Osotspa Passes on Red Onion Cultivation Knowledge to Enhance Thai farmers

Event Calendar Press Releases Thursday October 1, 2020 08:45
Bangkok--1 Oct--osotspa

Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla, Project’s Honorary Advisory Chairman (center), represented the delivery of the research on the feasibility in cultivation and production of red onion seeds in the upper northern part of Thailand to Ms. Viraporn Mongkolchaisit, Executive Vice President, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) (4th from left), for further research development of red onion cultivation to create good and sustainable well-being of Thai farmers. Mrs. Sutida Siamharn, Head of Corporate Communication and CSR, Osotspa Public Company Limited (2nd from left), also participated in the event, as Osotspa is a sponsor of the project, at the Red Onion Cultivation Learning Center, Wang Nam Khiao District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province.

Osotspa has long adhered to the guidance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in supporting the society under the concept of “teaching a man to fish to feed him for a lifetime” to sustainably enhance the society. Hence, the Company has provided various career tools, both knowledge and equipment to help the recipients build a sustainable life. In the same way, Osotspa has supported the research on red onion, a marketable crop that has never been grown in Thailand in order to help farmers generate higher income. Recently, the Company passed on red onion cultivation knowledge to the public for further development.

The changing lifestyles of rural communities reflect the problems and opportunities to improve the living quality of the villagers in remote areas. Growing vegetables by basing on trends or predictions make it impossible to set custom prices, resulting in the main issue affecting the Thai farmers' quality of living. Therefore, Osotspa brainstormed for ideas to create opportunities for farmers to effectively apply their skills in order to promote sustainable living. This led to support of the research on “The Feasibility in Cultivation and Production of Red Onion Seeds in the Upper Northern Part of Thailand,” which began in 1996 with an honor of Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla as a project advisor. The project started in Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son Province before expanding to Wang Nam Khiao District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Kuchinarai District, Kalasin Province and Khukhan District, Sisaket Province.

“Effective occupational promotion must enhance farmers' skill, as well as, be suitable for the climate in the area. The crops should be alienated for the farmers, low risk, easy for storage and transport, and most importantly, must be marketable. Meeting all these criteria, red onion is a perfect choice to promote to farmers. It is an imported vegetable and no research has been done on it. It is an alternative economic crop with demands from Thailand’s food industry.” said Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla, Project’s Honorary Advisory Chairman.

The red onion has never been cultivated in Thailand before. No research has ever been done and no information is available. Therefore, the research has been done mutually by plant breeders and participating farmers. It took about 10 years to successfully plant and sell the crops. Nowadays, red onion farmers can sell all their harvest at a higher price than other vegetables. They are sold at a price range of 60-90 baht per kilogram, while the seed can be sold at a price of up to 6,000 baht per kilogram. It is considered to be economic crops for farmers.

“I want to be a young farmer to erase old beliefs and prove that agriculture can create a good living quality. I, therefore, devote myself to the experiment of planting red onion and we can do it. Now, I and other members who are participating in the project generate income from growing red onion. We sell red onions at a higher price than those of other vegetables we have grown. We see a lot of opportunities because the current production is not enough. Moreover, the red onion is not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, both sales and transportation. It also generates the best source of income at that time." said Mr. Sorasak Waijantuek, Head of the red onion farmers in Wang Nam Khiao District.

The success in developing red onion that can be grown in Thailand is considered an important knowledge that will help develop a sustainable life for Thai farmers. Osotspa, therefore, conveyed knowledge on red onion cultivation in 3 forms:

Publish books and distribute them to government agencies, such as the Department of Agricultural Extension, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Agricultural Media Association, 16 universities nationwide, and farmers in the 3 network areas in Thailand.Develop the educational video about the research and red onion cultivation in Thailand.Establish Wang Nam Khiao Red Onion Cultivation Learning Center to be a source of seed production and distribution to different areas, and open for farmers and the general public who are interested in learning.

In addition, in order to preserve knowledge and support further development, Osotspa has delivered this project to the public in 2020. The Company passed on Wang Nam Khiao Red Onion Cultivation Learning Center to farmers who have been an important part of the research since the beginning and handed over a research project to NSTDA, which will continue the research and development. NSTDA views red onion as an alternative crop with a clear demand and market that well supports their farmers. Therefore, red onion was introduced to the members of the new generation farmer development project to expand knowledge to a wider audience.

“Osotspa is very proud to support the development of red onion cultivation and bring a good quality of life to farmers. We sincerely hope that the knowledge that we have delivered will grow beautifully, produce good harvest and sustainable happiness for Thai farmers as Osotspa's vision of being the power to enhance life of Thai people.” said Mrs. Sutida Siamharn, Head of Corporate Communication and CSR, Osotspa Public Company Limited.

For farmers or people interested in growing red onion, please contact the Learning Center and Planting Experiment Plot, Wang Nam Khiao District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province (Mr. Sorasak Waijantuek Tel. 09 0252 4490 and 08 4474 4097)


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