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Sustainable Farming in Northern Thailand Featured

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Location:  Chiang Mai, Thailand 
Type of Assignment:  Conservation and sustainability
Project Duration:  Minimum 8 Weeks
Activities:  Care and maintenance of farm buildings, facilities and equipment, care of animals and crops.


The Organization

How is the Organization involved with the community?

The farm is part of an organization dedicated to bringing a sustainable economy to the poorest regions in Northern Thailand. Working with the community, the organization helps to improve access to education, basic health services, and sustainable incomes to the poorest people in northern Thailand. The farm helps provide food to the children’s homes (40 children), is part of a coffee program to promote sustainability, and is a biochar production center.

Background to the project and its aims?

The project uses the coffee seedlings to supply Hill-Tribe villagers in nearby villages with an economically and environmentally sustainable alternative to their current slash-and-burn methods of farming on the mountainsides. The biochar complements this endeavor by providing an organic fertilizer to refresh their depleted soil, as well as provides opportunity for future microenterprise initiatives.

The farm has a large vegetable garden where currently ginger, lemon grass, orchards with longan, mango, papaya, banana and lime are grown. The farm also raises chickens, cows, ducks, fish and pigs. The children on the project consume a portion of the production; the remainder is sold to support the organization’s affiliated Children’s Homes. The biochar complements this endeavour by providing an organic fertilizer to refresh their depleted soil, as well as provides opportunity for other future microenterprise initiatives.

In addition to normal farming skills, the individual may be requested to assist with the following:

  • Organic farming
  • Herbal medicine
  • Animal husbandry
  • Fish farming
  • Reforestation of local Hill Tribe areas
  • Water conservation efforts
  • Alternative construction (adobe and cob)
  • Plumbing
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Design and construction of an irrigation system

What are the daily volunteer activities in this project?

The organization seeks a Farm Worker to help on a farm located in a village outside of Chiang Mai. The selected individual must have a desire to learn, will need to be familiar with a full range of farming skills, and will be expected to contribute to the success of the farm.

The volunteer is expected to contribute their work, knowledge, ideas, and skills immediately on arrival. Volunteers are encouraged to share and implement any new ideas to ensure the future success and sustainability of the farm.


  • Maintain farm records, including planting dates, seeds/seedling usage, pest control methods, water usage, growth cycles, fertilizer usage, yields, costs, etc.
  • Manage biochar production and maintenance of kilns.
  • Care for farm animals, including chickens, pigs, ducks, and cows.
  • Research and implement new methods to promote sustainability in northern rural Thailand.

Volunteers should have (or be working toward) the following skills/experience.

  • Willingness to withstand exposure to variable work conditions, specifically prolonged exposure to variable weather conditions.
  • Desire to learn new sustainable methods.
  • Ability to think creatively and work with a diverse workforce, including Thai work staff, schoolchildren, and other foreign volunteers.
  • Background in agroforestry, sustainable development, or biodiversity preferred.
  • Exposure to carpentry or engineering is a plus.
  • Conversationally fluent in English.

In addition to these activities, volunteers are required to teach two hours of English a week at the local community center.

Program Details

Quick facts about the trip:

Project duration:  Minimum 8 weeks
Project Location:   Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Airport of arrival: Chiang Mai (CNX)
Activities:  Care and maintenance of farm buildings, facilities and equipment, care of animals and crops.
Working Hours:  40 hours a week.
Accommodation:  Volunteer house
Requirements:  Previous experience in some field of farm work.  Also, a criminal background check, or equivalent, since volunteers will have contact with children at the center.

What's included:

Accommodation:  Single or double in volunteer house with screens, western toilet, hot water, kitchen and internet.
Airport pickup
Local Transfers: a motorbike is provided for transportation between villages and the project site.
Pre-departure Orientation and Onsite Training: Volunteers receive a comprehensive workshop on being a volunteer in the project, safety and security in the destination country, culture shock, and pre-departure preparations.
Support: 24/7 during your volunteering time.

What's not included:

Flights, visas, insurance, meals.


Program Duration Cost (USD)
8 weeks 1,031.00
12 weeks 1,322.00
16 weeks 1,605.00
20 weeks 1,816.00
24 weeks 2,027.00
Additional weeks 153.00 per week

All Registration Fees are included in the prices above.