Who will tend the farm? Interrogating the ageing Asian farmer

Jonathan Rigg*, Monchai Phongsiri, Buapun Promphakping, Albert Salamanca, Mattara Sripun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Farmers are ageing across Asia. This is presented as a ‘problem’ with implications for agricultural productivity, rural poverty and elderly care. Drawing on fieldwork in Thailand we interrogate this assumption. By examining farming as an activity within households that are occupationally diverse and spatially promiscuous, we argue that it is necessary to see farming not as a singular occupation but instead as part of livelihood complexes. We question the raw data used to construct the ageing farming problem and the causalities that flow from it, in rural Thailand and in smallholder farming across Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-325
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Issue number2
Early online date2 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

The acceptance date for this record is provisional and based upon the month of publication for the article.


  • ageing
  • Asia
  • Farming
  • livelihoods
  • mobility
  • Thailand


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