A promising start of the National Network for Financing innovation for Sustainable Fisheries in Thailand (ThaiNet-SSF)

Monday, September 12, 2022

Access to micro-finance and credit by the small-scale fishers in Thailand is challenging. Financial services are the key to enable small-scale fishers to operate viable businesses and to make their fishing operations more sustainable. Many of the 1.7 million fishers in Thailand want to innovate to fish more responsible, use safer vessels,  produce higher quality fish, and add value to their products. They need suitable financial services to do so.    

The Thailand National Network (ThaiNet SSF) aims to provide a platform where members promote, develop and facilitate capacity building, knowledge exchange, advocacy and awareness, share experiences, good practices and provide support and advice to concerned stakeholders to increase access of suitable financial services to the small-scale fisheries in Thailand.

On Monday 12 September the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Department of Fisheries (DoF) and various representatives of other national institutions had a meeting on the establishment of ThaiNet SSF.

At the meeting the APRACA Secretary General, Dr Prasun Kumar Das, presented the objectives of the network, as well as the outputs and activities foreseen. Moreover, he kindly offered to host the network in its initial phases within the APRACA Secretariat.  

The BAAC Executive Vice-President Dr Chab Kongmon, informed the meeting of BAACs programme’s to assist fishers in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, and about the training of BAAC credit officers in  credit management for sustainable fisheries entrepreneurship. He informed the meeting that BAAC fully supports the ThaiNet SSF and aims to integrate training materials developed with APRACA and FAO into its training programmes.

BAAC also showed a video on how financial services can support small-scale fishers to innovate, grow their business and fish more responsible.

Dr Raymon van Anrooy, FAO Senior Fishery Officer, welcomed the start of the ThaiNet SSF, which is timely in the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). He expressed appreciation for the work by BAAC, APRACA and SEAFDEC in the joint project on “Financing Innovation for Sustainable Fisheries with the Private Sector in Thailand”. He added that ThaiNet SSF can count on the support from the Global CAFI-SSF Network.

The 20 stakeholders at the successful first ThaiNet SSF meeting agreed to meet quarterly. APRACA would invite more potential members to join the network. Activities in the coming months include the preparation of a policy brief, organization of training sessions by BAAC, and development of a case study on seafood value chain finance by APRACA and FAO.

For more information about the network and if you are interested to join, please contact: apraca@apraca.org