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WORLD RURAL WOMEN’S DAY
Women and Land Rights Struggle: The experience of Thailand
By Chonthira Thipaksorn and Pimporn Sunan
Reform of national development through National Economic and Social Development Plan
Department of Land Development implemented a project on Rapid Survey on Land Title Deed Issuance though WB loan
Thailand became a member of the WTO
National economic crisis
Current Problems and Issues of Land Resource
- Unequal land distribution and land holding
Most land is concentrated in just a handful of people. Only about 10% of the population owns more than 100 rai of land (15 hectares), whereas 90% owns < or = 1 rai (1/6 ha). About 800,000 families have no land to till and have become tenants.”
- Inappropriate Use of Land
- 13 million rai of existing paddy rice fields are considered not appropriate for rice farming.
- 30 million rai are misused for other crops.
- 20 million rai (3.2 million ha) have been left waste.
- More than 500,000 families or three million people have no land to till.
- Of the total 6 million farmers, 1 million rent their land.
- 1.5 million farming families have encroached and settled on public land or forest reserves.
- In 2000, the number of landless farmers rose to 800,000 families.
Land Reform in Ban Pong, Ampur Sansai, Chiang Mai Province
- Originally community’s communal land, but later was taken away by private land investors
- derelict private land of 30 years, dense vegetation cover, community did not own land
- Women in particular felt their food sovereignty and food security were being threaten
- Women had to shoulder more burden in securing domestic food supply
- Community decided to take their own initiative to reform the land
- Date of community’s land reform: 11 March 2002
Community’s Initiatives in land reform
Holistic community’s actions includes:
- Establishment of water management system
- Demand for transparent process for the land title deed issuance
- Joined Thai Network for Land Reform under the Northern Peasant Alliance
Ban Mae Pong after reform
- Community can farm and sustain their livelihoods
- Establishment of community’s fund to support their initiatives and group members
- Fund raising through local cultural ceremony
- Existence of community’s title deeds and saving group
- Monitor, advocate policies at the local and policy level
- Some of the members are being prosecuted and being arrested.
- Being threaten by the other land investors
Solutions for Land Crisisproposed by Network for Land Reform
- Fair distribution and sustainable management of land that are supported by mechanisms at the national and local levels including
- Land use planning
- Zoning of forest land and non-forest land throughout the country
- Appropriate use of land for the preservation of bio-diversity and sustainable land management, carried out by communities and genuinely leads to poverty alleviation.
- Progressive land taxation
- Preservation of hinterland and limits on land holding
- Land reform measures
- Unused state and private land whose title deeds have been wrongly obtained, should be re-assigned for land reform programs to address sufferings of landless farmers.
- Land reform bank
- Intervention in food market through subsidization and other measures. Support for farmers to fully utilize their land obtained under the land reform schemes.
- Self-determination of local people
For further information, Please contact :
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
189/3 Changklan Road
Chiang Mai 50100
Tel: (66) 53 284527, 284856
Fax: (66) 53 280847
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