Project of Production Efficiency Improvement and Value-Added Vegetables, Chilies and Guavas in a Holistic Community: Pa Rakam Sub-District (Under the University to Tambon Project: Tambon Pa Rakam)

Project of Production Efficiency Improvement and Value-Added Vegetables, Chilies and Guavas in a Holistic Community: Pa Rakam Sub-District (Under the University to Tambon Project: Tambon Pa Rakam)

          The majority of Pa Rakam population, Pa Rakam sub-district, Pak Phanang district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province, is engaged in agriculture, accounting for 63% of all households. Most of the income comes from agricultural production, with the commodities including rice, palm, chili, guava, and short-term crops being a crop rotation. However, it is found that most farmers are limited in developing knowledge of safe agricultural production, processing, and marketing. They also lack knowledge of the use of inputs, especially chemical fertilizers. Agrochemicals are used that causes farmers to use more inputs than necessary. Those not only bring on high production costs, but they also cause toxic residues in agricultural products and affect the health of both producers and consumers in the long term. Therefore, Walailak University joins hands with network partners in the area consisting of the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board and Betagro Group, to organize projects. The objectives are to promote safe agriculture using bio-methods and support processing, packaging design, and agricultural products from “Guava”, especially, to create the identity of local products and promote healthcare for community economic development. The project is operated by the School of Agricultural Technology, School of Management, College of Graduate Studies, and School of Allied health Sciences, Walailak University.

         In addition to the assessment of academic services following the system of the University Academic Service Center, the working group also assesses the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) implementation to study the impact of the project on concrete changes in the community. The ongoing operations in the area can reflect the impact of sustainable development guidelines as follows: the target group (vegetable, chili, guava farmers) has increased income (15%) from upgrading safe agricultural products and increasing product value, also from upgrading processed guava products (dried plum soaked guava, dried guava compote, and guava rolls) including branding as well. Furthermore, farmers who grow vegetables, chilies, and guavas can reduce 10% of their expenses on pest management by turning to bio-farming. (SDG 1) Improve the quality of life of farmers. (SDG 8) Expand 500 acres of sustainable agricultural land, help maintain ecosystems, improve soil quality, and increase the survival and growth rate of plants. (SDG 2) Biologically Safe Agricultural Technology has been tested and confirmed to be harmless to humans, animals, crops, and the environment. Reduce the use of chemicals causes farms safer for the environment and the farmers as well. (SDG 3) Aim to promote the production of environmentally friendly crops through comprehensive sustainable management of safe agriculture. Elevate entrepreneurs to have more abilities to pass certification standards, develop management systems, and have business plans leading to community enterprises. (SDG 12) And create cooperation between local government organizations, local government agencies, and the private sector (Betagro Group). Due to the follow-up assessment and periodic evaluation, they point out issues, obstacles, and needs of stakeholders. Hence, in order for the area/target group to change for the better and has continued to operate, the working group has planned to set guidelines for continuing operations in the next year, namely optimizing production and adding value to vegetables, chilies, and guavas in a holistic community with the community company.

GOAL 1: No Poverty

GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal