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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

#NoCPTPP - Why is the CPTPP bad for Thailand?

#NoCPTPP hashtag gained momentum and was trending with over million tweets only days ago when the news revealed that the Thai Government might decide to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Since last year, people have been pressuring the government not to join the deal!

But Why is the public so concerned?

Because the CPTPP will harm the local agricultural sector, small businesses, small farmers and indigenous Peoples in Thailand as well as our food security.

But How?

CPTPP will promote Free Trade & would give member countries benefits such as zero tax, better services and investments which would boost international trade and attract foreign investments. It will result in small farmers having to buy commercial seeds at higher prices for their agriculture, instead of using their very own seeds. It means that their production will also become more expensive, threatening our food security!!

How is that even possible⁉️

The huge issue is the #UPOV91, an Union protecting intellectual property rights of big companies producing seeds and from whom small farmers will have to buy seeds!!! CPTPP requires every member country to be a member of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991).

#UPOV91 is what would directly impact small-scale Thai farmers and indigenous peoples life, because they will have to purchase and use commercial high-yield seeds and they won’t be allowed to save seeds from their own harvests for use in the next planting season as it would be considered as a violation of intellectual property rights.

This will negatively impact small-scale farmers, make it harder for them to earn their livelihood, and the agricultural products they produce will be at a higher price too. This will eventually threaten Thailand’s food security as a whole.

For the country so dependent on agriculture with the motto ‘farmers are the backbone of the nation’ is CPTPP what would truly benefit us?

Now, the Thai government states that everything is still in the consideration process; they just extended an additional 50 days for related agencies to conduct a study on whether or not to join CPTPP... and they better not join!

We will have to keep an eye on the next steps they will take!

Amazing illustration from jiji_rasak on Instagram


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