Rice to Meet You

Story and Photos: Apiradee Treerutkuarkul / Agriculture and Food Cluster

Thai Rice NAMA representatives at Thai Rice Fest

The Thai Rice NAMA project was invited to join in the first Thailand Rice Fest, a four-day event aimed at celebrating rice, which is regarded as the root of the nation. 

This event was held from 14 to 17 December 2023 to enable the general public, the urban population in particular, to understand the value hidden in every grain of rice by learning about the story behind rice from the producers of innovative rice products.

Rice testing session for public.
Low-emission rice is the product of a change in perspective and adoption of new rice cultivation ‘Alternate Wetting and Drying’ (AWD) 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 Agricultural Cooperatives, the Rice Department and GIZ Thailand 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 Levelling to enhance production efficiency 2) AWD 3) Site-specific nutrient management and 4) Straw and stubble management.

Ampawa Synlanont, Thai Rice NAMA project director

Research during the process found that alternate wetting and drying rice cultivation could reduce greenhouse emissions, specifically methane and nitrous oxide, by approximately 30% compared to conventional rice farming methods. In Thai, it is called “Na Lod Lok Roan” meaning low-emission rice paddies. Rice produced through this farming system can be one of the options for consumers to be a part of climate mitigation efforts. Climate change is severely affecting all sectors.

“Low-emission rice produced under the Thai Rice NAMA project provides not just market opportunities for smallholder farmers like us but also allows consumers to be a part of climate action. We’re pleased and honoured to participate in this event, to tell a story about our project and inspire consumers by showing them that everyone can be a part of Thai rice promotion. Our farmers can continue producing rice that is not only of good quality but also good for their livelihood, our health and our planet,” said Ampawa Synlanont, Thai Rice NAMA project director.

Sawanee Phorang, a farmer representative of Thai Rice NAMA project and Thanasit Sathapanaphitakkit, project field advisor.

Besides listening to the story about the Thai Rice NAMA project from Thanasit Sathapanaphitakkit, field advisor, and Sawanee Phorang, a farmer representative of the project, the consumers also tried low-emission rice products as part of the rice-tasting session.

The Thai Rice NAMA project is one of three rice projects selected to give a presentation at the Thailand Rice Fest event’s session ‘Love the Earth Rice’. The other two are Sarus Rice, produced by smallholder farmers in Buriram province, and Green Peafowl Rice, an organic rice produced by smallholder farmers in Phayao province. Rice produced from both projects supports wildlife-friendly farming practices and outreach to farmers, schools, and community members and establishes a replicable model in which humans, wild cranes and green peafowl can live together while improving livelihoods and biodiversity.
The Thailand Rice Fest was held for the first time by The Cloud, in collaboration with government, academic, civil and private sectors, to present interesting insights about rice, which is often taken for granted. The event was based on the theme ‘A Celebration of New Rice and Innovative Products’. The second edition will be held in late 2024 ■

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