Demonstration plots to prove low-carbon farming is a future of Thai rice sector

Written by Naylinya Chappanapong, Senior Communication Officer, GIZ Thailand

Demonstration farm plots of 61.25 rai1 have been set up in the Central Plains of Thailand to encourage local farmers to do low-carbon farming.

The plots aim to prove that doing low-carbon farming reduce costs, increase productivity and tackle greenhouse gas emissions from the rice sector.

In the eight plots, low-carbon farming techniques are applied including land leveling, alternate wetting and drying, site-specific nutrient management, and straw and stubble management.  

Apichart Pongsrihadulchai, chief advisor to director-general of the Rice Department emphasized the role of farmers, saying their farming practices can reduce the growing threat of climate change.

“Farmers can reduce water needed for farming by applying a water-saving technology called alternative wetting and drying which ensures the flat surface to reduce wastewater. These techniques boost farmers’ yields, reduce their cost and mitigate losses caused by global warming,” he said.

He also added that farmers can help combat climate change while maintaining their traditional cultivating methods.

Flooded rice paddies are known to be one of the major contributors to climate change, producing vast amounts of methane greenhouse gas.

About 100,000 local rice farmers in six provinces – Chainat, Angthong, Pathum Thani, Sing Buri and Ayutthaya under Thai Rice NAMA Project get to reserve the results.

Experts from the Rice Department of Thailand will measure greenhouse gas emissions in each target area.

More than 40 experts from relevant agencies met in Bangkok on 22 and 23 April 2019 to develop implementation plans on different topics such as technology development, extension services and business development and reporting the implementing results to the project’s steering committee.

The participants are from Rice Department, Department of Agriculture Extension, Land Development Department, Royal Irrigation Department, the Office of the Agricultural Economics, Cooperative Promotion Department, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, while many others are from private sectors, including Crop Tech Asia, Olam International and Herba Bangkok S.L.

Thai Rice NAMA Project, funded by a multi-donor Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) facility, was first initiated in 2018 with joint efforts of Thailand’s Rice Department and Asean Sustainable Agrifood Systems of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German government’s sustainable development service provider.

1 6.25 rai is equal to 1 hectare

Thai Rice NAMA Project’s working groups meet at Rama Gardens Hotel, Bangkok on 22 and 23 April 2019 (Photo credit: Naylinya Chappanapong, Senior Communication Officer, GIZ Thailand)
Thai Rice NAMA Project’s working groups meet at Rama Gardens Hotel, Bangkok on 22 and 23 April 2019 (Photo credit: Naylinya Chappanapong, Senior Communication Officer, GIZ Thailand)
Thai Rice NAMA Project’s working groups meet at Rama Gardens Hotel, Bangkok on 22 and 23 April 2019 (Photo credit: Naylinya Chappanapong, Senior Communication Officer, GIZ Thailand)