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Linking the Organic Rice Chain Experiences, Lessons Learnt, Future Directions Michael B. Commons Green Net / Earth Net Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "Linking the Organic Rice Chain Experiences, Lessons Learnt, Future Directions Michael B. Commons Green Net / Earth Net Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Linking the Organic Rice Chain Experiences, Lessons Learnt, Future Directions Michael B. Commons Green Net / Earth Net Foundation

2 Michael B. Commons - B.A. Linguistics and Anthropology- UCLA Learned French in Paris as a United Airlines Flight Attendant Joined Earth Net Foundation, Thailand to Present- Coordinator of Organic Fair Trade Rice Chain Program -Coordinated Training Programs in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Philippines -Consultant/ Speaker on O.A. and Fair trade in Mexico, China, Honduras, Sri Lanka -Practicing organic farming and wanakaset with wife & family in Chacheongsao, Thailand

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4 4 Green Net Motto- Live Fair, Live Organic 18 Years old Supports organic conversion and fair trade marketing with small-scale farmers About 1000 farming family members, about 14 associate farmers groups Product sold in Thailand and exported to Fair Trade organizations Key export products Rice and Coconut milk.

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6 Rice Chain Project  Early 2004 Regional Rice Chain Workshop in Sri Lanka  Recommended to organize capacity building on Rice Chain  ENF and Green Net initiated the “Organic Fair Trade Rice Chain: Building Grassroots Competency” Project in 2005 (HIVOS)

7 Rice Chain Project  From  Involved organizations from S/ SE Asia: India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, China (Yunnan)  18 subjects in 4 areas (a) extension, (b) guarantee system, (c) quality assurance, (d) alternative marketing

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10 Achievements  A number of involved organizations have better organized their rice chain and become successful in linking their farmers to the organic market  A few of these organizations are now also working to do capacity building in rice chain in their own countries

11 Limitations  Doing business with social objectives (need a good conductor with business acumen)  Finding and putting the links together  Many rice farmers don’t have any or enough rice surplus to market  Changing conditions (political, economic & most prevalent being climatic change

12 New Direction  Climate Change Adaptation and Planned Risk Management  Rice Based Farming Systems

13 Dry Spell in Yasothorn during rainy season Bigger Problems in other parts of the world

14 Flooding

15 Dry Spell in Yasothorn during rainy season Bigger Problems in other parts of the world

16 Flooding

17 Average Highest Temp by Decade

18 Yearly rainfall by year for Ubon Ratchathani Number of Rain Days Ubon Ratchathani

19 Support Unit Collaborative Network information Climate Change Adaptation Seminar & Training 10 Pilot Project

20 Global Warming Workshop Yasothorn 2008

21 Conventional Organic

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23 Windmills

24 24 Community based research 24

25 25 Crisis Food Bank 25

26 Furrow Planting Rice (Land Prep)

27 Furrow Planting Rice (Growth)

28 Furrow Planting Rice (Weeding)

29 Furrow Planting Rice (Harvest)

30 Rice Based Farming Systems  Critical for farmers with limited land  Growing more than rice  Linking other products to market  Adding value and benefit  Processing and special knowledge increases value-

31 Dry Spell in Yasothorn during rainy season Bigger Problems in other parts of the world

32 Flooding

33 Value/ Self-Reliance

34 The Yasothorn Organic Farmers’ Market 13 Families are earning 500-1,500 baht per week Alternative local markets

35 Conclusion  Organic Rice Chain Approach can and does work to link farmers to markets and add value  No easy and need to have / develop business skills and chain linkage  Going beyond just rice opens the opportunity and value to more  Must prepare for adapt to CC now

36 Dry Spell in Yasothorn during rainy season Bigger Problems in other parts of the world

37 Flooding

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40 40 New Methodology and Crops 40

41 Tank Design and Integration

42 Tank (Excavation)

43 Tank Water Capture

44 Tank Water Use

45 Data Collection/Reseach /

46 46 No one answer Change is constant But we can prepare and adapt Share experiences and learning Empower each other Fair trade can help drive this process But action goes beyond consumer choice 46 Toolmakers/ Researchers

47 47 Disaster can stop production and flow of goods (Pathum Thani/ Ayuthaya/ N. BKK) Centralized production high risk Can fail at production or transport Critical supplies lack/ expensive Fuel cost longterm risk/ limitation Need to produce food/ water locally from local materials 47 Learnings from Thai Floods

48 48 Good soil receives and holds moisture Healthy plants/ deep wide roots, resist Biodiversity (not all eggs 1 basket) Organic better in adverse conditions Organic can sustain on farm and local res Local production and distribution can survive w/ high energy cost and disaster Benefits mitigation w. carbon sequestration and reduced GH gas prod 48 CC Adaptation and Organic


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