In today’s health conscious society, organic food has gained popularity worldwide. As one of the world’s top rice exporters, organic rice is a potential economic commodity. Recognizing opportunity to improve organic rice production sector, Ministry of Science and Technology launched a project to boost organic rice cultivation through science and technology in January 2014 and BIOTEC was tasked to lead the project implementation by working with farmers, sourcing appropriate technologies and facilitate the technology adoptions.
Yasothon province was selected as the project site which could later be served as a model for other provinces. Seven farmer groups, with the total membership of 4,565 farmers, participate in this project. Some of these farmers already obtain organic certification domestically and/or internationally, while many are keen to transform to organic cultivation. The project therefore aims to train farmers and introduce technologies that will help farmers maintain their organic standards or meet the standards to acquire the certification.
One of the technologies introduced this year is a software application, called TAMIS (Thailand Agriculture Mobility Information System), developed by NECTEC and the Rice Department. This software is specially designed to facilitate the inspection, by enabling farmers and inspectors to input, store and retrieve all the farming data using computer tablets, thus eliminating labor-intensive paperwork. Trainings of farmers and inspectors to use this software are in progress and should be completed by the end of 2014. Other training modules include farm management and organic fertilizer production, for instance.
Posted on 3 September 2014