By Kunanon Kanjanatecha
The project will target 800 square kilometres and 50,000 farmers who can participate in the “Planting Trees to Make an Income” project, which encourages farmers to plant trees for reforestation. Each farmer will be provided a loan of Bt100,000 from the Bt5 billion allocated for the scheme.
Participants will be given loans at a minimum retail rate of 6.875 per cent per year. For the first three years the rate will be minus 3 per cent, for the fourth to the sixth year the rate will be minus 2 per cent and minus 1 per cent in the last two years. Loans will only be available until July 31, 2021 and can be taken for no more than 15 years.
Prasit Techati, a BAAC customer development officer in Nan province, said the aim of the project is to have locals preserve forests especially those upstream in the northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Nan.
Forests provide locals with more products from different types of plants and more species of trees to use and sell. By planting trees and harvesting them, farmers can make their incomes more sustainable than by just focusing on mono crops like corn and sugarcane.
Provinces in the North like Nan have been suffering from deforestation as locals have been cutting down trees to expand farming areas. This project aims to help locals co-exist peacefully with forests.