Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Sustainable use of Thai problem soils in rainfed agriculture

Thailand, 22 Sep 2003 -- Bangkok - An agreement was signed today between the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the introduction and demonstration of new techniques for the sustainable use of soils for crop production. FAO will provide consultants, supplies, equipment, cost of training, and other necessary operations costs for a total amount of $260 000 or B10.5 million.

Signed by Worwate Tamrongtanyalak, MoAC deputy permanent secretary, and Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO deputy regional representative for Asia and the Pacific, the project agreement covers assistance financed by FAO’s own resources, for the Department of Land Development. The project will introduce appropriate techniques for the rehabilitation and management of problem soils, particularly in rainfed agriculture.

“The situation in Nakhon Ratchasima is found to be more serious than in other parts of the Isaan region”, said Mr Konuma. With the Land Development Department assigned to prevent and rehabilitate the salt-affected and fertility declined areas in the country, FAO stresses the food security and rural poverty issues in the Northeast region of Thailand. “Better crop production in rainfed agriculture has to be pursued urgently and accorded the highest priority, as a prerequisite to effective agriculture development”, Mr Konuma pointed out. The present assistance is therefore directly linked to the government’s national action plan on food security.

RAP 03/08