Rice from “Thai Rice NAMA” selected as premium gifts to mark World Environment Day

Photos: Kiattiyote Wongudomlert, Agriculture and Food Cluster/ GIZ Thailand

To mark World Environment Day 2023 and raise awareness on global warming and responsible consumption, Oamsuk Social Enterprise under the Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited purchased 40 tonnes of low-emission rice produced following the environment-friendly practices by farmer members of Thai Rice NAMA project and the Plang Yai Kaset Samai Mai Community Enterprise in Doem Bang Nang Buat district, Suphanburi province.

Farmer members of Thai Rice NAMA project and the Plang Yai Kaset Samai Mai Community Enterprise in Doem Bang Nang Buat district, Suphanburi province handed over the total low-emission rice products to Somchai Tejavanija, Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Business Group and Gloyta Nathalang, Oamsuk Social Enterprise Director and Executive Vice President, Corporate Branding, Communication and Sustainability Activation, Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited.

The rice handover ceremony was witnessed by Peeraphan Korthong, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Dr Bernd Christiansen, Counsellor for Food and Agriculture, on behalf of the German Ambassador, Chitnucha Buddhaboon, Deputy Director-General of Rice Department, Rapeetouch Unjittphan, Deputy Director-General, Department of Agricultural Extension, Nana Kuenkel, GIZ Thailand’s Agriculture and Food Cluster Director Coordinator, and Ole Henriksen, Director of Thai Rice NAMA Project. 

Thai Rice NAMA is the product of a change in perspective and adoption of new rice cultivation “alternate wetting and drying” techniques from the Thai Rice NAMA initiative introduced to Plang Yai Kaset Samai Mai Community Enterprise through the collaboration, between the Ministry of Agriculture and GIZ Thailand.

The aim of this collaboration is to enhance rice production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The four mitigation technologies to reduce costs are: 1) Laser land leveling to enhance production efficiency 2) Alternate wetting and drying, 3) Site-specific nutrient management and 4) Straw and stubble management.

Research along the process found that alternate wetting and drying rice cultivation could reduce greenhouse emissions by approximately 30% compared to the conventional rice farming methods.

“Bangchak has placed great importance on creating marketing channels for community products since 1998. Community agricultural products and processed goods are selected as premium gifts for customers. This approach is distinctive in connecting producers and consumers, supporting our Thai farming community. The support of Thai Rice NAMA will help raise awareness of global warming protection, an effort that requires everyone’s collaboration and participation,” said Mr Somchai Tejavanija.

Farmer members of Thai Rice NAMA project and the Plang Yai Kaset Samai Mai Community Enterprise in Doem Bang Nang Buat district, Suphanburi province

Sawanee Phorang, Thai Rice NAMA farmer member and representative of Plang Yai Kaset Samai Mai Community Enterprise, said members would receive 300 baht top-up from market price for each tonne of rice sold to Oamsuk Social Enterprise. Income and profits from selling the low-emission rice would also go back to the group for administration. Dividends will usually be distributed to all members at the end of year.

Ms Sawanee said the group also received many preorders from retail consumers. The group would be able to distribute the product during the next crop cycle in September.

“Low emission rice produced under the Thai Rice NAMA project give not only market opportunities for smallholder farmers like us, but also consumers to be a part from climate-smart solution,” she said. ■

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