Bamboo Farming Project 2020-2025
After few years of preparing, we are finally able to make a proposed plan of our project with our Karens in the affected villages who are in need of change. We are planning either a seed funding or business partnership to launch the ongoing Bamboo Growing Project; the project was initiated by Thai local government, NGO; Thai Conservation of Forest Foundation and Bamboo Traders Association. As we work together with the national concern of the leaders, we will motivate our local villagers to cooperate and keep the following project focus;
- To protect the environment of the mountains so that more agricultural farming of other produces can be sustained. Current illegal corn farming by many villagers have resulted in watershed, draining the mountains of water catchment and arable land.
- To provide sustainable and scalable income for local villagers through this project by slowing phasing in the bamboo farming and phasing illegal corn farming.
- To prosper partners who will join the funding and in so doing will be able to support the Myanmar Karen Community. The NGO work will be assisted by the 10% generated from the profit of the Bamboo Project.
- Protect the Environment
The predisposing problem started about 8-10 over years ago when the local farmers were led to grow corns on illegally used land; growing bigger and bigger and eventually covering a big area that became a watershed; after irresponsible logging and clearing of forestation. Not only corn growing didn’t give them good income as promised, it destroyed the environment and the land without vegetation. From GPS, you will see red lands all over when the corns are harvested. The agricultural experts were called in to address the issue after the local and central government including the Prime Minister saw the damage and the destruction of their future! Academics then proposed bamboo farming to replace corn growing. Bamboo is both good for reforestation and restoring of income for the peasants; there are also many by-products from bamboo; bamboo shoots, bamboo for building construction, bamboo charcoal and pellets, bamboo crafts and furniture, bamboo. The project was hence launched, and the 3 local authorities have since then decided to commit up to about 10-20 years for the project of restoration of income and reforestation. The Prime Minister and the Director-General of the Department of Forestry; Athaphon Charoenchansa are behind the project and will ensure the different agencies and government involved will come to solve the land and income problems of the local villagers.
2. Provide the Enrichment
From here, we talked with the villagers in the area. Though not all have immediately responded, many have felt that they needed to change the crop as the corn growing on illegal land is not bringing in the income as promised by the big corporations. In fact, many farmers are still paying off the loan from buying saplings and fertilizers from them. All villagers who wishes to do the project must provide their own land for the project. They will fill up and sign in a form indicating they wish to join the project and how big a piece of land they have to join in. As you can see that reaching out to people and their families both on Thailand side as well as those across the DMZ at Myanmar’s Karen State is very necessary. Today thousands of the Karens@refugee camps of the demilitarized zone are still there but many have started to carefully move back to Karen state in Myanmar, even at the danger of being shot and attack by the military forces, they need to find a way to enrich themselves.
- Profit to Enterprise
- So, the above is the background to our need for the project and partnership. I am writing to ask for Bamboo Project business partnership;
- We need seed fund loan or a business partnership; in any case you will see your return only between 2nd to 3rd year. In this business partnership, sponsors will be getting 40% of the profit less expenses and costings. 60% will be assigned to the believers who avail their land for the farming project. Our project period will be around 3-5 years at least, depending on the progress and project status. It will be reviewed regularly by the management group.
- Villagers with land assigned for project will be make available for planting, growing and multiplying. They will also be responsible for the distribution and sale of the bamboo, saplings and by products.