Thailand’s experience of employment generation for the people of lower strata of the Economy

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Thailand with per capita income of USD 6000 enjoys very successful employment rate, which is 99%. Thailand also has very successful participation of women in its economy with women forming 64% of total workforce and contributing 50% to the GDP. Thailand achieved this through various interventions to skill the people of Thailand especially those who are not into formal employment. One such intervention is skilling street food vendors. To illustrate this we have taken a model of ready to eat fresh cut fruit sellers and freshly squeezed fruit juice sellers.

Like India, Thailand is abundant producer of fruits. Thailand has very successful mobile fruit carts which primarily serve three purposes (i) part-time employment for fruit sellers (ii) creating additional market for fruit producers, and (iii) encourage healthy eating habits in the society.

Fruit Carts

While there are many types of fruit carts, the above depicted carts are most commonly used in Thailand. Perhaps the one with glass cover may be suitable for Indian conditions considering our foot paths are not yet covered with concrete. We may find nothing new in Thai fruit carts as this practice is there is India also. However, the difference is training of these sellers in maintaining hygienic conditions in and around the cart. Moreover, they do not dirty the place around the cart by throwing the peel.

The fruit sellers bring peeled fruits to market place and cut the fruit into bite size pieces when customer orders. The cut fruit are served in food grade polythene with wooden eating prickers. The fruits covered are pineapple, watermelon, apple, guava, mango, dragon fruit, papaya, chickoo, etc. The quantity sold is standardized and is in the range of Thai baht 10 to 20 (Rs. 20 to 40).

Source: Embassy of India Bangkok

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