Chi Va Pa Doi
This project will increase income stability from alternative sources other than intensive farming to increase capacity related to business and marketing planning for women groups. The project will help up to 10 women’s business groups and strengthen those business group networks to increase production capacity and enhance experience sharing/co-learning among the groups and networks. The project will assist the project participants to improve their income security and living standard by promoting alternative income generation options while increasing market distribution. The project promotes sound natural resources management by introducing and improving eco-friendly products. There will be more cooperation with government and local administration for further support to women’s groups developed under the project. The project will support them to gain access to funding from local administration organizations for income-generating activities and further opportunities to raise their quality of life.
Forrest is home Forres is my life
1. Women groups in highland communities of Chiang Mai Province increase their income by developing alternative, eco-friendly farm and off-farm production.
2. Women’s groups have improved business capacities and their small businesses are sustainable.
3. Collaborative and multi-stakeholder networks at the provincial level composed of government representatives, non-profit organizations, local administration organizations and private sector entities provide active support to promote income generating activities for women’s groups.
Direct beneficiaries: 1,133 women who are small-hold famers (age 15-60 years) from 10 highland communities.
Indirect beneficiaries: 3.891 people (630 households), i.e., the total population of the 10 highland communities. The improvement of economic security for those women’s groups will lead to increased income and food security of 630 households or 3,891 people (1,971 males and 1,920 females).
The project will be implemented in 10 communities located in the upstream forest area of Mae Chaem and Mae Teun watershed areas. These communities are located in 4 sub-districts of 3 districts of Chiang Mai Province in Northern Thailand (1 village in Chaem Luang Sub-district of Kallayaniwattana District, 3 villages in Mae Seuk Sub-district of Mae Chaem District, 4 villages in The Pha Subdistrict of Mae Chaem District, and 1 village in Yang Peang Sub-district of Om Koi District). The Thai government has announced that the northern highland watershed area is considered to be reserved forest and is classified as watershed grade A level. Both of these classifications call for the prohibition of private activities, including farming and dwelling in the highland forest areas. There has been has an exception made for “Indigenous ethnic groups” that have been living in the highland areas even before the classification of the government. However these communities are not entitled to land deeds and their use of the land for farming is restricted.
Despite the restrictions on land use, the local market forces have succeeded in being a major cause of forest and soil destruction in the highland. In the past, this has been driven by the growing of market vegetables and the favorable climate, soil and water in the highland areas. However, in the last decade or so, contract farming is mainly for corn, and that has been the major vehicle of large forest and soil degradation. A chain of middlemen is used to convince small farmers to plant corn. The middlemen also protect the large national companies that buy these products. This process is uncontrolled by local government who use the excuse that the highland population is poor and they cannot be denied the possibility of earning cash.