More than happiness: a farmer says thanks through a handwritten note

written by Naylinya Chappanapong, Senior Communication Officer, GIZ Thailand

Do you remember the winner of the most delicious non-glutinous rice award, Mrs. Duangjan Wichalin from Ubon Ratchathani province?

Let’s recall her story …

Mrs. Duangjan is an ordinary woman who was born and grows rice in Baan Wang Khok, Ubon Ratchathani, northeastern Thailand. Her parents have worked in the rice field ever since she could remember and she knew that one day she would become a farmer.

A year ago, Duangjan joined the second phase of the Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA II) project and learned how to produce healthy and safe Hom Mali rice while making her farm sustainable and more profitable.

In December 2018, she had a chance to sell a variety of rice at the 2018 Thai Rice Festival in Bangkok. She won the national award for the most delicious non-glutinous rice out of the blue. On behalf of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Krishnapong Sripongpankul, director-general of the Rice Department granted the award to her.

A few weeks later, Food and Agriculture Cluster’s communication team went to Baan Wang Khok to visit Mrs. Duangjan and we received a little handwritten ‘thank-you’ note from her.

Here it is..

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I received a “golden plate” award for the most delicious non-glutinous rice of Thailand on 21 December 2018 from the prime minister.

I have never expected that as a farmer I would be able to get this opportunity and earned a good reputation for my hometown – Baan Wang Khok, Samrong district, Khok Sawang sub-district, Ubon Ratchatani province.

I can’t compare my happiness of getting this award to anything else. I have come this far because of great supports from staffs of the project and GIZ.

I thank BRIA team for their supports and for sending us to join the Thai Rice Festival. Thank you for taking good care of us.

I thank Agricultural Office and officials at Rice Seed Center in Ubon Ratchathani for providing me training courses and workshops in which I learned to produce better and healthier rice while reducing greenhouse gases, make rice smell good and delicious and do management plan for rice production. Once I put these skills into practice, the result was good and went beyond expectation.

I thank the judges from the Rice Department and their decision to give me the award.

I promise to grow rice that smells good and tasty forever.

Thank you.

Mrs. Duangjan Wichalin no longer used pesticide and has chosen to comply with the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standard practices. Read more about Mother Duangjan and her fellow farmer at https://www.asean-agrifood.org/hom-mali-rice-farmers-in-northeastern-thailand-enjoy-sweet-smell-of-success

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