Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic
"Bridging the gap between increasing knowledge and decreasing resources"
Small Organic Fertiliser Factory Promotion in Rural Communities of Northeast Thailand
Ubonratchathani Rajabhat University, Fac. of Agriculture, Thailand
In the rural area of Northeast Thailand, the people's main occupation is agriculture. About 70 percent of farming cost is spent on chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Reducing chemical fertiliser use can decrease cost of agricultural production. Therefore, promoting the farmers to become self-reliant in fertiliser production for use in the community is probably one of the best ways to reduce agricultural production cost. Participatory action research (PAR) methods were applied to promote farmers to establish small factories for producing high quality organic fertiliser, which is used by the community and nearby areas to reduce farm expense and improve the quality of the environment.
The project was a pilot study implemented with farmer groups in a village of Amnat Charoen province in Northeast Thailand. The research found that the farmers are able to produce more than 70 tons of fertiliser per year for use in the community. The aim was to gain knowledge to improve the group's operation in three ways, including 1) group management, 2) business skill and 3) the capacity to apply technology for producing high quality organic fertiliser. For the next step, the group envisions a target of producing more than 140 tons per year to assure the supply for the households in and nearby the community. The impact of the project has been an increase in distribution of organic fertilisers in the community, resulting in decreased farm production cost. While the yield was not significantly different from the use of chemical fertilizer, the participating farmers experienced higher net income than before. Some constraints on the project implementation include a lack of knowledge and of raw materials for organic fertiliser production. A recommendation is made for conducting an environmental impact study, which involves long-term monitoring.
Keywords: Small organic fertiliser factory, sustainable agriculture development, technology transfer and adoption
Contact Address: Phassakon Nuntapanich, Ubonratchathani Rajabhat University, Fac. of Agriculture, Ratchathani Road, 34000 Muang District, Thailand, e-mail: phassakon_nhotmail.com