180. Khon Kaen, Thailand: Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University.

Sarkar, M.A.R., M.H.A. Rashid, and M.R. Sarker. (2011). Contract Farming in Tomato Seed Production in Rangpur District of Bangladesh: A Financial Analysis. Progressive Agriculture 22(1&2): 169-179.

Siamwalla, A. (1996). Thai Agriculture: From Engine of Growth to Sunset Status. TDRI Quarterly Review 11(4): 3-10.

Singh, S. (2005). Contract Farming System in Thailand. Economic and Political Weekly December 31, 2005: 5578-5586.

Sriboonchitta, S., and A. Wiboonpoongse. (2008). Overview of Contract Farming in Thailand: Lessons learned. ADBI Discussion Paper 112. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute.

Sudha, M., T.M. Gajanana, and D.S. Murthy. (2006). Economic Impact of Commercial Hybrid Seed Production in Vegetables on Farm Income, Employment and Farm Welfare – A Case of Tomato and Okra in Karnataka. Agricultural Economics Research Review 19(July-December 2006): 251-268.

Tay, D. (2002). Vegetable Hybrid Seed Production. In Proceedings International Seed Seminar: Trade Production and Technology. Oct – 2002. http://www.seedconsortium.org /PUC/ eLibraryExtension.html. Accessed 20 March 2015.

Winters, P., P. Simmons, and I. Patrick. (2005). Evaluation of Hybrid Seed Contract between Smallholders and a Multinational Company in East Java, Indonesia. The Journal of Development Studies 41(1): 62-89.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24259/fs.v2i2.4340


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Forest and Society is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

View My Stats

Forest and Society has been indexed/registered/mentioned in : 


View full indexing services