Thailand’s trees-for-loans policy a resounding success
The policy of using valuable trees as collateral for bank loans has achieved so much success that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is encouraging villagers to plant more such trees.
Trees that can be used as collateral include teak, tamarind, ebony, Burmese ebony, durian and jackfruit.
Government deputy spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said on Sunday that Prayut had learned of the policy’s success from the Business Development Department, which has been educating rural community leaders and community enterprises about the benefits of planting valuable trees.
The department, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Ministry, said that more and more villagers are showing interest in the scheme, Ratchada said.
She added that this tree-growing scheme is part of Prayut’s policy to boost green areas in the country, as well as give villagers a means of obtaining loans.
As of May 20, 146,000 trees have been registered as collateral for 137 million baht worth of loans. Of them, 318 were registered with the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative for 3 million baht worth of loans, 23,000 trees with Krung Thai Bank for 128 million baht and 120,000 trees with small financial organisations for 6 million baht.
“The prime minister attaches importance to growing valuable trees, because not only will they make the country greener, but they can also be used as collateral for loans,” she said.