Economic and social impact assessment of rice research funding in Thailand using the structural equation modeling technique
This study quantiﬁed the effect sizes of the impact of rice research funding in Thailand, using the structural equation modeling technique. The impact factors were rice crop productivity, farmers' income, rice production cost, and the number of rice farmers. The secondary data were two-dimensional panel data from four regions in Thailand (North, Northeast, Central, and South) for the period 2008e2015. The results showed that the economic impact of rice breeding funding was larger than rice crop processing funding. This may have been due to the fact that Thailand has a large agricultural sector. The main focus of rice R&D studies has been on cultivation rather than processing technology development. Thus, the increases in rice crop productivity and farmers’ income were more affected by the breeding research funding than the processing funding. However, production cost and the number of rice farmers were inversely inﬂuenced by rice breeding funding, while crop processing funding still provided a positive impact on these two dimensions. This may have been due to the fact that the number of rice farmers has been decreasing substantially while breeding funding has been increasing annually over the past decades.