Posted on 11 January 2022
On the 10th of January 2022, Mr. Narin Prathuanchai, Director of the Forest Land Management Office, Royal Forest Department (RFD), Mr. Sakda Maneewong Administrative Director of the Forest Resource Management Office No.1 (Chiang Mai), and Mr. Rattapat Srichanklad, the FLR349 Fund Secretary visited agricultural plots of smallholder farmers part of the FLR349 project* in Ban Om Meng village Moo 8, Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province.
2021 saw the FLR349 project piloting a new livelihood model. 1000 broilers and laying hens were given to 20 smallholder farmer households to raise as a food source and a way to earn additional income. Representing FLR349, Mr Prathuanchai, Mr. Maneewong, and Mr. Srichanklad donated eggs from these chickens to the Ban Kong Khaek Child Development Centre, which is run by the Kong Khaek Sub-district Administrative Organisation.
Chickens raised by smallholder farmers as part of the FLR349 project's new livelihood model © WWF Thailand
Representatives from FLR349 and the Royal Forest Department donate organic chicken eggs to Kong Khaek Sub-district Child Development Centre © WWF Thailand.
As part of the field visit, the FLR349 project also proposed an initiative to develop an irrigation system for the Mae Chaem river to supply water for nature positive projection and agroforestry in Khong Kaek Sub-district, which encompasses the Mae Chaem Cooperative Area (Ban Lhong Pong village). Additionally, the project’s participatory development model, which saw private sector companies including the Central Group, HSBC, and Agoda Services Co.,Ltd. support and move forwards project implementation was also presented to the RFD.
The project has demonstrated success in restoring ecosystems and forest landscape restoration through engaging with the private sector and NGOs, along with the development of a career model that generates sustainable income for farmers as a replacement for monoculture agriculture. Due to this, FLR349 and the RFD have planned to co-develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which aims to lead to further reforestation and sustainable careers in accordance with the Department of Lands (DOL) policies. The agreement will cover the entire north of Thailand, where the project is currently based, and activities under it will be considered implementation of the government’s reforestation and career-building policies.
As part of the trip visit, Mr. Prathuanchai, and Mr. Maneewong also visited project sites in Ban Mae Ki Muk village, which commenced reforestation activities in 2017. This year the Forest Resource Management Office granted 70 million baht to support project activities in the area. The new financial support will also go towards the planning and development of an irrigation system, agricultural inputs, and reforestation efforts in other FLR349 sites in the future. Careful planning and coordination for market development and produce certification – two important factors for previous project success - with the Central Group will be needed
Royal Forest Department representatives visit project site © WWF Thailand