Founded in 2008| Thousand Currents Partner since 2023

Southern Peasants’ Federation of Thailand (SPFT)

Advocating land reform and self-determination for peasants

Southern Peasants’ Federation of Thailand (SPFT) was established in 2008 as an umbrella organization of five communities in the Surat Thani province. SPFT’s members include landless peasants, rural wage laborers, women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples. These communities live and farm public land while advocating for land reform and self-determination over natural resources. SPFT’s struggle centers on promoting Chanot Chum Chon, a form of collective land management, on public lands occupied by their communities.

Agriculture is a vital part of Thailand’s economy, but almost 80% of the land is controlled by just 20% of the population. Despite various land laws, including a 2010 regulation for community land titles to address landlessness, farmers have not received ownership. Instead, they have been frequently displaced to make way for mining, palm oil, or power plants. In Surat Thani, an investigation by the Southern Poor People Network (SPPN), a peasant organization, found that corporations were given 32,000 hectares of land, including forest land, in concessions.

SPFT members advocate for land reform and actively practice agroecology and agroforestry. They have several cooperatives to meet their members’ needs and market their produce, and they also advocate for the right to housing. By working together, SPFT is building a community-led movement for land reform that addresses the structural inequalities faced by marginalized communities in Thailand. Despite the slow issuance of community titles and other challenges, SPFT is committed to creating a fairer and more equitable society.
Cover photography by Ayşe Gürsöz