The government will provide support to farmers to grow revenue-producing trees on their lands, said Agriculture Minister Surasak Karnjanarat on Saturday.
The government hopes the project will expand forest areas in the country by 26 million rai (4 million hectares) over a decade, he added.
The project is part of the plan to improve the economy at the grassroots level, said Surasak.
He said the Cabinet has approved a draft directive to allow the use of trees with economic value on farmers’ lands as assets to guarantee loans. As well, the Cabinet approved in principle a bill to amend the forestry laws to allow landowners to make decisions about protected trees residing on their lands without first seeking approval from forestry officials.
The project aims to in 10 years have created 20,000 communities, and 2.6 million families, growing revenue-producing trees. The government hopes that each family would, over a decade, grow at least 400 trees, for a total of 1.04 billion trees on 26 million rai.
That would generate economic value of Bt10.4 billon a year, Surasak said.
Surasak said the meeting of the government committee overseeing implementation of government policies has resolved to have the National Research Council of Thailand work with the Forestry Department, the Biodiversity-Based Economic Development Public Organisation and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to implement the policy.