Sustainable Aromatic Rice
Title: Sustainable Aromatic Rice Initiative (SARI) – Thailand
Financier: Mars Food
Partner: Mars Food, Herba Bangkok S.L (Ebro Foods S.A.)
Lead executing agency: Thai Rice Department
Overall term: 2018 to 2020
Thung Kula Rong Hai (field of the crying Kula) in Northeastern Thailand had suffered desert-like conditions during dry season and flooding during rainy season. Today, farmers in this area have started taking great care of their scented rice and the region has become a well-known rice producing area of the country.
Thai rice farmers are particularly vulnerable. They are affected by the negative effects of climate change such as unpredicted drought or heavy storms which later cause rising production costs.
Other challenges faced by farmers include lack of knowledge to apply appropriate agricultural inputs correctly. This results in higher production cost, low yield and low profit and lacking a decent living income. Additionally, Farmers have less bargaining power in the rice supply chain and lack market price information, since during harvesting time, Hom Mali rice—which makes up the majority of the variety Thung Kula Rong Hai farmers grow—is the photo-sensitive type. This results in every farmer’s Hom Mali paddy being ready to be harvested at the same time.
The inclusive rice value chain in Thailand is built and improved to share the mutual benefit for all stakeholders in the rice value chain, which are Thai rice farmers, millers, traders and international consumers, and government extensions.
The project recruits 1,200 Thai farmers in the northeast of Thailand, forms them as a farmers group, provides capacity building on Sustainable Rice Cultivation practices enables them to produce 3,500 metric tons of milled sustainable rice, and facilitates the market linkage with millers, and exporters. In addition, the project conducts the field inspection and provides technical advice for farmers. A Performance Management System (PMS) is also transferred and built in the inclusive rice value chain.