Looking back at the history of Thai-German technical cooperation in the field of agriculture, food production and rural development a certain trend can be identified: While the first projects primarily aimed at the increase and diversification of Thai food production for nutritional purposes, ecological and research components featured more prominently with projects in subsequent decades. Integrated rural development projects came to include an institutional development component aiming at strengthening of respective partner institutions.
Engagement in the field of rural development, however, not always meant concentration on agricultural activities: TheIntegrated Community Based Rural Development ProjectChakkarat(1984-2000) put its emphasis on opening up non-agricultural income opportunities by attractingdifferent manufacturing enterprises to the district and creating thusoff-farm employment, especially for young women. Finally, the Micro-Finance Linkage Project (1992-2004) geared towards expanding the range of financial services offered by the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and supported the development of saving products with a particular focus on the poorer strata of the rural Thai population. Today, the Thai-German Programme for Enterprise Competitiveness (2003-2011) is effectively supporting Thai agro-industrial enterprises, among others in the shrimps, fruit & vegetable and tapioca business.
Before 1974, there was no “Chiang Mai Dairy Cooperatives,” only “Chiang Mai Cattle Farmer Group” with around 50-60 members. The Thai-German Dairy Project advised us on forming Chaing Mai Dairy Cooperative, and finally we got registered. Then we thought of a logo for our products. The project allowed us to use the project logo which has “smiling cow” symbol. At the beginning, the Ayutthaya Dairy Cooperative under Thai-German project support also used the same logo. Later their cooperative was dissolve, so we are the only co-op using this “smiling cow” logo until today.
- Mr. Yongyuth Wongsa Farmer and Dairy Cooperative Inspector