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UNDP Thailand; with support of the Citi Foundation, has conducted a program on “Strengthening Community Entrepreneurship and Localizing Social Incubation in the Southern Border Provinces in the Context of COVID-19 Crisis” to assist local-level institutions in creating employment opportunities and income-generating businesses targeting low-income households, women groups, youth, and unemployed persons in the aftermath of COVID-19 crisis by strengthening capacities of local men and women to become community business incubators equipped with skills and knowledge necessary to start or develop their own viable and sustainable community enterprises. The program was designed through consultations among local communities, and respective local governments.
Situated in a mountainous area, Bannangsata subdistrict in Bannangsata district of Yala province has an advantage of its geographical location and resources that are rich and suitable for agricultural purposes. Most of the population in the sub-district make a living through agriculture, and rubber plantation is considered its main economic crop and source of income followed by durian, rambutan, long kong, banana, corn, etc. Non-agricultural occupations include general labor, trading, textile production, food processing, goat cattle, and some freshwater fishing. However, with a sharp drop in main crop’s prices, farmers face the problem of unstable income. Therefore, community groups had consultations to find local solution that generate additional income for farmers’ household. They concluded that farming practices must be departed away from single crops in order to make sure that sources of income are diversified and households can be resilient amid local and international crises.
Bannang Sata coffee growers began to expand their cultivation a few years ago. Currently, the members who wish to receive the seedlings must agree to attend skills development training organized by the enterprise. Young people and member farmers of the enterprise must work in the plantations to train their skills, from watering the plants, plowing, to harvesting so that they can master coffee planting and harvesting skills.