The Land Reform for Agriculture Committee made a landmark decision on Thursday, to change the Sor Por Kor 4-01 land certificates into land title deeds, which can be used as collateral against loans from state and commercial banks, with the first set of deeds tentatively to be distributed to farmers by January 15th, according to Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Minister Thammarat Prompao.
He said that, even if the Sor Por Kor 4-01 land certificates are changed into land title deeds, there are, however, conditions attached, with which farmers who own land will have to comply, such as the requirement that the land be used for agricultural purposes and can be sold only to farmers who are qualified to own it.
Farmers who are entitled to have their Sor Por Kor 4-01 land certificates converted must prove that they have used their land for agriculture for at least five years. There are about 1.6 million farmers with about 2.2 million Sor Por Kor 4-01 land certificates, covering about 3.52 million hectares of land, who are qualified to receive land title deeds.
Currently, Sor Por Kor 4-01 land certificates can only be used as collateral to borrow from the state-owned Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, but the size of the loans granted is usually small.
The Land Reform for Agriculture Committee has also approved a 22.5 baht million fund for the Land Reform Office, to be used to trace the heirs of farmers who own Sor Por Kor 4-01 land plots, so they can inherit the land and claim the right to the land title deeds. There are about 171,000 such cases, which the Land Reform Office will try to track down.
The committee also agreed to help farmers, who are indebted to the Land Reform Fund by no more than 300,000 baht each, by providing new low-interest loans, interest free for the first year.
Thammarat is confident that all the Sor Por Kor-4-01 land certificates can be converted into land title deeds and distributed to farmers within five years.