Wanna Suwan is a Rice Farmer in Ban Phang Knai, Amphur Ranote, Songkhla province in Thailand.

What are you doing right now?

We are beating the rice.

How big is the area of your paddy field? How many times do you grow rice each year? How much gets produced? Is it enough for consumption all year round?

The area of my paddy field is around seven rai. I get less than one ton of production which is enough for seven or eight months of consumption. I have to separate some production to feed my chicken.

Can you tell us about those shrimp farms? When did shrimp farms start in this area? Do you think it will expand or not?

Shrimp farms first started during the last two or three years on the east side. After two or three crops, they did not succeed and let other people rent their farms. The village chief did not allow them to raise shrimp on the west side because he was afraid that saltwater would affect the paddy field. Some people agreed but some did not, since they raised shrimp and had only two or three crops and then lost their investment.

Can you tell us whether there was conflict between the rice farmers and shrimp farm?

In the last three years, there was a shrimp farm located next to a paddy field. The shrimp farm owner wanted to buy that paddy field, but the paddy field's owner did not want to sell it. On the other hand, she wanted to keep that piece of land for her kids to grow rice. But after two or three years, saltwater from the shrimp farm intruded into the paddy field and that paddy field could not be used for growing rice any more.

What do you think about the income you get from growing rice compared with those who raise shrimp?

I don't like the shrimp farm. You have to invest a lot of money. It takes a long time to save that money. It is better to spend that money for your kids to go to school. If you lose the shrimp farm, you lose everything; you have to put your land title in the bank. You will be in debt.