From The Report: Thailand 2012
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With one in every three Thais making their living in the sector, agriculture is key to the country’s social makeup, even if its importance to the formal economy has diminished. The growth of industry has helped transform agriculture, and agro-manufacturing exports like processed sugars and cereals, and canned fish and fruit are multibillion dollar industries. Rice is the traditional staple, but a legacy of subsidies has distorted costs and harmed the export competiveness of Thai rice. Meanwhile, high prices over the past several years have tripled the value of Thai rubber exports, by far the most lucrative crop. The government is pushing to expand the acreage devoted to rubber plantations.