Office of Agricultural Research and Development Region 8 , Department of Agriculture

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Socio- economic problems are considered as the major problems that needs to be addressed in the five provinces of Southern border areas in Thailand. Specifically, the problem on low income in the agricultural sector which caused insufficiency to sustain the livelihood of the community and consequently resulted to migration and abandonment of lands for other occupations. This also contributes to social unrest and insecurities to the people’s life and damages to assets and resources. Also, there is a problem on limited access of government services that hampers the development in every aspect. Another important problem in the agricultural sector is the lack of knowledge and skills on the good agricultural practices which lead to the poor productivity and quality of the crops yield such as rubber, oil palm, fruit crops, and field crops which are the major crops in the areas.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The Office of Agricultural Research and Development Region 8 and the Agriculture Research and Development Center of the provinces in Southern border areas, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives implemented the project on the promotion of livelihood in the Southern border areas of Thailand. The project conducted the agriculture technologies research and development by improved the livelihood of the farmers thru improving their productivity and their income. The provision of access on the technologies for the crops production that suitable to the local condition. The establishment model farms in the experimental areas of the Agricultural Research and Development Centers (ARDC), as well as the on farm trials in the farmer’s field were set up as the learning center. Training and field visit were also conducted to improve the knowledge of the farmers in the areas. The project had encouraged the farmers’ participation in the development of new knowledge, create diversity and sustainability in the development of agricultural livelihood. The project aimed to attain efficiency on the production of both economic and indigenous crops as a means to reduce cost and increase the income of the farmers and subsequently alleviates poverty of the rural households towards a strengthening within the community, reducing the gap between the government, the public, and the local community, towards a peaceful and secured provinces in Southern border areas of Thailand.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The implementation of the project followed the King Bhumipol’s philosophy entitled “Understanding, Approaching and Developing”. Understanding mechanism was using by analysis area problems include physical, biological, socio-economic and culture aspects, to understand the farmers problems and also the problems in the communities. Approaching was participatory of the farmers and officers which are the power for sustainable development. Then development was using the knowledge management, introducing suitable agriculture technologies to the farmers thru the training and learning from the demonstration model farm, the on farm trial and field visit, etc. The project aimed to be able to solve the problems in agriculture, and enhance the farmers understanding on agricultural production technologies and provide better access on the services from the government agencies and provide additional options for the farmers to be able to develop technologies for themselves and the community.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
4.1 Planning Meeting of the committee and working groups were done to set up the project, also the collaboration of the committee and stakeholders were discussed. Project approve: The project paper was sent to be approved by the Department of Agriculture and Ministry of Agriculture and cooperatives and the Southern Administration and Operation Centers. Budget allocation: After the approval of the project, the budget was allocated to the offices that involved all the project activities. Action plan: All activities were set up on the project planning as a calendar planning of each activities. 4.2 Development and Implementation 1. Area analysis was done in order to understanding the people and their livelihood, their constraint and also their relation within the commodities before select the activities in order to improve the appropriated agriculture technologies for that areas. The analysis was done thru participatory approach with the farmers and related people in the commodities. 2. Development of the appropriated technologies for the farmer practices in the area by set up on farm trials in the farmer’s fields by the participatory of the farmers. On farm trials was conducted on the farmer leader’s fields by introducing the approved technologies results from the research yield trial to compare with the technologies of the farmer. Then farmers can learned by doing themselves with the officer’s advice. 3. Set up the learning center by established the model farms in the Agricultural Research and Development Centers for demonstrated appropriated crop production technologies and using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) of the Department of Agriculture. 4. Development of Rubber Central Market in Yala province – in order to increase efficient marketing management and reduce the problems related to price fluctuations, and price suppression by the middlemen. Trainings were also provided to the rubber holders to enhance their knowledge on the rubber marketing. 