Thailand promotes rubber plantation carbon credits for sustainable agriculture


A rubber plantation in Thailand. (Photo: iStock)

The state-owned enterprise Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) under Thailand's Ministry of Agriculture has launched a rubber plantation carbon credit program with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality for 3.2 million hectares (20 million rai) of registered rubber plantations in the country and further converting them into carbon credits for sale.

RAOT has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) to collaborate on carbon credit development. Rubber has been confirmed by TGO to be capable of sequestering carbon dioxide and eligible for carbon credit trading.

In 2023, RAOT conducted pilot projects in Chanthaburi, Loei, and Surat Thani provinces, covering a total area of 8,000 hectares (50,000 rai), aiming to obtain 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in carbon credits within seven years, valued at 390 million THB (about 10.6 million USD).

Director of RAOT, Nakorn Takwiraphat, stated that the program promotes the development of carbon-neutral rubber plantations and aligns with the Thai government's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

RAOT aims to expand carbon-neutral rubber plantations to 1.6 million hectares (10 million rai) by 2030 and reach 3.2 million hectares (20 million rai) by 2050.

Carbon credit trading can serve as additional income for rubber plantation farmers, with prices ranging from approximately 100 to 3,000 THB (about 2.73 to 81.80 USD) per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Currently, it is a voluntary transaction, but it is anticipated that carbon credit prices will rise after the implementation of carbon taxes in the country, which will contribute to sustainable agricultural development.

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