Learning Visit to Baan Rang Si Mok Ratchaburi Agricultural Cooperative
Participants of the 8th ASEAN Cooperative Business Forum, which includes farmers and farmers’ organizations under the AFOSP-MTCP2 program, went to Baan Rang Si Mok Ratchaburi Agricultural Cooperative Limited in Ratchaburi, Thailand for a learning visit on 27 February 2019.
The board members and other cooperative members had a learning session with the ACBF delegates where they shared about the beginnings of the cooperative and their current status. Rang Si Mok Agricoop started out as a cooperative cultivating asparagus. However, one time, their crops were all damaged by a bacterial infection. They then shifted to cultivating coconuts and other fruits such as guava and rose apple. Right now, the cooperative sells coconut products and other fruits locally and abroad.
The delegates were also toured around the production site to see the process of preparing and producing the coconut products of the cooperative. They also went to see the coconut plantations. The cooperative provided refreshments including fresh fruits and coconut juice for the ACBF delegates to try.
Rang Si Mok Agricultural Cooperative was established on July 2005 with 47 initial members and a share capital of 855,550 baht (USD 26,828). The cooperative is located at Damnoen Saduak District, in the province of Ratchaburi in Thailand, an area suitable for cultivation of vegetable and fruits.
The cooperative was established with an objective to support its members on production, marketing, supplying facilities and agricultural equipment and to provide knowledge and technical know-how to its members.
As of March 2018, the cooperative has 268 members with a share capital of 3,102,200 baht (USD 99,496).
Rang Si Mok Agricultural Cooperative is engaged in the following businesses and activities:
- Credit Business. The cooperative provides loan for its members that need it.
- Marketing Business. The cooperative is in the business of selling young coconuts and other fruits.
- Collecting Business. The cooperative collects coconuts from its members and sell these locally and abroad. The cooperative exports coconuts to Taiwan.
- Supply Business. The cooperative purchases farm inputs such as fertilizes, farm chemicals, milled rice, and other consumers goods from private companies and sell these to its members.
- The cooperative also rents out the covered space located infront of their production site for various activities such as weddings, birthdays, etc.
From the cooperative’s net profit, they set aside funds for education, members’ and public welfare and for the development of the cooperative’s operation.
This year’s ACBF themed “Enhancing the Competitiveness of Cooperative Products in the Market and Cooperation among Cooperatives in ASEAN Countries” was hosted by the Cooperative Promotion Department (CPD) of Thailand.
AFOSP-MTCP2 is a capacity building program funded by the European Union with co-financing from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The program is being implemented in seven ASEAN countries through the consortium Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) and La Via Campesina (LVC). AFOSP-MTCP2 supports the strengthening of national farmers’ organizations (FOs) and their national platform towards improving their institutional capacity to deliver economic services to their members as well as to effectively engage them in policy processes. At the ASEAN level, the consortium AFA – LVC works in partnership with the ASEAN Foundation in expanding the spaces for the engagement of FOs in ASEAN processes.