Fellow Since 2000
Project for Agroecology Development and Plant Genetic Resources
This profile was prepared when Payong Srithong was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Payong is providing some of Thailand's poorest villagers with the information and technical training they need to make informed choices about how best to use their local natural resources. His comprehensive approach involves more than just technical training at the community level. By establishing locally-based "barefoot laboratories," Payong is systematically developing new techniques and compiling a body of local knowledge to assist in environmental and resource management. His work bridges community development work, technological and academic know-how, and the fundamental needs of Thailand's poorest communities. Payong has received acclaim for developing innovative, practical solutions that benefit the natural environment and the people living in it equally.