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The objectives of this research were to study the origin, evolution, and adaptation, of periodic markets and petty traders in Isan, and to create suggestions for the development of the periodic markets and petty traders to present to concerned persons. In-depth interviews on 163 petty traders and concerned persons were conducted with the method of qualitative data collection. Moreover, 685 petty traders, 480 buyers at the 12 periodic markets in Nakorn Panom, Khon Kaen, Surindr and Ubol Rajathani Provinces, were interviewed in quantitative data collection. In summary, the oldest periodic market in Isan is at the annual homage-paying to Pratat Panom Pagoda Festival in the 3rd lunar month. The existence of a large number of periodic markets during the past two decades arose mainly due to economic problems. Namely, there were six periodic markets in this study which came into being during the period of the so-called “The Burst of the Buddle Economy” in B.E. 2540, while five markets in the study were created under governmental policies, and another one market was a result of the tourism boom. The periodic market traders had adjusted their ways of doing business by bringing goods from distant places to be closer to their buyers and thereby reaped a profit of 40.69% out of their total sale. About 97.27% of the traders were happy with their occupation, albeit the drop in their total sale during the past five years caused by economic depression. Consequently, almost half of the traders engaged themselves in farming simultaneously. Factors that attracted buyers to the periodic markets include the wide availability of goods, the proximity of the markets to residences, and cheap prices. It is suggested by the authors that governments should sponsor a periodic market contest with a policy that stresses clean and purchasable goods, in which the winners would be awarded the prizes for 1 - 3 million baht for 3 prizes to a province.
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