A staff member explains how the Alternate Wetting and Drying technique can help cut irrigation costs. (Photo credit: GIZ Thailand)
More than 300 farmers are today learning about and gaining experience in earth-friendly farming practices introduced by the joint public-private project Thai Rice NAMA (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions).
During the project’s opening ceremony on 5 July 2019 at Bann Hua Mai Sung community rice centre in Suphan Buri province, Doojduan Sasanavin, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, stressed that improved farming practices can ease the impacts of climate change on the farming sector.
“The project aims to work with 100,000 local rice farmer households in six provinces, namely Chai Nat, Ang Thong, Pathum Thani, Sing Buri, Ayutthaya and Suphan Buri to enable the shift towards low-carbon rice farming,” Ms. Doojduan said, adding that the project is expected to reduce 1.73 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
“Land-levelling, alternate wetting and drying, site-specific nutrient management, and straw and stubble management are the four techniques that the project promotes among the local farmers.”
“They allow the farmers to enjoy such benefits as higher crop yields and reduced farming costs.” Ms. Doojduan told the hundreds of local farmers who attended the launch.
Flooded rice paddies are known to be one of the major contributors to climate change as they release vast quantities of methane emissions, which have a global warming potential 28 times higher than carbon dioxide.
German Ambassador to Thailand, Georg Schmidt placed strong emphasis on close cooperation to promote the concept of sustainability among the people.
“When it comes to climate change, we are all in the same boat. Its adverse implications affect people around the world. Farmers are often among the first to be affected. But at the same time, they can make a meaningful contribution to tackle climate change.” Mr. Schmidt said.
The multi-donor Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) facility board approved the project in July 2018 thanks to the joint efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, its partner government agencies and the private sector. GIZ Thailand, the German federal enterprise supporting sustainable development worldwide, is acting as a NAMA support organisation.
The NAMA Facility provided financial support totalling about 530 million baht (14.9 million euros) to make the project happen.
Thai Rice NAMA Project will remain in effect until 2023.