In Nan recently we found fields of maize stretching to the horizon. The trees have gone, along with the endangered species that used to live in the forest. Apparently, Bangkok tourists think this is great and we saw lots of them stopping at the road side to take selfies with the denuded hills as a backdrop.
So, what is this bountiful crop of Indian Corn for? Do the locals eat it? It would seem not. One crop would provide enough Kelloggs for breakfast, dinner and tea for the entire population of Nan for the next hundred years. Obviously the crop is being sold to the Agro-industrial corporations - a cheap meal for Seepee chickens and pigs. Which means that slash and burn cultivation is now practiced on an industrial scale.
What does the rest of the country get from this environmental game of beggar-thy-neighbour? The answer is floods, drought and smog. On the bright side, maybe we will get a few Baht off our chicken nuggets from Poophan Sender, or maybe not.