5. Transfer technologies were introduced in many ways. -Training Courses of Appropriated Crops Production Technologies for the farmers in local areas. - Learning by doing in the on farm trials. - Field trip in model farm within and outside the areas. - Transferred by resource persons from the government, private sector and village philosophers who have expertise in the different disciplines and fosters participation and exchanged their knowledge with the farmers and allowed monitoring and evaluation by the farmers using the evaluation forms every study visit in order to develop the knowledge of the farmers, widen the vision of the farmer collaborators and generate alternative source of livelihood to the farmers. 4.3 Monitoring and Evaluation : The project was monitored and evaluated during on the progress and at the end of the project.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
1. Office of Agricultural Research and Development Region 8, Songkhla province, Department of Agriculture (DOA). Coordinated, monitored and evaluated the outcome of the project implementation, compiled and summarized the reports on monthly basis and annual report, submitted to DOA, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and the Southern Administration and Operation Centers . 2. Songkhla Field Crops Research Center Implemented of the activities in the area of the Songkhla province and co-operated with OARD8. 3. Agricultural Research and Development Centers in the three provinces. (Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani) - Transferred of crop production technologies such as para rubber, fruit crops, feed crops, local crops, other economic crops and integrated farming system. - Established a model farm in the centers and on farm trials in the farmer’s fields. - Developed of the Rubber Central Market in Yala province. 4. Planning and Technical Division, Department of Agriculture - Coordinated the implementation of plans and allocated budget for the project. 5. Agencies involve in the coordination with the local farmers - District Agricultural Offices - Tambon Administration Office 6. Community leaders and farmer’s networks in the target area. - Coordinated with the farmers in the locality. - Joined the project, promote and disseminate project information. 7. Interested publishing and the media - Published and disseminated project information. 8. Southern Administration and Operation Centers - Identified the target areas and considered of the project that was approved for implementation in the areas. -Monitored and evaluated the implementation of the project and promoted the livelihood of the farmers in the southern border areas. 9. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives - Approved and supported the budget. - Monitored and evaluated the implementation of the project.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
6.1 Budget Budget was allocated based on the existing problems on agricultural productions in each locality within the five provinces at the southern borders, and in accordance with the actual needs of the farmers in the areas related to agricultural development activities, and also based on the number of implementation areas and targeted number of farmers in every provinces. The expenses incurred for the establishment of the model farms both in the research and development centers of the Department of Agriculture in each provinces and on farm trials in farmer’s fields. The budget was included for the transfer technologies to the farmers, for the management of knowledge to the target areas, for the organization for visiting of the farmers and for the production inputs. The total budgets expensed for the project during the year 2007-2012 was 143,390,000 baht. The expenses for the development of Rubber Central Market and the expenses of the officers involved in the implementation of the project (2008-2011) totaled to 28,886,000 baht was also included. 6.2 Human Resources 6.2.1 Implementing Staff The implementers of the project are recruited staff of each Agricultural Research and Development Centers in the five provinces at the Southern borders and Office of Agricultural Research and Development Region 8 who are knowledgeable and skilled in various areas related to the project to ensure the attainment of project goals and objectives. 6.2.2 Stakeholders The stakeholder were the government officers including the agricultural extension agents, Tambon Administration Organization, Village Heads, Community Leaders, operators and farmer’s networks thru the integration of different disciplines, for the development of the guidelines on effective transfer of agricultural technologies to the farmers and communities addressing to their needs.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. Establishment of Model farms for the enhancement of crop production efficiency totaled for 21 kinds of crops in 89 plots (476 rais). Moreover, hydroponics culture totaled to 150 hydroponic greenhouses, at the Agricultural Research and Development Centers within the local areas of 5 provinces at the Southern borders. These can transferred the knowledge to the 20,885 farmers and increased their efficiency for crop productions. The technologies could be adjusted suitable to the local conditions. 2. Establishment of the on farm trials improved the crop production efficiency in 1,561 sites (3,186 rais and 30 hydroponic greenhouses) in farmer’s fields of 5 provinces at the Southern Thailand. After that the vicinity’s farmers were able to learn and apply to their farms as well as enabled to increase knowledge and income to attain sufficiency, sustainability and improved living conditions, resulted to the reduction on the socio-economic problems related to security within the locality. 