Best Rice Cultivation Practices
The BRIA Regional Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Best Rice Cultivation Practices was successfully concluded on November 3rd – 5th, 2015, at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel.
Over 50 participants from different stakeholders joined this workshop and shared their experiences on rice cultivation. The workshop was initiated by Dr. Matthias Bickel, BRIA Focal Point, and Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, BRIA Regional Project Director.
Dr. Christine Falken-Grosser, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany for Bangkok, shared welcoming remarks on behalf of the German Government She highlighted that agriculture in Southeast Asia, and rice cultivation in particular, plays a vital role in achieving world food security. However, challenges in the regional rice sector are very diverse. Topography, policies, and experiences strongly differ among countries in the region. BRIA was founded under the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and is being implemented together with GIZ and its partners. The initiative shows the engagement of the German government seeking to enhance rice cultivation in Southeast Asia.
The workshop officially started with the opening remarksof Mr. Vicharn Teangtum, Deputy Director General of the Thai Rice Department. The importance of rice has increased consistently. The International Rice Research Centre (IRRI) stated that rice is a staple food for nearly half of the world’s population. However, 90% of the world’s rice products is consumed in Asia, and produced in Asia. Nevertheless, the majority of rice farmers in Asia operate small farms and have low income. The Thai Rice Department has been set up to respond to rice production development, facing challenges by improving rice varieties, rice production technology, farmers’ empowerment, encourage cooperation with other stakeholders, improve development strategies, and promote the best rice cultivation practices for sustainable production. Mr. Vicharn Teangtum also mentioned that the goals of BRIA comply well with Thai rice development strategies and can be integrated as well.
Group Photo of Participants at the BRIA Regional Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Best Rice Cultivation Practices from November 3rd –5th, 2015
The workshop was conducted in various formats. It started with a plenary session on the prospects and challenges of the rice sector in Southeast Asia (SEA). Three keynote speakers presented on this topic. The session closed with an open discussion of all participants and was then followed by the break-out working groups on Best Rice Cultivation. These covered six different topics on rice cultivation practices and other topics that affect their implementation.
Lastly, a panel discussion on approaching best rice cultivation practices with Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was conducted. Five panellists from different stakeholders were invited:
- Dr. Phan Huy Thong –- Director of the National Agricultural Extension Centre, MARD Vietnam
- Mr. Paul Nicholson – OLAM International
- Ms. Tatsanee Setboonsarng – NawaChi One Foundation, Thailand
- Mr. Bas Baumann – Project Director GRiSP IRRI
- Mr. Jan Fraeb – GIZ develoPPP
The session was moderated by Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn. It reinforced the needs of collaboration between different stakeholders along the rice value-chain. In order to promote a more sustainable rice production, stakeholders need to work hand in hand. This should also include consumers who buy the final rice product.
Panel Discussion on PPP Approach Best Rice Cultivation
After the indoor workshop, around 30 participants joined the field trip on November 5th, 2015. They had the opportunity to experience BRIA’s on-ground activities in the central plain of Thailand. Two destinations from BRIA TH project regions were chosen: The Here Chai Seed Producer in Suphanburi and a Community Enterprise in Bang Sai District, Ayutthaya. The participants learned about examples of innovative, intensive and mechanised farm management with an established link to the market.
Group Photos of Field Trip Participants in the Central Plain of Thailand onNovember 5th, 2015