FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Outstanding farmer from Thailand honoured at World Food Day celebration

16/10/2003 Thailand

Bangkok, 16 October 2003 – Today, the FAO Regional Office in Bangkok has issued awards to three outstanding farmers from the Asia-Pacific Region. The farmers received the awards from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn during the 2003 World Food Day celebration in Bangkok.

Rosukon Poompanvong – outstanding achievement in organic farming
A pioneering farmer in Thailand’s organic movement, Rosukon Poompanvong – now in her late 40s – is a woman with an uncommon spirit of generosity. Working with farmers throughout Thailand and in Europe, she has succeeded in growing and marketing top-quality agricultural produce without using artificial fertilizers. The results of her work over the past quarter century have proven to be financially profitable and, even more important, at no expense to the environment.

As a university student of agriculture in the late 1970s, working with chemically treated crops was unbecoming to Dr Rosukon because of a blood disease she has lived with since birth. To avoid the headaches, she searched for an alternative. She developed a technology to tap the full potential of soil organisms by using fermented organic waste for crop fertilization and pest protection, also effective as a feed supplement for pigs and chickens. In 1997 she set up a Health Farm in Rayong province as a centre for training in organic farming methods that also receives people seeking natural treatment against illnesses such as cancer, HIV, diabetes and blindness.

Dr Rosukon, who has a Ph.D. in alternative medicine, helped create in 1984 the Organic Agriculture Association of Thailand and seven years later, on her own with donations she had saved from practising acupuncture, she started a mobile training service to teach farmers around the country how to produce healthy foods with her enzyme method. Her mission is to help people heal themselves. Villagers from near and far come to the Health Farm to study her methods of planting, treating crops and recycling all organic waste. She also continues her mobile training, visiting three villages a week. If Thailand intends to become the kitchen of the world, Dr Rosukon is determined to make it “a good kitchen, not a toxic kitchen.”

RAP 03/11 - C

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