Sustainable development of silk industry in Northeast Thailand

  • Patsorn Siewsamdangdet

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Northeast Thailand is renowned for the quality of its hand-woven silk production. Silk production is a traditional, cultural heritage handed down through generations. It has become main or supplementary income source for many families in the north-eastern rural villages. Family-based silk producers, such as silk weavers and silk farmers associated with the region’s competitive advantage, are the main contribution the growth of the Thai silk industry. The challenge of the industry is to create competitive advantage but not to lose the traditional heritage knowledge and skills of silk production. Therefore, the research examines the nature of silk production in relation to development of co-operative linkages for access to the flow of information for product and market development. The application of the value-chain model provides a framework for analysing actors and factors which influence the silk production in particular value-chains. This allows identification of livelihood resources of stakeholders that can be allocated in their value-chain environments. This also helps to identify strengths that might create competitive advantage and weaknesses that lead to exploit external resources. Analysis of these strengths and weaknesses assist integration of strategies which appropriately address improvement capabilities of stakeholders in particular value-chains. Research findings suggest that competitive advantage of the industry can be developed through specialization of silk production skills and product differentiation. Integration of strategies for improving capabilities of stakeholders in each value-chain is recommended. Personal network is used as an approach to facilitate strengthening existing linkages and developing new linkages between all silk stakeholders in the value-chains, as well as to gain access to the flow of information that is essential for product and market development. This is believed to promote sustainable livelihoods, sustainable development of the industry as well as facilitate regional economic growth.
    Date of AwardMar 2010
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRam Vemuri (Supervisor) & Philip Bretherton (Supervisor)

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