Learning Route: Developing Rural Territories through Business and Knowledge.
The Thai experience with the OTOP and CLC
An invitation to experience Thailand’s Wisdom
Witnessing market development with social inclusion
Is there market development with social inclusion? Yes, even though it seems like an elusive goal in many rural development projects. The Kingdom of Thailand is among the least urbanized countries in Asia: almost twice as many Thais live in the countryside as in the cities. This is one main reason for Thailand to become a fertile ground for innovation in rural development, while the country aspires—at the same time—to be the future keystone of mainland South-East Asia.
There are huge and costly proofs of the Thai strategy for rural development, like a network of high-speed railway lines to connect Thailand’s four main regions with the capital city of Bangkok in order to cut transport costs everywhere. But there are also significant examples of valuable knowledge supply from the institutional grassroots level, such as the One Tambon One Product Program (OTOP) and the Pratch Chao Bann Community Learning Centres Program (CLC), considered efficient tools for market development with social inclusion.
Those are valuable models with potential for replication not just for South-East Asia, but also for all the development country interested in acquiring in-depth understanding of the overarching policy rationale, the provincial and local operating settings, and the impacts of Thai strategy for rural development, in particular the best practices and lessons learned by the OTOP and CLC programs.
Within a South-South collaborative framework, the Agricultural Technology and Sustainable Agriculture Policy Division (ATSAP) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) and the Community Development Department (CDD) of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) of Thailand with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD-UN) and the Procasur Corporation, invite you to experience the Learning Route “Developing Rural Territories through Business and Knowledge: The Thai experience with the OTOP and CLC” (October 21 - 28, 2013).
40 participants including high-level government officials, rural development practitioners and outstanding farmers from Latin America, Africa and Asia take part of this Learning adventure through Bangkok, Saraburi, Suphanburi, Lopburi, Nakorn-ratchasima and Nakorn-prathom.
Outstanding farmers, often self-taught and self-reliant, who have mastered ‘learning by doing’ skills, provide technical assistance for land and rural organization management. Thai policy illustrates the institutional potential of embedding these agents into the public delivery framework of rural development. By identifying, acknowledging, valuing and legitimizing their roles, and by creating new networking opportunities, the policy prompts market sophistication in the rural grassroots scene.
Welcome to Thailand’s Wisdom!