Rice Farmers Take on Climate Change
Title: Thai Rice NAMA (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), British Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Country: Thailand, in particular, irrigated areas of the six target provinces (Chainat, Angthong, Pathum Thani, Singburi, Ayutthaya, and Suphanburi, and nearby watershed areas)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Interior
Overall term: 2018 to 2023
Rice is particularly important as it is cultivated on roughly half of all agricultural land in Thailand and accounts for nearly 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the country, making Thailand the world’s fourth-largest emitter of rice-related greenhouse gases. In irrigated rice production, the flooding of paddy fields leads to significant emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that has a global warming potential 28 times higher than carbon dioxide. A lack of incentives available to farmers is preventing a transition to low-emission rice production practices.
Thailand is effectively transforming the Thai rice sector towards low-emission rice production.
The Thai Rice NAMA uses three different intervention strategies:
Intervention Strategy 1 - Low-Emission Rice Production Technology: The project will train farmers on how to implement mitigation technologies and sustainable best practices in rice production, as well as encourage farmers to switch practices based on the establishment of a Revolving Fund (RF) to cover startup costs for mitigation service provision. On behalf of farmers, the RF will pay the cost of mitigation services to service providers while farmers will repay to the RF over the period of three cropping seasons. This will generate more income by applying appropriate technologies and managing resources more effectively: using less water and saving energy for pumping water, using less fertilisers, pesticides etc. This will facilitate the sale of low-emission rice to the growing market for sustainable rice.
Intervention Strategy 2 - Mitigation Technology Services: Support business development by leveraging a national green credit programme for capital investment to provide mitigation technology services to farmers for land laser leveling, alternate wetting and drying, site-specific nutrient management, and straw and stubble management.
Intervention Strategy 3 - Policy Formulation & Supporting Measures: Support project implementation and develop a model and an expansion strategy. Moreover, the Thai Rice NAMA helps to develop a Sustainable Rice Practice standard based on the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) and integrates the project into the Thai government’s work plan and budget at all levels.