Innovations for investment: financing small-scale fisheries in Thailand

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

9:00 AM Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna

Event Summary

The event was attended by fisheries finance stakeholders from Thailand, the Philippines, and several other organizations from the Asia-Pacific region. The knowledge-sharing session had three distinguished speakers. The programme discussion began with a presentation by Dr. Raymon van Anrooy, Senior Fishery Officer/Team Leader, Fishing Technology and Operation Team, who introduced and provided an overview to the participants of FAO’s Multi-Disciplinary Fund Joint Project: Financing innovation for sustainable fisheries with the private sector, which was implemented successfully by the Bank for Agriculture and Agriculture Cooperatives (BAAC), Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and the SouthEast Asian Fisheries Development Corporation (SEAFDEC). He shared with participants and briefly highlighted the prominent project work conducted in Thailand; i) the establishment of a national network for financing innovation for sustainable fisheries in Thailand (ThaiNet- SSF), which is linked with the CAFI-SSF Network, ii) project identification of key finance and fisheries stakeholders and training material drafted by APRACA and BAAC, that focusses on training finance officers and financial institutions to address the needs on financing and adapting to fisheries finance programmes particularly to finance small-scale fisheries (SSF), iii) surveys on fish value chain finance, iv) assessment of the sustainability of fishing technologies and operations in Thailand- options for innovations.

Further to this Dr. Thomas Gietzen, FAO International Consultant, shared survey results conducted during the project within three provinces in eastern Thailand. He discussed the scheme of the various actors in the fish value chain, showed the analysis results of how economic benefits are distributed in the value chain and lessons learned to understand opportunities for financial institutions in the fisheries sector. The third presentation by Mr. Sukchai Arnupapboon from Training Department, SEAFDEC  focused on how technological innovations in fishing vessels can reduce operational costs as well as environmental impacts, while improvements in technology can increase fishing efficiency, product quality, and safety at sea and thus enhance the working conditions of fishers.

The closing remarks made by Dr.Prasun Kumar Das, Secretary General, APRACA that The Guidelines for microfinance and credit services in support of small-scale fisheries in Asia have been widely accepted by APRACA member organizations.  He also expressed several APRACA members have shown interest in supporting the studies on the cost and flow of product analysis through country-level programs and the development of capacity-building material for small-scale fisheries finance in their respective countries. He stated to get more fishers/fish farmers involved, it is important to delve into their requirements both from technology as well as the capacity building needs to increase access to finance.


The programme discussion concluded with key suggestions for next steps as follows:

1.Development of financial literacy training materials for small-scale fishers

2.Reporting formats to be developed for financial service providers (FSPs) on financial service provision to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.


Fishing and activities associated with the fish value chain play an important role in the Thai economy. The fisheries sector contributes around 10 per cent to Thailand’s overall agricultural economic activity. The capture fisheries sector harvests an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of fish and shellfish (FAO 2022). In 2019, the export value of fish and fishery products was estimated at USD 5.8 billion, while USD 3.7 billion of seafood was imported.

The sector’s backbone is the many small-scale fishers (SFF) and ancillary businesses, like processors, wholesale market operators or restaurants. They make the fisheries sector an attractive investment opportunity for financial institutions. According to a recently published FAO policy brief, these businesses are generally able to access financial services, however, they often find that the services offered by financial institutions are not suited to their business development needs.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and its local partner in Thailand, The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) implemented a project for “Financing innovation for sustainable fisheries with the private sector”. The project has the overarching objective to understand and document how economic benefits are transmitted to each node of the small-scale fisheries value chain and how to improve the socio-economic well-being of the small-scale fishing value chain actors by enhancing their access to financial services, business development services and markets.

Within the project, the research team has surveyed various businesses in the small-scale fishing value chain (fishers, processors, restaurants) to find out how they manage their finances.

CAFI SSF – Webinar Talk Series brings to its member organizations and interested participants, the results of this survey that offers new insights into the profitability, cost structure and financing mechanisms in the value chain. The results can strengthen the capacity of financial institutions to manage risks in the sector, design and develop customized products for their clients and ultimately enlarge their customer base.

CAFI SSF Webinar is organized for all stakeholders involved with SSF finance and insurance.

Our Distinguished Speaker Panel

  • Raymon VanAnrooy: Senior Fishery Officer/ Team Leader, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Prasun Kumar Das: Secretary General, Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Associations (APRACA)
  • Dr. Thomas Gietzen: International consultant, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Sukchai Arnupapboon: Training Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)