Cooperative in Thailand -> Type of Cooperative -> Land Settlement


The primary objective of Land Settlement Cooperatives is to allocate land to farmers who having either no land or small holding to make use for their living earning. Its operational scope is the same as that of agricultural cooperatives. However, land settlement cooperatives put more emphasis on land development including familiarizing members with appropriate farming techniques and modern irrigation methods.


Allocation of land to farmers by cooperative method was first practiced in 1935 in Lumlookka district, Pathumthani province. Total farmland of 4,109 rai was purchased from the Ministry of Finance for allotment in the form of land hire-purchase cooperative. Later in 1938, by the government's issuance of the Royal Decree Determining the Forcible Area in Chiengmai province, the first Land Settlement Cooperative was established in Sansai district, Chiengmai province, covering the area of 8,913 rai, and was followed by the establishment of another Land Settlement Cooperative in the area of 54,798 rai in Muang district, Samutsakorn province. Another Land Settlement Cooperative type called Land-tenant Cooperative was established in 1975, in the deteriorated national forest reserve area in Bang-saparn district, Prachuab-Kirikhan province, covering the area of 46,974 rai with initial membership of 1,232 families.

As mentioned earlier, land settlement cooperative is organized to solve the problem of landless farmers or farmers with insufficient land holdings. It's also aimed to improve tenancy and squatting condition in public land or forest reserve area by allocation of land from which they could earn their living through cooperative system. The major task of the government in developing Land Settlement Cooperatives is covered two main aspects: arrangement of land and establishment of cooperative.

Arrangement of Land
After receiving the land, the Cooperative Promotion Department will conduct the feasibility study to identify land size, soil series, rainfall intensity, and water resources. The information is used for both physical and land use planning. Supporting services such as irrigation facilities, road, school, health center, and market center will be then provided in the land settlement cooperatives.

In selection of members, a screening committee, chaired by chief of the district office and appointed by the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives is responsible for selecting the qualified applicants. The necessary qualifications of the applicant are:
1. Thai nationality and sui juris
2. Good behavior and willing to follow the regulations set by Cooperative Promotion Department
3. Diligent, healthy and able to do farming
4. Not insane
5. Landless or has insufficient land for earning living.

The Cooperative Promotion Department will provide the selected farmers with training on the cooperative principles and practices, and procedure for cooperative establishment including member rights and duties. After the farmers completed the said training program they will, then, allow to work on land assigned by the cooperative authority . In distributing land to farmers, the respective priorities are given to
            1. those who have occupied and utilized land in the project area, but without any legal document
            2. those residing in the district or province where the project area is located
            3. other persons.


Establishment of Cooperative
After the members have been permitted to occupy and utilize the land, the Cooperative Promotion Department will help them set up a cooperative in accordance with the procedure set by the Department. Following the cooperative principles and practices, land settlement cooperatives run their business by the board of directors elected among members at the general assembly and the manager and staff of the cooperatives employed from qualified persons. The government assists the cooperatives with advice, guidance and financial support on business operation ranging from production, credit, marketing, land ownership, and public services to the cooperatives.

Types of Land Settlement Cooperative. The source of land received for allocation determines the type of land settlement cooperative to be set up.
            1. Land Settlement Cooperatives. When any public vacant land was classified by the National Land Allocation Executive Committee as agricultural land, the Cooperative Promotion Department will acquire the said land for allotment. Farmers who have fulfilled the cooperative conditions will later be given the right of land ownership.
            2. Land Hire-purchase Cooperatives. Land may be purchased form private land owners for allotment if it is considered justify with the volume of investment and overhead costs. When the farmers have paid all the installments and fulfilled all the requirements, they will be granted the right of land ownership.
            3. Land Tenant Cooperatives. Forest reserve area which are extensively squatted by farmers and cannot be restored to their original condition may be acquired and rented out to farmers through land tenant cooperative method. Land ownership, in this regard, will not be transferred to farmers, but the right of land utilization can be inherited.

Granting Right of Ownership
Only members of Land Settlement Cooperatives or Land Hire-Purchase Cooperatives will be given the right of land ownership when they have fulfilled the conditions set by the cooperative as follows:
           1. Be consecutive member not less than 5 years;
           2. The members must be fully utilized the land for farming purposes;
           3. All installments for land preparation have been fully paid;
           4. All the debts with the cooperative have been full paid; and
           5. Get approval from the cooperative and the Cooperative Promotion Department

for the issuance of the land title or certificate of land utilization. The legal document issued for this purpose cannot be transferred to other persons for a period of five years, except by inheritance or transferring to the cooperative where they belong.

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The Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives of Thailand Limited (FSCT)
199 Moo 2, Nakhon in Road, Bang Si Thong Subdistrict, Bang Kruai District, Nonthaburi Province, 11130
Tel: (+66) 2496 1199 Fax: (+66) 2496 1177 , (+66) 2496 1188  E-mail: