Main Article Content
Cooperative Guided Learning Process for extra income raising and cost reducing in vegetable growers in Vaeng Nang sub-district, Muang district, Maha Sarakham province
Care for Maha Sarakham Civil Network was established in 2537 B.E. for community welfare promotion for agriculturist in Vaeng Nang sub-district, Muang district, Maha Sarakham province. This civil network has active activities, including money saving, community welfare, swine producer, local market, vegetable growers, handicraft, cattle buffalo producer and local economic learning center. In 2556 B.E., the annual meeting report indicated that vegetable growers were not strong enough compared to the others group member because of low income and not enough to sustain life. Therefore, researchers conducted a research to find guidelines for raising the extra income and cost reducing in Vegetable Agriculture of Growers in Vaeng Nang sub-district, Muang district, Maha Sarakham province. To solve these problems, 131 vegetable growers from 17 villages were selected as research target group. Interview, questionnaire and group meeting techniques were used as research tools for collecting the baseline data of costs and factors relating to vegetable production. Also, SWOT analysis technique was conducted for reflection on problems and solutions finding. Consequently, the vegetable growers could find their own guideline for raising extra income and reducing cost in production.
The results on cost and factor analyses indicated that the growers had their own natural, economic, social and cultural capitals and also techniques and marketing for the vegetable productions. However high cost of production was the main problem. The growers spent their money on vegetable seeds for 207,687 baht per year, and agricultural chemicals, equipment and hired-wage for 851,362 baht per year. In total, the growers spend 1,059,049 baht per year, while they earned profit only 11,725.5 baht per person per year. According to this information, the vegetable growers learned about the problems’ situation. Consequently, three solutions were proposed to solve the problems together. They were seed problem, agricultural chemicals, and marketing.
The measures of seed’s cost reduction were to establish a group purchasing network to bypass the middle man ,the set up of a group of vegetable seedling nursery called “Foundation of seedling” and a group of seed exchange, to learn more on the technique on seed selection and cultivation. Regarding the reduction of chemicals cost, the measures were to inspire on the utilization of biochemical, which were produced from agricultural waste, including manure, biofertilizer, trichoderma, fermented bioextract, bioextract from herb, instead of using conventional chemicals. For the marketing, the growers created at least 14 menu of ready to cook vegetables to increase sales, while local food festival was held during Songkran Festival. Group symbol was created, such as apron or t-shirt with local symbol printed. In addition to that, local vegetables’ zone also was settled in the Vaeng Nang municipal market to increase sale. The cost of seed and chemicals used by the growers after action taking was decreased by 16.6%. In conclusion, the guided cooperative learning process is found effective in promoting knowledge and boosting the local capacities for running their agricultural activities, raising income and cost reduction in vegetable production.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.