Agricultural stakeholders’ priorities using Q method for initiation of an innovation platform in Nan, Thailand 10.55131/jphd/2022/200215

Main Article Content

Daranrat Jaitiang
Gregory C. Luther
Shih-Jui Tung
Chifumi Takagi


As a consequence of intensive maize mono-cropping practice on sloping lands in northern Thailand, Nan province, farmers face extremely low yields, soil erosion, and prolonged drought. Research and development efforts are needed to identify possible solutions, evaluate and scale them out to farmers. Consequently, an innovation platform has initiated a network of stakeholders, including farmers, government officers, researchers, and private sector actors, who meet regularly to coordinate the development of long-term solutions. Therefore, this study aims to identify which interests and goals are shared and which are conflicting among the various stakeholders involved in the Nan R4D platform, which was initiated as part of the Humidtropics project. Q methodology was employed, and 29 participants were selected from the R4D platform to conduct a Q-sort activity. The results showed that the two distinctive framings shared ways of thinking about research and development (R&D) and environmental issues. Additionally, participants’ interests and goals were diversifying agriculture, livestock promotion, growing vegetables, government aid, rubber plantation profitability, pesticide damage, deforestation, growing own food, and the possibility of growing maize sustainably. However, they disagreed on whether maize cultivation leads to food insecurity and high debt among farmers, and if planting fruit trees on sloping land is advisable. Ultimately, this study delivers agricultural stakeholders’ perspectives from the platform including recommendations on further potential policies for agricultural development in Nan.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Jaitiang D, Luther GC, Tung S-J, Takagi C. Agricultural stakeholders’ priorities using Q method for initiation of an innovation platform in Nan, Thailand: 10.55131/jphd/2022/200215. JPHD [Internet]. 2022 May 19 [cited 2022 Aug. 10];20(2):196-213. Available from:
Original Articles
Author Biographies

Daranrat Jaitiang, Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan (ROC)

Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan (ROC)

Gregory C. Luther, Independent Consultant, Agricultural Development Initiatives, Inc., Tainan, Taiwan (ROC)

Independent Consultant, Agricultural Development Initiatives, Inc., Tainan, Taiwan (ROC)

Shih-Jui Tung, Graduate Institute of Bio-Industry Management, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan (ROC)

Graduate Institute of Bio-Industry Management, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan (ROC)

Chifumi Takagi, International Master Program of Agriculture (IMPA), National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan

International Master Program of Agriculture (IMPA), National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan


Andrieu N, Howland F, Acosta-Alba I, Le Coq J, Osorio-Garcia A.M, Martinez-Baron D, Gamba-Trimiño C, Loboguerrero A.M, Chia E. Co-designing Climate-Smart Farming Systems With Local Stakeholders: A Methodological Framework for Achieving Large-Scale Change. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 2019; 3(37). 2019.00037.

Archawanuntakul S, Yamla-au P, Tanangsanakul K, Senpan, P, Klongarkara S. Maize Supply Chain Management Analysis to Support Sustainable Watershed Management in Nan Province. Bangkok: Pasara ;2013. (in Thai).

Bamberger M [Internet]. Introduction to mixed methods in impact evaluation (No.3); 2012 [cited 2021 March 6]. Available from http://www.interaction. org/sites/default/files/Mix%20Methods%20in%20Impact%20Evaluation%20%28English%29.pdf. (in Thai).

Bank of Thailand [Internet]. Macro-Economic Indicators of Thailand; 2020. [cited 2021 March 6]. Available from (in Thai).

Birachi E, van Rooyen A, Some H, Maute F, Cadilhon J, Adekunle A, Swaans K. Innovation platforms for agricultural value chain development. Innovation Platforms Practice Brief 6. Nairobi: ILRI; 2013.

Bruun T.B, de Neergaard A, Burup M.L, Hepp C.M, Larsen M.N, Abel C, Aumtong S, Magid J, Mertz O. Intensification of Upland Agriculture in Thailand: Development or Degradation?: Intensification of Upland Agriculture in Thailand. Land Degradation and Development. 2016; 28(1):83-94. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2596.

Cairns R. Examining framings of geoengineering using Q methodology: Climate Geoengineering Governance Working Paper 2. University of Sussex: Sussex; 2013.

Carpenter D, McGillivray M. A Methodology for Assessing the Poverty-reducing Impacts of Australia's International Agricultural Research. ACIAR Impact Assessment Series Report No. 78. Canberra: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research; 2012.

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research [Internet]. CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics. [cited 2021 March 6]. Available from cgiar-research-programs/cgiar-research-program-on-integrated-systems-humid-tropics.

Drost E. A. Validity and reliability in social science research. Education Research and Perspectives. 2011; 38(1):105.

Duncan A.J, Le Borgne E, Maute F, Tucker J. Impact of innovation platforms. Innovation Platforms Practice Brief 12. Nairobi: ILRI; 2013.

Ekasingh B, Sungkapitux C, Kitchaicharoen J, Suebpongsang P. The Development of Competitive Commercial Agriculture in Northeast Thailand, 1950-2006: a Review. Chiang Mai: The Multiple Cropping Center; 2007.

Homann-Kee Tui S, Adekunle A, Lundy M, Tucker J, Birachi E, Schut M, Klerkx L, Balantyne P.G, Duncan A.J, Cadilhon J, Mundy P. What are innovation platforms? Innovation Platform Practice Brief 1. Nairobi: ILRI; 2013.

Kitchaicharoen J, Suebpongsang P, Sangchyoswat C, Promburom P. Situational Analysis in Support of the Development of Integrated Agricultural Systems in the Upland Areas of Nan Province, Thailand. 2015; 10.13140/RG.2.2.23008.89600.

