Yara recently donated YaraMila 16-16-16 fertiliser to affected mango farmers in Sak Lek District, Wang Sai Phun and Dong Charoen Districts in Phichit Province.
2020 has been a difficult year for Thai farmers. Both drought and the COVID-19 pandemic have caused low prices and difficulty in selling agricultural products, especially for export. One of the obvious examples of this problem are the mango farmers in Phichit province who have been suffering from trauma this year due to the export disruption causing a large amount of oversupply products and the lowest price compared to the past many years.
Mr. Mehdi Saint-Andre, Managing Director of Yara (Thailand) Ltd. and Vice President of Thailand and Myanmar, said: “For Yara, farmers are great contributors. They are the key factor to drive economic growth for agricultural production as well as great supporters for food supply to everyone in all situations. When farmers suffer during this difficult situation, Yara is ready and willing to support voluntarily: In 2018, Yara fertilisers were donated to Thai farmers in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province as these farmers sacrificed their fields to support the water that had to be discharged from the cave to facilitate rescue operations of the 13 Wild Boars.”
“In the midst of the crisis from both drought disaster and the COVID-19 pandemic, Yara is willing to support the Thai farmers. 500 sacks of Yara Mila 16-16-16 ferlitisers with total weight of 25 tons were donated to mango farmers affected in Sak Lek, Wang Sai Phun and Dong Charoen Districts in Phichit province to alleviate their difficulties while expressing our encouragement to them.” Mr. Mehdi Saint-Andre said.
Mr. Sayan Boonying, one mango farmer representing group of farmers in Sak Lek District, described the difficult situation ” Phichit province has approximately 30,000 rai of mangoes. March to May each year is an important period for mango maturity. During the past two years, Thailand has experienced severe drought causing reduced harvests as well as lower price. In addition, the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the main markets for Thai mango export markets, e.g. South Korea, Japan, China, and Malaysia. Moreover, Thai people have been urged to stay safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and should not go out to markets and buy our products. These factors have caused oversupply and lower prices compared to previous years. We needed to leave large amounts of mangoes to fall in our area as they could not be sold. For production transformation, we do not have enough workers and capital for the process. This crisis has not only affected us in Pichit province, but also ones in lower Northern Thailand. “
Mrs. Khonthon Chulacharawaravi, a Fah-Lun mango small farmer in Sak Lek District, said, “In the past years, price of Fah-Lun Mango was not less than Baht 10 per kilogram. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was down to only Baht 2 per kilogram as nobody bought the fruits. Due to the low income, it was not worthwhile for us to hire workers for harvest and the mangoes were left in our mango fields. Compared to other agricultural products, mango farmers received less supports from its contributors. On this occasion, we would like to thank Yara for recognising the severity of our problems and for approaching us to support in this situation. This encouragement could enable farmers to overcome the difficulties this year. “
Realising the problems from farmers, Yara (Thailand) Co., Ltd., the manufacturer and distributor of nutrient fertiliser “Yara”, the original Viking fertiliser in Thailand, decided to help mango growers affected by the situation as a leader in the fertiliser business which works closely with farmers.
The fertiliser donation for mango farmers for crisis alleviation in 2020 is part of the campaign “Yara 115th Anniversary – Strong Farmers”. Yara joined the celebration ceremony at the Agricultural Production Efficiency Learning Center in Sak Lek District to share knowledge of proper fertiliser management in order to increase the product efficiently in accordance with Yara’s guidelines for self-sufficiency of farmers.
The anniversary celebration was changed to focus on encouraging, supporting and helping farmers to overcome various crises during this year.
Mr. Sirirat Chumupakarn, Phichit Provincial Governor, who joined this fertiliser delivery ceremony for mango farmers said: “As the representative of Phichit province, I appreciate that the private sector help to alleviate the hardship of the farmers and do not forsake them in this difficult situation. To overcome the crisis, cooperation by helping and supporting each other is required. We really appreciate the help and also the help to sell mangoes from farmers in Phichit Province for any organisation that is interested, either for consumption, for souvenirs or as raw materials for food production.”
In addition to donating fertilisers, Yara is also involved in alleviating problems for farmers in other dimensions, such as organising the campaign “Save #StrongFarmers. Yara Takes Care of Farmers” by giving farmers the opportunity to use the Yara Thailand Facebook as another channel to reach their customers and sell their products online. Moreover, an interesting activity is convincing farmers to join the singing contest, “Sing for a Million” on Thairath TV as well as the Music Video “ The Farmer, The Fighter” by Mr. Pongsit Kamphee and Ms. Sunaree Ratchasima praising and encouraging Thai farmers to face and handle this difficult situation. Last but not least, Yara also supports public organisationas and communities for COVID-19 relief, through donating to healthcare workers as well as communities located close to Yara’s fertiliser factory in Ayuthaya province.
“At Yara we confirm our willingness to support Thai farmers continuously through hard work in order to ease Thai farmers’ pain while encouraging them towards a better life” Mr. Mehdi Saint-Andre ended.