A five-year Thai Rice Green Climate Fund (GCF) project is expected to benefit more than 250,000 smallholder farmers in Thailand while reducing emissions in the agricultural sector by 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to local officials.
The project aims to spur a transformational change through the large-scale introduction of sustainable and climate-smart farming practices, said Pavich Kasawong, deputy director-general of the Department of Climate Change and Environment.
Mr Pavich made the remarks following the signing of a funding agreement for the project, named “Thai Rice: Strengthening Climate-Smart Rice Farming”, between the GCF and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The project was approved during a meeting of the GCF board in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The Rice Department, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and the GIZ have received approval from the GCF for a grant of €38 million (1.45 billion baht) to carry out the project. It is expected to begin next year and run through 2029, Mr Pavich said.
The GCF is the world’s largest international climate financing institution, investing in climate change projects in developing countries to support its their emission reduction commitments in line with the Paris Agreement.
The fund invests in climate change mitigation projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as in climate change adaptation projects.
Mr Pavich said the Thai project aims to empower vulnerable smallholders to make better decisions in the face of climate change and enable access to climate-smart farming technologies.
In addition to the €38-million grant from the GCF, co-financing is being provided by Thai public-sector partners including the Rice Department, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Planning.
It is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and private-sector partners.