3. During 2007-2012, the 50,878 farmers had trained to develop their agriculture technologies (103.83 percent of the target). Their knowledge scored at 44.82 percent higher than the former. 4. The 572 farmers who could access to the knowledge through field trips outside the area. The farmers and the communities were able to create new knowledge and had a wider vision and perception on the livelihood development and generation by themselves. 5. Establishment and development the Yala Rubber Central Market can reduce the problem on price suppression by the middlemen. It can induce the higher price than the local market average (5.73 Baht/kilogram). 6. The publication on four advisory papers : 1) The technology on production for good quality of Longkong, 2) The technology on the production of sweet corn in the lower Southern, 3) The technology on the cultivation of Bambarra Groundnut, and 4) The technology on the production of sugarcane for juice (First advisory paper was published in two languages ;Thai and Yawi languages. These provide the local farmers have a clearer understanding and efficient access to the knowledge on the agricultural production.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The monitoring and evaluation to assess the impact of technologies transfer of the project have done as follows: 1. Monitoring and evaluation during the implementation and running the project was conducted at 2 levels. Firstly was monitored and evaluated by the OARD 8 and then was monitored at the higher level periodically and yearly by Planning and Technical Division, Department of Agriculture. The project activities were also evaluated by the other agencies such as the Office of Agricultural Economics. Besides, The Southern Administration and Operation Centers (SAOC) was also doing the evaluation periodically and yearly thru the report. 2. The monitoring and evaluation after finished phase 1 of the project was conducted by the Tris Corporation Co. Ltd. and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives The evaluations were covered to preliminary report, the adaptation study and the impact assessment study.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1. The budget was delayed in the early part of the fiscal year, which resulted to management problems due to mismatching of budget with the season of crop production. 2. In some years during the implementation of the project, the activities were unattractive to adoption of transferred technology for the farmers due to the fluctuation of the price, which was quit low, caused higher cost and gained lower returns. 3. The officers, working in the local area, could not fully implement the activities due to the crisis problem in the target area. This consequently resulted to longer time needed for the implementation and the continuity of the project activities. Overcome the obstacles : 1. Problem on the delayed release of budget – The central headquarters advanced the budget from other sources to overcome the delay of the first year budget. This problem was not occurred in following year. 2. Cooperated with other related agencies such as Agriculture Cooperatives in finding new market or central market to get better price guarantee for crops produce. 3. Coordinated with the head of the communities before entering to the village for the security reason and also for the trust among the officers and the farmers.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
1. Enhance the understanding between the public and the government sector by the introduction of the principle “Understanding Approaching and Developing” of His Majesty the King Bhumibhol Adulyadej to be used in the administration and management of the project that would result to the livelihood and reduction of problems related to the security in the local areas. 2. The farmers could be upgraded their knowledge from the capacity development by training courses and on farm trials (50,875 and 1,561 farmers, respectively) The project has resulted to improve the quantity and quality agricultural production in the farmer’s field, subsequently increase farmer’s income as follows: Para rubber production technology – The technology on the integrated fertilizer management for para rubber were adopted on farmer’s field increased average yields at 283 kg/rai/year (234.84 kg/rai/year in traditional farmers) and higher income at 4,100 baht/rai/year. Therefore, the total growing area of para rubber in the five provinces at the Southern borders are 4.4 million rais, and if only 25 percent of the growing area for the rubber (approximately 1 million rai) will be adopted, that area would have the capacity to generate an income of approximately 4,100 million baht. Longkong production technology – The technology on canopy management, the integrated fertilizers management, and the management of the flower and fruit thinning technologies, have resulted to an increased production and better quality, classified as grade A at the average rising 107.08, 110.01 and 190.46 percent compared with the traditional technology of the farmers. The recommended technologies could increase the farmers’s income at 4,600-11,800 baht/rai/year. Therefore, if only 25 percent of the longkong growing area (approximately 260,000 rais of 1,057,314 rais) will be adopted, it will have an higher income about 1,196-3,068 million baht/year. Enhanced efficiency on the production of sweet corn – The farmers who participated in this project can produce sweet corn at an average yield of 1,663 