Developing Rural Territories through Business and Knowledge: The Thai experience with the OTOP and CLC

Posted at September 29, 2013 | By : | Categories : Learning Routes Call,News | 0 Comment











In recent decades, Thailand achieved to become a middle-income country by conciliating macro-economic growth with community based development. In this trajectory, Thailand has adapted and originated, piloted, evaluated and scaled up a number of innovative concepts and tools for rural territories development with replication potential in several countries from the global South.

Thailand outstanding famers, policy makers and implementers are today in a position to exchange knowledge products and services to countries inside and outside of Asia and the Pacific Region.

Thailand is the fertile soil for innovations such as theOne Tambon One Product Program (OTOP) and theCommunity Learning Centres Program (CLC), considered efficient tools formarket development with social inclusion. These programs are locally grounded through province-level coordination and the use of diverse schemes for local planning and direct allocation of resources to the rural entrepreneur and private service providers.

This Learning Route is the result of the collaborative framework of the Agricultural Technology and Sustainable Agriculture Policy Division—ATSAP—at Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives—MOAC and the Community Development Department—CDD—of the Ministry of Interior—MOI of Thailand with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD-UN) and the PROCASUR Corporation.



General Objective

The aim of this Learning Route is acquiring in-depth understanding of the overarching policy rationale, the provincial and local operative settings and the impacts of the Thailand strategy for rural development, in particular the best practices and lessons learned by the OTOP and CLC programs, implemented by the MOI and the MOAC.


Specific Objectives

  1. Understand the institutional framework of Thailand public policies, programs and projects for rural development and poverty reduction.
  2. Learn the CLC’s best practices and impact in the creation and dissemination of knowledge and strengthening small farmer networks.
  3. Learn the OTOP best practices and impact in building local capacities for planning and developing territories using a public private partnership approach.


Thailand One Tambon One Product in a nutshell

One Tambon One Product (OTOP) is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program aiming to support the locally made and marketed products of each Thai Tambon (subdistrict). Drawing its inspiration from Japan’s successful One Village One Product (OVOP) program, the OTOP program encourages village communities to improve the local products’ quality and marketing, selecting one superior product from each Tambon to receive formal branding as its “starred OTOP product”. It provides both a local and national stage to promote these products. OTOP products include a large array of local products, including traditional handicrafts, cotton and silk garments, pottery, fashion accessories, household items and food.


Thailand Community Learning Centres in a nutshell

The perception that the poor display lack of knowledge to increase their income leads to the establishment of Community Learning Centres in rural areas (CLC). The MOAC through the Office of the Permanent Secretary planned to set up 816 centres over the country, on the basis of ‘one district, one CLC’, by 2009. Toward the end of that year, there were 1,139 CLCs. These Centres provide trainings to those in need, focusing on the poor and the landless. They teach practical lessons about farming, production of organic fertilizers, bio-control of plant pests and diseases, food processing, biomass and biodiesel production. Most CLC are autonomously managed by Prach Chao Bann or local intellectuals, they´re outstanding famers farmers, often self-taught and self-reliant, they mastered the ‘learning by doing’ skills and provide technical assistance for land and rural organizations management.



Dates and locations

The Learning Route will start in Bangkok and will be officially open on the 21st October, 08:00. Its official Closure will be the 28th October, 16:00, same venue. Visited provinces include Bangkok (special territory), Suphanburi, Lopburi, Nakorn-ratchasima and Nakorn-prathom.



Participants of this Learning Route are high level government officials, rural development practitioners and famers from Latinamerica, Africa and Asia and the Pacific.


Learning dynamics

These 8 days Learning Route  include meetings with Thai Government officials at Central and Provincial Level, field visits to Community Learning Centres and OTOP branded rural enterprises, among others. During this unique journey through knowledge, participant’s countries will be supported by PROCASUR and Thai experts in the design and Action Plan for the adaptation and adoption of best practices to their respective settings and organization performance.



In order to join the Learning Route, each participant and/or its sponsoring organization need to fulfill the following requirements:


  1. Submit to PROCASUR timely and correct application form and institutional endorsement letter (DEADLINE: OCTOBER 5TH).
  2. Cover the participants travel expenses from her/his own place of origin to Bangkok and return.
  3. Cover her/his travel insurance during the 8 days of Learning Route’s implementation.
  4. Obtain entry Visa to Thailand, if required, and cover the costs associated. The organizers will provide an invitation letter if requested.
  5. Pay a Training Fee of USD 2200.- that will cover fully his/her logistics services as described in the “services section” below.*


The organizers will provide technical and operational servicesas follows:


  1. Technical and operational assistance before, during and after the Learning Route
  2. Payment of experts, trainers, translators and interpreters.
  3. Learning materials and simultaneous interpretation available in English, Spanish and Thai**.
  4. Accommodation in three stars hotels as well as in the local communities procuring home stays.
  5. Three daily meals and two coffee breaks (no-alcoholic beverages);
  6. Internal transport inside Thailand during the Learning Route, including airport pickup and drop off.


* The organizers have formed a small scholarship Fund for those needing partial co-founding of the Training Fee. The Fund target IFAD linked projects, programs, institutions and farmers organizations in the Asia and the Pacific Region, giving priority to women or young or indigenous participants. For more information please contact PROCASUR.


** Interested candidates speaking languages different than English, Spanish or Thai and would need translation into their mother tongue, please enter in contact with PROCASUR as soon as possible.



For more information and emergencies please contact us at: and

Name E-mail Phone
Mr. Ariel Halpern +66 83 2083728
Ms. Warawan Baranski +66 53 272362
Mr. Phichet Nanta +66 89 4315288