UPLift--Poverty Alleviation For The Ultra-Poor

UPLift is a program designed to empower communities on the Thai/Burmese border that lack food security, opportunities for income, and education. Through the use of small grants and skills trainings, these families receive the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty without having to rely on external aid indefinitely.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Learning More About Natural Farming

We have spent the last month researching Natural Farming (NF) for upcoming pilot projects in Mae Sot with migrant schools.  This low-cost method of farming produces strong pigs, vegetables, and large amounts of compost and is geared towards improving income for a small piece of land.

Learning about lactic acid with Aj. Chokchai

In late March, Mark attended a 3-day training at the Northern Sustainable Development Learning Center in Chiang Rai province.  Ajarn Chokchai Sarakit ran the training, which covers the general theory of NF and instructions.  See here for pictures from the training.

We've also been working on a training manual based on the above training, and practicing training methods with a local group of Thai villagers close to Chiang Rai city.  Our first round focused on fermenting food for pigs, and how it cuts costs and improves pig health.

Raising pigs in deep-litter compost

In addition, we are looking at success cases of NF in Northern Thailand and trying to transmit experience and lessons learned to a future project in Mae Sot.  This album (and the video above) are from our most recent visit to an Akha farmer in Mae Suay, Chiang Rai province.

With this information in hand we are looking forward to excellent income-generation projects for Burmese, Karen and Shan migrants.