The Thai government’s Public Relations Department has used the post-coup period to put out a continuous stream of reporting and commentary on “sufficiency economy”. Recently they have devoted some attention to a small island off the coast of Phuket where “villagers…live today in happiness under the principle of self sufficiency economy”.

According to the recent report:

Showing strength in their community, the Koh Maphrao village is selected as one of Phuket’s pioneer villages to successfully practice self-sufficiency economies. Recently it received a budget of 200,000 baht to maintain and extend the career group within the community. This comprises home stay facilities and activities for housewives to earn extra income: “We unite and cooperate well among the local community.” The Koh Maphrao Village is another good example of living in Thai lifestyle with self sufficiency economy as pioneered by His Majesty the King.

Readers hoping to learn more about the government’s many model “sufficiency economy” villages will find the Thai-language offerings at the Public Relations Department even more interesting. Under the headline “sufficiency supports community” examples are offered from throughout the provinces. There are “sufficiency communities” in the northern (17 villages), northeastern (19 villages), southern (14 villages) and central (25 villages) parts of the country.

Unfortunately I don’t have up-to-date knowledge of the nitty-gritty local economy of any of the villages that are profiled on the site. Many in our audience would be delighted to hear from New Mandala readers who know more about the adoption of “sufficiency economy” in the specific villages highlighted by the Public Relations Department. Is there real substance behind the “sufficiency” of these model villages?