The most important part of Isaan’s local economy is farming, which accounts for 22% of the country’s gross agricultural product, while the rest of Thailand is only 8.5% of the gross natural product. This clearly shows the overwhelming importance of agriculture, but also points to the most serious problem of Isaan, the one-sided dependence on only one industry.
Both high-quality jasmine rice, which is produced for sale, and gluten, which is destined for its consumption, are cultivated. Jasmine rice is certainly the best rice cracker in the world. It is grown especially on the dry and saline fields around Surin, Roi Et, and Si Sa Ket. It can only be harvested once a year, but the price is higher than other varieties.
Many farmers have now switched to other products that require less water. Here is sugar cane, chili, and manioc to name, also gum trees are increasingly being planted. Some villages specialize in silk production.