Indigenous Knowledge for Khao Hom Mali Rice Production and Development for Export in the Thung Kula Rong Hai Plain
Thung Kula Rong Hai Plain is a vast open area located in the center of Northeast Thailand. It is Thailand’s most important source of growing Khao Hom Mali Rice, which is famously known worldwide as Thai Fragrant Rice or Thai Jasmin Rice. The rice production in general was dependent on the amount of rainfall. Indigenous knowledge was applied to adapt to the situation by dividing rice planting areas into three zones or paddies in which different strains of rice were grown according to the amount of water levels that the 3 areas could sustain. The selected rice strains were Khao Bao or Light rice, Khao Klang or Medium rice and the last is Khao Nuek or Heavy rice. The harvest was mostly consumed within the family with small amounts put aside for trade and seedlings. In 1974 the government promoted the production of Khao Hom Mali Rice strain 105 for mass commerce which increasde harvest and provided more income. Farmers, government offices and private sectors had to adjust to new market conditions and adapt new technologies and innovations to keep up with market demand. Mass production and chemicals caused widespread soil destruction and loss of traditional farming methods. New guidelines and studies from private and government sources were implemented and applied to farming communities to preserve the quality of rice, farm land and lifestyle. The Integration of Indigenous Knowledge and modern techniques proved successful, which has resulted in quality Khao Hom Mali rice, which is safe for consumers worldwide.
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