When people think of Asia they think of the towering, modern metropolises of Beijing and Tokyo. But Asia—the world’s largest and most populous continent—is also home to millions of rural poor. Commercial logging threatens rural farmers’ livelihoods as they are forced off their ancestors’ land in the name of commercialization. Forest resources—critical for medicine, food, and construction—are declining in availability as land is taken over for conservation or expanding crop production. Sustainable supplemental income opportunities are needed as population rapidly increases. Plant With Purpose fosters an attitude of innovation amongst farmers, empowering them to generate alternative enterprises and make the most out of the land they do have. Mindful of the greater cultural context, Plant With Purpose facilitates training on property and citizenship rights, as well as innovative agriculture and business training. Farmers in Northern Thailand have planted 42,960 trees in efforts to combat poverty and deforestation.
Amidst the beauty of ancient temples, the hill tribes of Northern Thailand face serious challenges to survival. Decreasing access to farmland leaves poor, subsistence farmers with only degraded hillsides to eke out a living. Since Plant With Purpose began working among the hill tribes, farmers have planted 42,960 trees to help restore fertility to the land, protect against deadly erosion, and produce nutritious fruit for families to eat and sell. With Plant With Purpose’s help, farmers have also increased their savings by 22%, helping to create economically stable households by providing a cushion during emergencies and dry seasons. Click here to view an inspiring video on our work in Thailand.