Integrated Community Based Rural Development Chakkarat Project (CBIRD)

Project duration: August 1988 – December 2000

Project description:

The Integrated Community Based Rural Development Project was targeted at 40 villages, later 48 selected villages in the district of Chakkarat, Nakhorn Ratchasima Province, Northeast of Thailand. Most residents in that area had been landless families or families with smallholdings. By mobilizing the self-help potential of these strata, a process was initiated and led to an increased self-reliance and their organizations.
To support this process adequately, a CBIRD- Chakkarat Centre was established which provided technical advice, professional trainings and facilitated business linkages to marketing/processing enterprises. For example weaving groups or groups active in poultry keeping profited from these services. In general, however, the promotion of agricultural and animal husbandry activities fell short of expectations. The scarcity of rain in this region, unfertile soils and falling prices for beef products, impeded an intensification/extension of activities in this realm. On the other hand the project was furthermore very active in improving the employment situation by creating new jobs – partly due to the good connections of the local counterpart Population and Community Development Association (PDA) to the Thai private sector. In particular, almost 2,000 jobs created by the project itself, spin-off effects of this achievement led to additional employment opportunities for the local population.
In 1997 the CBIRD Chakkarat Center established by the project was taken over by the newly founded Jakkart Development Foundation (JDF) – a process laying the cornerstone for the further activities and sustainable development in the region. Commercial activities – from 2,000 onwards – have been coordinated by the Jakkarat Development Company (JDC). In the course of the project itself the average annual per capita income in Chakkarat District increased from 8,000 Baht in 1994 to 12,500 Baht in 1999/2000 while registered JDF members, even had an average annual per capita income of more than 36,000 Baht. Therewith this project made an important contribution to improving the living conditions in the Chakkarat Region – although by different means than initially planned.