Mekong Eye

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Demand for animal feed threatens a tropical paradise

As one of the biggest poultry exporters in the world means huge demand for corn feed, quickly exhausting soils.

By Florian Nusch

Bangkok, April 18, 2018

Deutsche Welle

Fertile soil and an incredible array of exotic fruit, vegetables and spices made Thailand a land of plenty. But as demand for meat there grows, industrialized farming practices are threatening this tropical paradise.

Go to video: The push toward organic farming in Thailand

Project goal: Promoting sustainable and climate-friendly production and consumption as forests are cleared for maize crops.
Project implementation: Staff are advising the Thai government, as well as consumers, and are helping to establish sustainable manufacture and supply chains.
Project size: Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. In Thailand, staff are active in two model regions, Chiang Mai and Nan, where they want to reach 200 homes.
Project financing: Nearly €4 million ($4.9 million) for three countries over three years (2017 to 2020) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). Around €1 million is going to Thailand.
Project partners: Thai environment and agriculture ministries; World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is leading the project.

Thailand is one of the biggest poultry exporters in the world. That means there’s a huge demand for corn feed. The country’s maize farmers are increasingly switching to monocultures to keep up, but that quickly exhausts the soil. Now, farmers are also using chemical fertilizers or are clearing forests to make way for new farmland to keep the harvest coming. Environment organization WWF is helping farmers in two pilot areas to find alternatives in cultivating maize, in the hope of halting the destruction of the local ecosystem.

A film by Florian Nusch

 

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