Farmers have been the backbone of Thailand for centuries. From the past to the present, different technologies have been applied in all kinds of professions and industries in order to upgrade the usual standards. Today, the term “4.0” is widely used to attach or combine with other words in various contexts to represent an upgraded standard. Farmers are using many new terms including “4.0” to indicate the advancement of the agriculture industry e.g. “Farmers 4.0” or “Smart Farming”
The “Smart Farming” concept is principally about applying and integrating science and technology into agricultural development e.g. the application of temperature and humidity measuring sensors, which send measured data via internet. Science and technology are used to optimize and achieve maximum harvests.
The Office of the Board of Investment or BOI, a government agency promoting small to large-scale investments of both Thai and foreigners, grants tax and non-tax incentives especially for farmers, in order to support their agricultural investment projects.
To promote “Smart Farming” and modernization of agricultural sector, the following three measures will be implemented:
1. New investment activities relating to production or services in agricultural sector will be added to the list of activities eligible for investment promotion e.g. production of tracking, monitoring or control systems to regulate resources (water, fertilizers, pesticides) used in agricultural projects, smart greenhouses and related services etc. The applying projects must include system designing and software developing processes for resources management, data interpretation and analysis.
Corporate income tax on the revenue deriving from the production and services in projects in the new investment categories will be exempt for five years without any cap.
2. Measure to upgrade agriculture industry towards international standards. This measure will encourage projects to upgrade their production processes to meet international standards e.g. Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), Food Safety Management System (ISO 22000) etc., for the purpose of market expansion. Promoted projects will receive a three-year corporate income tax exemption with tax exemption cap not exceeding 50 percent of the investment capital used to upgrade the processes to meet international standards. Investment Promotion Application must be submitted within December 2020.
3. Measures to promote investment in agricultural sector in local areas. This measure will encourage local communities to add value to the harvests and processed agricultural products along the upstream, midstream and downstream supply chain. The price level of the Thai agricultural products is anticipated to be increased.
Under this measure the conditions for investment promotion will be eased and higher incentives for projects with high value-added and production efficiency will be granted e.g. production of organic fertilizers, nano-chemical fertilizers, organic pesticides, plants and animal breeding, quality control, packaging and preservation of fruit and vegetable, manufacturing or preservation of food and beverages and trading center for agricultural products.
The Board of Investment has defined two groups of promoted investors as follows:
Group 1 - Investors who invest in their own small businesses: The minimum required investment capital will be reduced to 500,000THB and used local machines are partially allowed in promoted investment projects. The corporate income tax for such promoted projects will be exempt for 5-8 years with corporate income tax exemption cap not exceeding 200 percent of the investment capital.
Group 2 – Supporting Investors/ Investors cooperating with local communities: Investors in this group must have a cooperation with local administrations, cooperatives or community enterprises. The existing business activities must be eligible for investment promotion. BOI-promoted projects can apply for this measure when the corporate income tax exemption or reduction period has expired, as well as projects which have not received the BOI’s privileges.
The corporate income tax for promoted projects will be exempt for 3 years with corporate income tax exemption cap not exceeding 100 percent of the investment capital used to support and cooperate with local communities. Application for this measure shall be submitted within 2018.