Konig B, Kuntosch A, Bokelmann W, Doernberg A, Schwerdtner W, Busse M, Stahlecker T. Analysing agricultural innovation systems: a multilevel mixed methods approach. In 131st Seminar, 2012 September 18-19; Czech Republic. Prague: European Association of Agricultural Economists; 2012.

Kumnan S. Awareness among farmers about the issue that occurred from Maize plantation in Luang sub-district, Santhisuk district, Nan. Chiangmai: Chiangmai University; 2009.

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives [Internet]. Summary report; 2020 [cited 2021 March 5]. Available from (in Thai).

Nan Provincial Administrative Organization [Internet]. Nan agricultural policy; 2012[cited 2021 March 5]. Available from (in Thai).

Nan Provincial Labor Office [Internet]. Labor Situation Report; 2019 [cited 2021 March 5]. Available from (in Thai).

Natethip D. Pesticide Use of the Small Farm Holding Farmers in Tambon Pua, Amphoe Pua, Changwat Nan. Chiangmai: Chiangmai University; 1997. (in Thai).

Notenbaert A, Groot J.C.J, Herrero M, Birnholz C, Paul B.K, Pfeifer C, Frava S, Lannerstad M, McFadzean J.N, Dungait J.A.J, Morris M, Ran Y, Barron J, Tittonell P. Towards environmentally sound intensification pathways for dairy development in the Tanga region of Tanzania. Regional Environmental Change. 2020; 2020(20):138.

Office of Agricultural Economics [Internet]. Agricultural land use by province; 2019 [cited 2021 March 5]. Available from (in Thai).

Office of Agricultural Economics [Internet]. Number of registered farmers; 2021 [cited 2021 March 5]. Available from (in Thai).

Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council [Internet]. Gross Regional and Provincial Product Chain Volume Measures 2018 Edition; 2020 [cited 2021 March 5]. Available from (in Thai).

Partey S.T, Zougmoré R.B, Ouédraogo M, Campbell B.M. Developing climate-smart agriculture to face climate variability in West Africa: Challenges and lessons learnt. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2018; 187:285-295.

Pongkijvorasin S, Teerasuwannajak K.T. A Study of Maize Farmers’ Incomes and Vicious cycle of Highland Maize farming. 2015;22(1):51-77.

Schut M, Kamanda J, Gramzow A, Dubois T, Stoian D, Andersson J.A, Dror I, Sartas M, Mur R, Kassam S, Brouwer H, Devaux A, Velasco C, Flor R.J, Gummert M, Buizer D, Mcdougall C, Davis K, Tui S.H, Lundy M. Innovation Platforms In Agricultural Research For Development: Ex-ante Appraisal of the Purposes and Conditions Under Which Innovation Platforms can Contribute to Agricultural Development Outcomes. Experimental Agriculture. 2018; 55(4):575-596. doi:10.1017/S0014479718000200.

Stenner P. H. D, Cooper D, Skevington S. M. Putting the Q into quality of life; the identification of subjective constructions of health-related quality of life using Q methodology. Social Science & Medicine (1982). 2003;57(11):2161–2172. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(03)00070-4.

Suttinon P, Nasu S. Poverty alleviation in highland area: Local community participation approach. IESL-SSMS Joint Symposium SSMS; 2011; Colombo. Sri Lanka; 2011.

Suwannarat P. Agricultural Productivity and Poverty Reduction in Thailand. Undergraduate student, B.E. International Program [thesis]. Bangkok: Thammasat University; 2014.

Teddlie C, Tashakkori A. Foundations of Mixed Methods Research: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. USA: SAGE Publications Inc; 2009.

Thailand Environment Institute. The Study Report Project on Sustainable Consumption and Production of Maize Supply Chain in Thailand. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU). German: WWF Germany; 2018.

Tmanov A. Case Study of the Ukrainian Agricultural Advisory Services. PhD [dissertation]. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University; 2001.

Trisurat Y, Shirakawa H, Johnston J.M. Land-Use/Land-Cover Change from Socio-Economic Drivers and Their Impact on Biodiversity in Nan Province, Thailand. Sustainability. 2019;11(3):649.

United Nations Development Program Thailand [Internet]. Thai province brainstorms about green and inclusive growth; 2012 [cited 2021 March 5]. Available from (in Thai).

Watts S, Stenner P. Doing Q Methodological Research: Theory, Method and Interpretation. London, Thousand Oaks CA, New Delhi. Singapore: Sage Publications; 2012.

Webler T, Danielson S, Tuler S [Internet]. Using Q method to reveal social perspectives in environmental research. Greenfield MA: Social and Environmental Research Institute; 2009 [cited 2021 March 5]. Available from

Zeng Z, Gower D.B, Wood E.F. Accelerating forest loss in Southeast Asian Massif in the 21st century: A case study in Nan Province, Thailand. 2018;24(10):4682-4695.

Schut M, Kamanda J, Gramzow A, Dubois T, Stoian D, Andersson JA, et al. Innovation platforms in agricultural research for development: Ex-ante appraisal of the purposes and conditions under which innovation platforms can contribute to agricultural development outcomes. Exp Agric. 2019;55(04):575–96.

Brown, S. Political subjectivity Applications of Q Methodology in political science. New Haven Yale University Press, 1980.

Wijaya A, Offermans A. Public agricultural extension workers as boundary workers: identifying sustainability perspectives in agriculture using Q-methodology. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 2018, 1-22.

Intriago Zambrano, J. C., Diehl, J. C., & Ertsen, M. W. Q methodology among smallholders: Challenges and best practices of a participatory approach. 64-64. Abstract from Spaces of Possibility Confex, Brussels, Belgium. 2021.