Ms. Chutima Boonyaprapatsorn, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, visited farmers participating in the large rice field management scheme in Ubon Ratchathani province, a BRIA project site in the Northeast of Thailand, on 23 July 2017.
The scheme, which is being promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, encourages farmers to form a group, combine rice fields, pool manpower and share farm machinery services in order to achieve economies of scale, reduce production costs as well as increase the bargaining power of smallholder farmers. She emphasized the need to maintain high rice quality and urged farmers to grow rice to satisfy international requirements, such as GAP or the SRP standard.
For their part, the farmers are satisfied that they can apply the recommendations to produce quality ‘SRP rice’, all of which was bought by Olam last year. The current BRIA farmer training activities are being supported by the Rice Department (RD), Department of Agricultural Extension (DoAE), Bayer, Olam and BASF. Surin, Roi Et and Sisaket provinces are also covered by the project.
To reach more farmers this year, BRIA has introduced SRP by conducting meetings with farmers, as follows:
1st session in July
– To promote rice production as per the SRP standard
– To introduce the concept and implementation of sustainable rice production
– To introduce the BRIA project
– To explain project criteria and requirements
2nd session in August
– To elaborate the eight SRP principles and 46 requirements for sustainable
– To introduce SRP farm record keeping
3rd session in September
– To revisit the 46 SRP requirements
– To check the SRP farm diary
4th session in October
– To prepare and plan rice harvest
– To schedule a harvester for member farmers
– To assess participating farmers’ knowledge and understanding of SRP
The total number of the SRP farmers in this province is 1,336 and all of them are members of 19 Community Rice Centres (CRCs).