Polls bring new promises for bumpy rural economy

Electoral posters are seen in Bangkok on March 17, 2019, ahead of the March 24 general election.
Electoral posters are seen in Bangkok on March 17, 2019, ahead of the March 24 general election.PHOTO: AFP

Downtown Nakhon Si Thammarat is quiet on a weekday evening, and restaurants sit empty awaiting customers. The southern Thai province, devastated in parts by tropical storm Pabuk earlier this year, is struggling to keep its rubber and fishery industries alive.

Trying to tighten their belts are people like Mr Narong Srirodon, who keeps a second job as a factory worker because income from his 1.6ha rubber plantation is too meagre to support his family.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2019, with the headline 'Polls bring new promises for bumpy rural economy'. Print Edition | Subscribe