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Posted September 2000

Mushroom production training for disabled people: a progress report

The project team


Summary

Introduction

Objectives of the project

The training center

Why mushrooms?

The project team

Training of trainers

Selecting trainees

The training

Buildings, tools and equipment

Outreach and impacts

Feasibility, sustainability, replicability

Selected success cases

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex 1: Layout of mushroom cultivation center

Annex 2: Buildings and equipment

Annex 3: Main steps in mushroom cultivation

Annex 4: Contributors to the project's success

It is people that make things happen and therefore teamwork is crucial for the successful outcome of any project. The National Project Manager and Director of Disability Matters at the Department of Public Welfare Mrs. Surapee Vasinonta, always facilitated actions and decisions that needed to be done promptly. She set-up a National Advisory Committee, which comprises of carefully selected dedicated and active team members (see annex 4).

In Ubon Ratchathani, the people responsible for the smooth running of the project and for its sustainability are the Center's superintendent Mr. Wicha Sukrason and his officers. Without their full support and dedication, none of the project would have been possible since they manage the center and control implementation of laws and regulations. Their future role is even more important since they are to continue to run the mushroom cultivation center and to maintain its sustainability for years to come.

FAO's Thai Affairs Section ensured close cooperation between FAO and the Thai Government while the Country Project officer supervised the project's administration. Food security for people with disability in poverty-stricken areas can best be approached through a combined effort of rural development and agriculture. This synergy has been active for many years. Technical Backstopping Officers monitored and gave precious counsel for all the technical issues including engineering and design, social development and capacitating, agro-marketing and business development.

FAO and Public Welfare jointly selected the team of consultants to be hired by FAO. Their varied background complemented each other and offered the necessary expertise for the achievement of the project. Local expertise in mushroom cultivation was preferred since this allowed better understanding of local taste and preferences. The National Consultant in Mushroom Production, Mr. Satit Thaithatgoon, designed the buildings and supervised the construction and start-up of the mushroom cultivation center. The National Consultant in Vocational Training Mr. Prasert Wuthikhamphee supervised training of trainers while overseeing the training of trainees for each step required in mushroom cultivation. The National Consultant on Agricultural Marketing Mr. Pramote Thaithatgoon reviewed the local market demand and gave marketing strategies to trainees. The International Vocational Training Expert Ms. Johanne Hanko established selection criteria and adapted training activities and methodologies for people with disabilities while monitoring the project's development. Close collaboration of all team members proved invaluable for the project.




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