Farmers could gain at least 20% higher incomes as a result of lower production costs, increased productivity, and improvements in product safety and quality by adopting the SRP standard.
Thailand’s Rice Department, Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA) Thailand, OLAM International, and Bayer Thai Co. Ltd. initiated pilot testing for the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standard with farmer groups in Ubon Ratchathani Province in the northeast of the country. During pilot testing, farmers received benefits, including free training from experts, helping them to produce more sustainable rice, which will create a massive impact within the region. Moreover, the paddies have better grain quality since the farmers received close advisory support from the experts, including facilitating the organization of a harvesting plan with certain service providers for harvesting.
The program urged farmers to apply a crop calendar for better planning of all farm activities and cost of production in the following years. Four hundred tons of SRP-verified sustainable rice have been harvested from 71 farmers who have been verified as “working toward sustainability” based on the SRP standard’s Communication and Assurance Guidelines.
According to this independent third-party assessment, the farmers’ SRP Sustainable Rice Cultivation Standard compliance levels averaged 82%.
From the pilot testings conducted, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has seen various benefits that the farmers could attain by adopting the SRP standard. Farmers could gain at least 20% higher incomes as a result of lower production costs, increased productivity, and improvements in product safety and quality.
Additionally, this will help farmers improve market linkages and measure various impacts, thus allowing farmers to assess the advantages of additional incentives. Sustainable practices also include green farming practices that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in rice production. Given these potential benefits, GIZ will continue to promote adoption of the sustainable standard widely in its global activities.
Ms. Dharma is the regional project coordinator at GIZ BRIA.