Khao Kwan Foundation: “the Ministries must work for the farmers”
“Developing Rural Territories through Business and Knowledge: The Thai experience
with the OTOP and CLC”. Journey Diary.
|Mr. Daycha Siripatra, founder and chairman of Khao Kwan Foundation|
Muang District, in the Suphanburi Province of Thailand—distant some 120 kilometers from Bangkok—is home of the Khao Kwan Foundation (KKF), a Community Learning Center focused on improving the production of rice.
Mr. Daycha Siripatra, founder and chairman of the institution, has been working for three decades in the integration of local knowledge and scientific discoveries to improve seeds, soil and pests insect management.
Modern agriculture involves processes like straw burning, purchasing of seed rice from corporate providers, machinery to plow the fields, chemicals to control weeds and pests, and spreading of weedicide and pesticide, plus the use of chemical fertilizer. Besides, harvesting using heavy machines tend to pack the soil and waste seeds, while there are lost battles against more and more resistant generations of pests like the brown plant hopper and orange leafs. Over the years, farmers using those techniques developed dependency on agrochemicals and became debtors of credits while many of them ended up into bankruptcy. On the other hand, organic rice farming includes organic compost as a starting point for fields plowing, green manures, local herbs as pest repellent, plus herbal insect control.
KKF’s training crew is based on self-reliant outstanding farmers who have built a collaborative effort to develop organic rice farming as a cheaper and more productive way of producing high quality rice involving improved and tested traditional and new techniques like microorganism cultivation, multiplying liquid microorganisms, bio extract, and natural insect control and pest management.
Thailand’s critical move from poverty, based on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy promoted by the King, depends on reducing expenses while improving the family income. Rice seed improvement, cheaper production and breaking of the dependence on agrochemicals are some of the main outcomes of KKF’s solution for rice production. However, Siripatra is concerned about a weakness: while public policies should support organic ways of producing cheaper and better rice, ministries of agriculture over the world tend to endorse the global corporate strategy to create dependency on agrochemicals. “Ministries must work for the farmers, not for the corporations,” he added.
|Mr Siripatra explains the advantages of the KKF techniques to participants of the Learning Route.|
Participants of the Learning Route recognized the high value of such solutions and the clear chance of replicating those procedures in their own countries.
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