kg/rai, got profit by 13,186 baht/rai. However, sweet corn is the high capacity plants for the commercial production in both local markets and others, its have good taste and high nutrients such as: vitamin A, B, fibers, etc. Enhanced efficiency on the production of pineapple – The pineapple growers who participated this project could be able to increase yields at 7,000 kg/rai, got profit at 21,200 baht/rai. Enhanced efficiency on the production of fodder crops as feed for livestock.The fodder crops production were developed for livestock feeding. Their yields were shown as follow ; sugarcane (22 tons/rai/year), sweet sorghum (10-15 tons/rai/year), corn fodder stalks (12-18 tons/rai/year), and cassava (10-12 tons/rai/year). This project will support the government project’s aim to increase the number of goats and sheep to 300,000 and the number of cattle to 273,000 in the Southern border. Development of Rubber Central Market in Yala – This market can solve the problem of price suppression by the local middlemen. The rubber holders who sold their rubber in the Rubber Central Market got higher price than the local market (5.73 baht/kg). During 2008-2011, the volume of rubber in the central market had reached to average 2,968.11 tons/year, valued at 281.16 million baht/year. This Rubber Central Market also announces the actual buying and selling price of rubber daily. The farmers can followed this price as the reference price for selling their rubber sheet . 3. The collaborating farmers became farmers leaders and enable the creation of farmers networks that leads to more adoption of crop production technologies and improved the livelihood of the farmers, create biological diversity, and sustainability in the crop production system of the farmers. 4. Building the skill of the farmers in understanding and access to knowledge on the production of economic and important local crops in accordance with the principles of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) of the Department of Agriculture, to enable the farmers to use the knowledge and to be developed and adopted in the locality in order to minimize the risk and reduce the production cost and increased income, and consequently would result to upgrade the quality of life of the farmer households in the long term. 5. Strengthen the capacity of the community in establishing networks in order to attain self sufficiency and reliance following the principle of sufficiency economy of His Majesty the King.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The project has established sustainability thru introduction to the farmers on the principle “Understanding Approaching and Developing” of the His Majesty the King as a vision and guideline for agricultural production, livelihood generation, formation of farmer groups, creation of farmers’networks , expanded to the nearby areas and build up the knowledge and exchange their experiences within and outside their groups. The sustainability also obtained by using participatory approach of the people in the areas. The development of agricultural livelihood, increase the production volume of quality products, increased income, poverty alleviation thru an increase in the efficiency of the production in the agricultural sector to build sustainability on the process of livelihood development in the agricultural sector and empowerment to strengthen the community can transfer to the surrounded area and other commodities. Farmers who completed the training program and participated in the program of on farm trials have attempted to set up of farmer network groups as the project’s operations for marketing their product. For example; 1. Virgin coconut oil by two-farmer network groups from Chana district, Songkhla province, it has been also introduced to the new member as well as contributed in scaling up of four other farmer network groups in Namom district, Songkhla province. 2. The operation of the sweet corn farmer network group in Tapae district, Satun province and Mueang district, Yala province 3. The farmer network groups of longkong production in the five southern border provinces 4. The production of rubber green-budded stump and seedlings by the farmer network groups in Yala province and Songkhla province.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
1. The introduction of the King Bhumipol’s Philosophy “Understanding, Approaching and Developing”. as the guidelines for understanding the actual needs of the community and strengthening the ties between the community and the various stakeholder and officers was benefit to the project and also the communities. 2. The participation of the people in the community is the key point for the success of the project 3. Transferred technologies through the model farms within the Research Center and also on farm trial in the farmer’s fields could improve the knowledge of the farmers and then could improve their crops production such as rubber, fruit crops, vegetables etc. and their income. 4. The enhancement on awareness of the good agricultural practice as a wisdom for the farmers that can attributed to the success of the project.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Office of Agricultural Research and Development Region 8 , Department of Agriculture
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Mr. Udorn Charoensang
Title:   Leader of the Project  
Telephone/ Fax:   +(66) 74445905-6/ +(66) 74445907
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   9/116 Kanchanawanich Rd. Chohong
Postal Code:   90110
City:   Hatyai District
State/Province:   Songkhla

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