Mr. Supachai Phosu, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Mr. Charin Chakkrapak, Governor of Chaiyaphum Province
Representatives of Department of Agricultural Extension
Representatives of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of FAO, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for all who organized this hand-over ceremony of this project, “Emergency Assistance to Support the Recovery of agriculture Livelihoods Systems of flood affected farmers” today.
I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy for the people who were severely affected by the long lasted flood during October last year. Since the timing of the flood was exactly before the harvest of rice, the most significant crop in Thailand, many farmers lost the yield and main source of expected income. Thinking about months of dedicated efforts conducted by farmers in rice fields during the cultivation period under hot sunshine and heavy rain, I could imagine how painful they felt to see the completely damaged rice field after the flood. Especially, small scale farmers are facing extremely difficult situation to recover from severe crop damage and consequent economic crisis of household.
FAO, as the UN organization holding mandate of improving food security and lives of rural population, considered this situation critical and thus decided to assist vulnerable small scale rice farmers by providing quality rice seeds and fertilizer. The project is funded by a grant of US$ 338,000 from the Food and Agriculture Organization under its Emergency Technical Cooperation Programme respectively. Special consideration was give to the household who has severe affects, headed by woman who is responsible for small children. We assist total 2,598 rice farmers in 4 provinces, namely Nakorn Ratchasima, Phichit, UthaiThani, and here Chaiyaphum. The distribution of relevant rice seeds to 1,412 beneficiaries has already conducted during 27 to 31 January in Nakorn Rathashima province. I understand that Chaiyaphum province is also one of the most severely affected provinces throughout the country. Today, rice seeds and fertilizer are going to be delivered to total of 800 farmers in Chaiyaphum province including here, Tambon Laad Yai Metropolitan, Muang District. The distribution to Pichit and Uthaithani province will be conducted on the following week.
We are handing over 50kg of rice seeds of Kao Dawk Mali 105 or RD 6 and 100kg of NPK fertilizer per each selected beneficiary household in this province.
I am glad to note that the officials of Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Chaipattana Foundation are working closely with FAO to achieve project goal of assisting flood affected farmers at earliest timing.
I would like to take this opportunity to express FAO’s gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to the concerned officials of DOAE, National FAO Committee, provincial, district, and tambon officials of Chaiyaphum province, and officers of Chaipattana Foundation for their efforts and commitments towards the successful implementations of the project in collaboration with FAO.
For past decades, FAO has worked side by side with Royal Thai Government, especially Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, in various fields to improve agriculture and fishery production, nutrition and rural livelihood. I truly hope our strong partnership continues to contribute to further progress on food and agriculture in Thailand.
I sincerely wish this assistance will well supplement the support by Thai Government for earliest recovery of rice farmers in this country.