Ajarn Yak has been working in Sa Kaew Province, a drought prone area of Thailand, to get buy-in from people there with the goal of encouraging the whole Province to adopt the self sufficient economy model.
In the morning we attended a large gathering, in an open air school auditorium, of farmers and their children. The approach was to present people with the basic principles of the self sufficiency economy and then invite them to further training. I was asked to talk for 10 minutes, and Lena also spoke. People commented afterwards, to our hosts, that they had felt they were alone in experiencing drought, problems with lack of water, and more erratic weather patterns. It opened their eyes to hear that other people were experiencing the same things in other parts of the world.
After a lunch break we went to the countryside and filmed some farm workers planting tapioca cuttings in the intense heat and humidity of the afternoon. Tapioca is pretty much an end of the line crop in degraded soils. We spoke with the leaseholder who talked about the degraded soil and drought situation. He said that he was waiting for the government to create rain and commented and if the rain didn’t come he said “I’m dead”. He added that deforestation is a problem and that there was a need to plant more trees.
We then went to the Provincial government buildings where I gave a powerpoint presentation to senior provincial officials. Later we met with the Governor. The outcome of this meeting was that the Sa Kaew Governor has committed to support a model project in the province.