On day 2 (24 September 2014) of the ongoing Interregional Visit for Smallholder Value Chain Actors on Agricultural Trade Facilitation and Market Linkages in Thailand, the participants visited the Thayang Agriculture Cooperative, a farmers cooperative and producer group in Phetchaburi province that has been producing and exporting organic banana to Japan since 1992.
The participants were welcomed by the cooperative staff who presented an overview of the work of the cooperative. Established in 1966, the cooperative currently has 2,100 members and provides saving, financing, product collection, and marketing services to the members. It offers technical support through extenionists for organic cultivation practices, loans for investing in agricultural inputs, and assistance with marketing for banana as well as other fruits and vegetables produced by the members, thus eliminating the role of middlemen and enabling realization of higher prices by the members. Export of bananas to Japan takes place under a business agreement and annual contract. The production takes place as per Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards, and is closely monitored through maintenance of records and orchard visits by staff in order to ensure quality. Apart from the export market in Japan, the bananas are also supplied to leading hotel and supermarket chains in Thailand.
The participants visited the processing facility of the cooperative wherein they were able to see operations like delivery of bananas from the producers, washing and cleaning, air drying, packaging, and bar coding. A paper-based traceability system is in place for recording information on the banana production.
Posted by SATNET Asia