Writer: Montree Promaluksan, Field Manager, Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA) – Thailand
The first batch of 50 trainers attended the two-day training to take a leading role in building up the community sustainability in the northeastern region of Thailand.
During the SRP Smart Farmers Training between 25 and 26 June 2019 in Ubon Ratchathani, northeastern province of Thailand, a wide range of topics, ranging from lack of good rice varieties, safe use of fertilizer, insect and pest control and farm management record books to fair market price and the adoption of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) concept were discussed.
The trainers themselves are farmers and have close relationship with fellow farmers. They will manage and deliver training to other farmers locally to adopt the SRP-related practices for the long-term development of the economy and environment.
The training is a part of a public-private partnership project called: Better Rice Initiative Asia or shortly known as BRIA. The project is expected to benefit at least 16,000 farmers in Ubon Ratchathani, Surin and Roi Ei provinces, who will learn more about sustainable rice production and value chains that can help boost their income and improve crop yields.
Mr. Atthawit Watcharapongchai, who oversees the project, said the cooperation between the trainers and farmers will not only improve the rice production but also strengthen the sustainable local communities.
“Besides knowledge transfer, we also focus on building the community sustainability,” he said.
While Narawadee Modenuch from Olam International, the project’s private partner, suggested that the rice sustainability is possible only through active marketing mechanism.
“Working with farmers to adapt their crop to sustainable rice farming will not generate substantial impact if the linkage between farmers and buyers is missing. Thus, BRIA aims to provide an innovative approach and offer demand-oriented solutions for smallholder farmers to have a better access to knowledge, inputs, services and markets,” Ms. Narawadee shared her thoughts.
Thailand’s Rice Department and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are the key supporters of BRIA Project, which is now on its second phase.