TRANSCRIPT - Surin Kaewmek
Kaewmek is a Tenant Shrimp Farmer near Ranote in Thailand.
How much do
you and your family earn for a living?
Now is a difficult
time for earning a living. Jobs are less available.
Please tell me what is the occupation of you and your wife?
I work as an
employee in the shrimp farm. My wife also works as a housewife,
she gets 2,000 to 3,000 bahts per month, but not more than 3,000
Can you tell me your income salary and also as a percentage of shrimp
I get 7,000
bahts per month from my salary. The income from percentage is not
fixed and depends on the production. If we get good production,
I get a good percentage, but if the production is low, my percentage
is also low. Usually, the percentage is two bahts from each kilogram
I have seen you go fishing. Is that for your own consumption or
for a sale?
That is for
myself, but sometimes I also give to friends who ask for it. It
is not for sale.
Have you ever compared your current occupation with your former
In the former
time, I could live, but the economics were not good. I used to be
both a rice farmer and fisherman. Now I work in the shrimp farm.
The income is not certain; it depends on the number of ponds that
I take care of. If there is only one pond, my income could be small.
If I take care of two ponds the income is better. The percentage
I get, also does not ascertain. Some shrimp farm owners give one
percentage, some give one bath per kilogram, and some give two baths
When you said the economics were not good, you mean that it was
difficult to get money, right?
Yes, it was
difficulty to get money. Before, I got a lower income. Now I get
higher income but the expenses are also higher. Before, I could
grow my own vegetables. Now, I can't. There is also no space to
Why can't you grow vegetables?
cannot survive with the humid from saline pond water. Also, the
weather is very hot here.
ever had a problem with chemicals used on the shrimp farm? What
about the environmental or health problems?
are dangerous, so we have to know how to avoid it. For example,
if you inhale formalin, it can make you lose your breath. Instead
of casting formalin into the pond, you better siphon it with a rubber
tube. You have to find a way to avoid its exposure to air.
How about the impact of chemicals to the environment?
have impacts. If you use a lot of chemicals, it has proportionate
Can you give an example?
If you use a
lot of chemicals, there will be a lot of residue. The same is true
for shrimp. They are not healthy if you treat them with a lot of
How about your family? How many children do you have? How old are
they? Do you have enough to support your children? What do you expect
for their future?
I do think of
my children but there are so many other things to think about.
What do you expect for the future of your children? Do you have
enough to support your children? What is your dream for the future
of your children?
I have five
children. The oldest is almost 16 years old. Now he is in the tenth
grade. The second kid does not go to school. The third one is in
the fourth grade. The other two are in the second grade. They were
born different years but attend school in the same year.
What occupation do you want your children to have in the future?
I want my children
to grow up and get better job than me. I want them to be better
With your current job, do you have enough to support your children
I can't afford
to send all my kids to school. My budget is so tight. I can just
pay the expenses. I can't send all of my five kids to school. Even
though my wife and I are both working, we don't have enough money.
I have to work here while the family is at home. It looks like we
have two families. We have to spend the money in both places.