Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Outstanding farmer from Thailand honoured at the Asia-Pacific World Food Day celebration

Thailand, 14 Oct 2002 -- Today, the FAO Regional Office in Bangkok has issued the 2002 Y.S. Rao Award to five outstanding farmers from the Asia-Pacific Region. The farmers received the award from the minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, HE Sora-at Klinpratoom, during the 2002 World Food Day Celebration in Bangkok.

Below please find the citation used during the ceremony to highlight the achievements of the farmer from Thailand.

Ireen Tatong, Thailand, outstanding fruit farmer

A most recognized farmer, Ireen Tatong is 51, a mother of four children and lives in Nongbua sub-district, Phattananikom district of Lopburi province in central Thailand. A highly successful farm entrepreneur, whose mangoes frequently win the first prize for quality in provincial and regional contests, Mrs Ireen had to struggle through a series of unsuccessful ventures before tasting sweet success as a fruit farmer.

She took up mango farming 30 years ago and now harvests an average of 250 tonnes of fruit every year from her 16 hectares of mango plantation. She uses innovative techniques such as grafting for mango fruit initiation, drip-irrigation and the application of bio-fertilizers that ensure high yields and quality. She is one of the few mango farmers growing the fruit off-season for which she was honoured by leading Thai media organizations in 1999.

Mrs Ireen is now well known and often invited by public and private horticulture institutions across the country to lecture and offer advice on fruit farming. Her farm is a centre for the transfer of horticulture technology and a provincial agro-tourism centre. She is a consultant on horticulture to the Member of Parliament from Lopburi, a member of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture of Lopburi Agricultural and Technology College and heads a number of local farm organizations. She has taken initiatives in sustainable horticulture like using fertilizer made from decayed mango, banana, guava and papaya fruit and non-chemical pesticides extracted from natural medicinal plants.

Honoured with the prize of “Outstanding Woman” of Lopburi province in 1999, she would like other farmers to follow her formula for success, which she describes as “hard work, sincerity and diligence and saving”.

RAP 02/32D

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