SMALL FARMERS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME: SOUTH THAILAND, June 1987
The Small Farmer's Development Programme, launched in 1976 by the UN Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is helping agricultural labourers,
the landless poor, sharecroppers, and small-scale fisherfolk in Thailand
to generate higher incomes for themselves, strengthen their self-reliance,
and improve their access to credit and government-assistance resources.
Villagers living on the narrow strip of land between the Southern Gulf and
Lake Songkhla are participating in the programme and learning new income-generating
activities, such as duck-farming and producing palm oil and
sugar. The programme also assists the governments of Bangladesh, Nepal,
Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, and Sri Lanka in the Asian region.
A nimble villager from near Lake Songkhla climbs a palm to tap
the tree for palm oil. Coconut palms abound in this area of
Thailand, but until they joined the FAO programme, most villagers
never thought of palm oil and palm sugar as a source of extra