เครือข่ายเกษตรกรรมทางเลือกภาคอีสาน

Our Network

The AAN works with small-scale farmers in all of Thailand’s 4 regions and collaborates with farmers’ organizations in the region. Here are some profiles about AAN staff and members around ESAN and other parts of Thailand:

This section is currently under construction, if you would like more information about our network’s members, please contact bennett.haynes@gmail.com

Thanks!


Bunsong Mahtkao – President, Alternative Agriculture Network – Esan (AAN)

After struggling to make ends meet growing sugarcane in the lead up to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Bunsong Mahtkao decided to make a drastic change – return home to start farming rice again and quit using chemicals.  At the time, he was part of a small group of “forest ghosts” as they were called, because no one believed farmers could achieve high yields without using chemicals.  15 years later, Bunsong is a nationally-recognized “Local Wiseman” and is guiding the direction of a national movement for sustainable agriculture.  His farm has become a classroom for transitioning organic farmers and his local farmers’ group instructs over 500 farmers per year.  He grows nine varieties of indigenous rice, which he mills and sells independently.  Here is a profile on Bunsong from a 2006 Trade Justice Speaking Tour in the U.S.

Ubon Yoowah – Regional Policy Coordinator

After graduating with a degree in animal husbandry from King Mongkut University and working for a commercial pig farm more than 20 years ago, Ubon has dedicated his career to something very different – monitoring government agriculture and trade policies in order to educate Esan’s small-scale farmers and develop policy alternatives that support farmers’ livelihoods and sustainable agriculture.  Ubon is now back in school (despite his dislike for the classroom), studying for his Master’s Degree in sustainable development.  Ubon is a long-time adviser to ENGAGE, a student network dedicated to transforming the study abroad experience into positive social change.  Here is a letter to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers written by Ubon.

Sumet Panjamlong – Regional Research Coordinator

A leader in the sustainable agriculture movement for more than 15 years, Sumet or “Thoy” works based out of Kut Long village, Mahasarakam, which also serves as a meeting center and retreat for regional NGOs.  His research on aquaculture in the Chi River was published recently, click here to read his report.  Thoy is responsible for our collaboration with the Thai Research Fund, which provides support for the AAN’s community-based research.

Ruangdej Phosri

Malee Supuntee – Coordinator, Youth & Sustainable Agriculture

Malee or “Breeo” has worked for the AAN for the last 5 years on developing youth activities around experiential education, art and community development.  Breeo is now studying for her Master’s degree in sustainable development and is building a network of youth in agricultural communities to promote farming as a sustainable career for young people.  Visit her recent story for more details on her work with youth

Ittiphol Seekhao – Network Staff, Youth & Sustainable Agriculture

Ittiphol or “Udee” has worked with the AAN since he was a student at Mahasarakam University.  Skilled at working with his peers to build awareness about the environment and social issues, Udee is now focusing on organizing youth in rural communities as well as university students in a network called “School of Politics” – pretty interesting stuff!  Please see this story on his university club’s camp with the AAN for more information about Udee’s work.



AAN Esan Farmer Profiles:

Daoruang Puhtpon – Kudchum, Yasothon

“Organic farming is the heart of agriculture.”


Pakphum Inpaen – Donlengthai, Surin:

“When people find out I’m an organic farmer, sometimes they ask me ‘What do you do about weeds?’” Pakphum said smiling.  “’I pull them out,’ I tell them.  It’s not that hard to figure out.”

Anon Nieulai – Kudchun, Yasothon:

“It isn’t right to grow food that isn’t safe for consumers to eat”

Bamrung Kayotha – Naku, Kalasin:

“Asking Thais to participate in free trade is like having a Thai boxer fight Mike Tyson.”

Paw Man Samsee – Kudchum, Yasothon:

“I was scared of losing my yield…Yield usually goes down before it goes up again when switching to organic farming.”

Pakphum Inpaen – Prasat, Surin:

“When people find out I’m an organic farmer, sometimes they ask me ‘What do you do about weeds?’” Pakphum said smiling.  “’I pull them out,’ I tell them.  It’s not that hard to figure out.”

Pratjong Seemanta – Kudchum, Yasothon:

Jong and his family own 40 rai of land and they tend to it organically.  They grow rice and fresh vegetables and they sell their goods every Saturday at the Green Market in Yasothon.

Chat Pakdee – Ban Khi Lek, Mahasarakam:

When asked if his job is difficult, P’Chat states, “You are investing in people and providing them with knowledge.”

Chompoo Nampo – Phon Tong, Roi Et:

“Look at the worms,” he explains, “when I use chemicals they are gone…I start farming organically and they’re back!

Prayad and Sum Suriyo – Phon Tong, Roi Et:

“It is very difficult and tiring, but we must do this to put our children through school.”

Nahng Lohmyai Wehrutnahrak – Kudchum, Yasothon:

“In my free time I like to grow vegetables, feed the cows and keep up with our land,” she told me, “I am happiest when my family is working together, when we understand each other and when I feel that we have a warm family bond.”

Nop Gai Sang Sii – Kudchum, Yasothon:

“The city is simply not for me. There is no sense of community in Bangkok like the one we have here in Nong Poo Nuai. This is where I belong.”

Somporn Tongnoi – Kudchum, Yasothon:

“We grow everything we need, we are very food secure,” she boasted smilingly. “We don’t have to buy any food from the store.”

Bratoom Tanakhoon – Kudchum, Yasothon:

“I will farm till I can’t anymore, even if I have a hunchback.”

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