The unemployment rate in Thailand continues to rise, driven by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, and the short term outlook remains negative.
An additional 8 million people in Thailand’s labor force are at risk of losing their job, according to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council. Amid this situation, home gardening has become an excellent economical solution to food security and additional income opportunities.
Between 17-20 August 2020, a public-private partnership between East-West Seed Thailand and the Department of Agriculture Extension established a "Young Smart Farmer Program" to develop more young farmers into the field of vegetable production. Attending the opening ceremony at East-West Seed farm in Chiang Mai were the Deputy Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension, the Director of Chiang Mai Agriculture Division and Simon De Hoop, Vice President, R&D East-West Seed.
The Department of Agricultural Extension selected the participants for the program with different backgrounds in education and professions. They learned various topics on vegetable crop production cycle, crop planning, crop management and crop economics, as well as how to identify the climate and soil requirements needed for raising good quality vegetable crops. They also learned how to identify seed, plant characteristics, important pests and diseases of the major vegetable crops.
"At East-West Seed, our experts work through many processes to deliver the quality seed to farmers, including research, plant testing and understand the demand from the local market,” said Wichai Laocharoenpornkul, East-West Seed Thailand General Manager.
“We're delighted to have this opportunity to work with the public sector to help educate and share knowledge with our young farmers. We hope that this knowledge of vegetable planting will not only be enough for family consumption but also can be an alternative profession during this difficult economic time."