Farming data for successful business planning

Story and Photos: Thitinai Pongpiriyakit, SPOPP Project

RSPO – Phang Nga Oil Palm Production Community Enterprise Group presents data output using PowerBI

Business development is crucial for farmers to become entrepreneurs and escape the poverty trap. Having a farming database and action plan can enable farmer groups to keep improving their agribusiness performance. In reality, these issues are still challenging not only for oil palm smallholders but also for the overall agricultural sector in Thailand.

Aware of farming community needs, the Sustainable Palm Oil Production and Procurement project (SPOPP), which is funded exclusively by Global Green Chemicals Public Company Limited (GGC), values the importance of farming data. To this end, a workshop was organised at Avani+ Khaolak Resort, Phang Nga, on 25 – 26 October 2023.

Panrada Wongsuwan, Division Manager of Corporate, Branding and CSR, Global Green Chemicals

A total of 34 participants, all SPOPP members from Phang Nga, Chumphon, Krabi and Trang provinces, attended the workshop which focused on the advanced farming database collection, monitoring and reporting.

They were previously introduced to the use of “i-Palm” application, a tailor-made data management mobile application designed and launched in 2021 to help Thai oil palm smallholders boost their productivity and enhance good farming practices, competitiveness and widen opportunities to access the international market, which requires digital traceability and certification. The “PowerBI” software will further enable farmers to visualise their collected farming data, for example, the amount of fertiliser to use and the harvesting period. Such information is essential for oil palm smallholders to create an effective business development plan, which is regarded as a sustainable strategy for oil palm farmer groups after the completion of the SPOPP project.

Farmers can download the free version of the software from the Microsoft website to access the basic tools and functions sufficient for the farmer groups to create a dashboard and manage data collection and management.

“If we have a ready and accurate database, PowerBi is a good tool to help complete and cover all data on just one page. Various functions of the software will help us summarise data more conveniently and easily,” said Nonthiya Rodsakun, representative from Tubtim & Chaiyo Oil Palm Community Enterprise Network, Phang Nga.

Yutthana Charungkan, a workshop participant representing RSPO-Phang Nga Oil Palm Production Community Enterprise Group, agrees with the importance of a business development plan for oil palm smallholders “Business planning is necessary and very important. PowerBI is the answer. Not only is it presented in an easy way through a database or analysis of existing data, PowerBI also allows us to understand and learn how and what information we need to prepare. This will be beneficial to the group and its members in learning about production costs, income, expenses or anything else and will affect planning efficiency in the future.”

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