Project Period: December 2022 – November 2026


Inclusive Sustainable Rice Landscapes
Transforming Thai Rice Value Chain for Environmental Sustainability

Thailand is a global leader in rice production (30 million tonnes annually) and exports (6-10 million tonnes annually). Increased rice production over the past decades without sustainable landscape management has resulted in significant environmental degradation, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and declines in biodiversity and ecosystem services. Agricultural expansion, intensive monocultures, and expansion of cash crops, particularly in the upper reaches of watersheds, have contributed to deforestation, loss of wildlife habitat, and loss of connectivity between protected areas. Reconciliation of competing social, economic, and environmental interests is needed to transform rice and agricultural production landscapes to be inclusive and sustainable. Barriers to realising this alternative are:
  • Insufficient institution and policy coordination at national and local levels to promote an integrated approach to sustainable rice production, land use planning and sustainable land management for both production as well as environmental outcomes
  • Limited technical knowledge, capacity, and incentives for implementing sustainable rice production systems at both farm and landscape level
  • Insufficient linkages between sustainable rice value chain actors to leverage market growth
  • A lack of incentives and financing mechanisms for farmers to transform rice production systems
  • A lack of innovative financing for land restoration, forest protection, and ecosystem services protection
  • Limited sharing of knowledge on sustainable rice production systems, land use planning and restoration (national, regional and global level)

Our Goals

“To Transform the Thai Rice Value Chain for Environmental Sustainability, by Upscaling Sustainable Farming Practices through an Integrated Landscape Management Approach” 
The project seeks to transform the rice sector in Thailand, specifically its interrelated land use systems, by moving away from conventional rice production systems and sectoral approaches toward more sustainable and environmentally resilient production systems and integrated and multi-disciplinary approaches at landscape scale.

Areas of Implementation

Thailand (Chiang Rai and Ubon Ratchathani)


A landscape approach deals with large-scale processes in an integrated and multi-disciplinary manner, combining natural resource management with environmental and livelihood considerations. This also factors in human activities and those of institutions, viewing them as integral parts of the system rather than as external agents. The approach recognizes that the root causes of problems may not be site-specific and that a development agenda requires multi-stakeholder interventions to negotiate and implement actions at landscape scale. Through collaborative work between government agencies, private sector, research institutes and farmers, the project will strengthen policies, capacities, and financing mechanisms needed to upscale the adoption of sustainable rice production – thereby maintaining, restoring, and improving rice-dominated agricultural production landscapes and their surrounding biodiversity and ecosystems.


The project’s intervention to achieve its objective can be divided into four following components:
  • National Policy and Institutional Development: strengthening national policy and inter-ministerial collaboration to achieve landscape-level sustainable land management through the development of targets for sustainable rice production systems at the landscape level and achieving environmental outcomes under the framework of New Theory Farmin
  • Integrated Landscape Management: enhancing the management of forests, watersheds, and biodiversity to support resilient environments and productive agriculture (rice) landscapes in the two target provinces of Chiang Rai and Ubon Ratchathani
  • Upscaling sustainable rice production: reducing on- and off-farm environmental impacts through adoption of sustainable rice practices, establishing finance mechanisms for sustainable rice production within landscapes, crop diversification in sub-optimal rice systems, as well as collaboration with the private sector for to incentivize this transformation
  • Knowledge Management & Outreach: steering knowledge management and outreach for national and regional replication of the adoption sustainable rice practices withing an integrated landscape approach, and developing a gender sensitive monitoring and evaluation system to track progress and results

Expected Results

  • 100 metric tons toxic chemicals reduced
  • 3.2 million tCO2e reduced by end of project
  • 30,000 ha land restored (newly restored forest and diversified cropping)
  • 70,000 ha land under improved practices (biodiversity, carbon, and water services; upland cropping; high conservation value (HCV) forest conservation)
  • 90,000 ha land adopting sustainable rice practices
  • 45,000 beneficiaries (at least 50% female)

Funding Agencies

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Global Environment Facility (GEF)-7 through a multi-focal area grant of FOLUR, Biodiversity, Climate Mitigation and Land Degradation

Implemented by

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), on behalf of BMZ and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as GEF Agency

Public Partners

  • Ministry of Agricultural and Cooperatives (MoAC) led by the Rice Department along with relevant agencies
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and relevant agencies

Other Partners

OLAM Agri (main private sector partner), with other public sector, private sector, research, and not for profit institutions
Contact Person
German Müller
Project Director, GIZ Thailand

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