Link to Full Policy Proposal: Building Drought Resiliency In Rural Thailand – The promise of ICT
Link to Presentation Slides: Session 1 – Group 3
Aimal Hakim, Lim Ee Ling (Lin Yiling), Narayanan S/O Velayutham, Niu Pengbo, Wendy Jane Rockett
Agriculture, a major component of Chiang Mai’s economy, has undeniably been the sector hardest-hit by recent droughts in the region. With worsening climate change, rice farmers have become increasingly reliant on the Government to mitigate the effects of drought.
This study builds on existing literature that enhancing access to information on drought patterns is crucial to building resilience in the agricultural sector. Through qualitative studies conducted amongst rice farmers, village heads and government authorities, access to such information was identified as a key issue in Chiang Mai.
For this reason, the study proposes a collaboration with the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII), a government agency in Thailand. Tasked with supporting agricultural and water resource management, the agency’s Flood and Drought Portal provides real-time information on drought patterns. Originally developed by an international consortium, the portal is managed by HAII in Thailand. It enables stakeholders to compile information from models, indicators and existing planning approaches and develop robust planning scenarios.
The proposed project will promote greater subscription to the portal at the grassroots level through training of community-based organizations and farmers. At the same time, user feedback from farmers will refine the tool for use in the field. In the longer-term, the scope of the portal can be expanded to include local and international best practices which facilitate ground-up efforts and cross-learning amongst farmers of Chiang Mai, enabling them to remain resilient in the face of worsening drought periods.