The government plans to set up a “tree bank” which will function like a clearing house to collect and select quality precious tree saplings for sale at affordable prices to individuals who want to grow precious trees which are currently prohibited to be grown on private land, said PM’s Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakool.
The “tree bank” initiative will complement an earlier move by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives to amend the forest bill to delist 58 strains of precious trees from the list of prohibited trees, making it possible for private individuals to grow the commercially valuable trees on their own land.
The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) also announced its readiness to accept previous trees as loan collateral to enable low-income earners to take loans from the bank with their precious trees even if they don’t have other property.
Mr Kobsak said he had assigned BAAC, the National Research Committee and the Bio-economy Development Office to work out details of the “tree bank” initiative to be proposed to the mobile Cabinet meeting in Chumporn in the middle of this month.
The PM’s Office minister said that the initial fund to start the “tree bank” is small, about 500,000 baht like the starting of the “crab bank”, adding that the bank will keep the DNA samples of all the saplings to be sold to prevent them from being substituted with the illegal trees.
Regarding the use of precious trees as bank collateral, he admitted that this initiative could not be implemented in the short term as it has to work out how trees are used as bank collateral.