The Royal Trophy awarded from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (the royal rank at that time)
The winner of the competition in “The 8th Young Generation Pursues Knowledge Project” in 2013
“Khao Sam Suk”
The project of Environmental Development of Community and Cultural Inheritance of Local Rice Product Buenermu… “Khao Sam Suk” the pride of the nation
It is widely known that “Khao Sam Suk” is a success of the students of the Rajamagala University of Technology Lanna in Lampang Province who make the national reputation in the 8th Young Generation Pursues Knowledge Project held by The Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited. They were awarded the winner prize in the project “Young Generation… Community Innovation” in the undergraduate level which they received cash more than 900,000 Baht and the royal trophy awarded from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. This is the pride of the Rajamagala University of Technology Lanna and the people in Lampang Province.
Q: The beginning of your inspiration for sending the project to the competition
Baan Thung Luang, Mae Win Sub-District, Mae Wang District, Chaing Mai Province is one of the agricultural villages which grow rice for consumption and distribution. Chonsith Niyomprainivet, a member of the team, is a local person, He realized the problems of excess the amount of rice for consumption, soil deterioration due to chemical products used, and initial loss of traditional culture in agricultural. We, therefore, have initials and inspiration in environmental development and qualify of life of people in community by using the story-telling through the story of Pakakeryor Community (Karen) to consumers in the project of Environmental Development of Community and Cultural Inheritance of Local Rice Product under the brand Khao Sam Suk.
Q: Expectations of benefits and outcomes
The expectation is participation in solving the problems of soil deterioration and increase in an income to the people of community. In the past, the agriculturalists must wait for middlemen to come to the village to purchase rice. Most of the time the middlemen will force the agriculturalists to sell the lower price. Unfortunately, all of rice could not sell in some years. The most important is that our rice is organic and has high quality, but it is never sold in the good price as its quality. We think that we should apply all knowledge we learned in Sciences and Agricultural Technology to the community which is the hometown of our membership. If it is successful, it could apply to the other communities where our other memberships live in, and the other nearby communities.
We intend that we will develop the community by increasing in the price of rice in community. We will start from environmental saving through the process of organic rice production from the upstream to downstream (We study the area, soil analysis, harvest and selling products). We agreed to the group of nature farming that we will produce brown rice under the brand Khao Sam Suk following the traditional culture. We want the consumers to be happy – physical happiness: to consume organic rice, and mental happiness: to be a part in helping the hill tribe people. The 10 percent of income will be contributed to the community development. Happiness is consumption of tasty and unique rice.
We choose three varieties of rice which are “Buenermu”, “Buesorme”, and “Buepado”. “Buenermu”, the King of Fragrance”, is an old type of rice which is selected since the ancestor. It has been cultivated from the past up until now; whereas, “Buesorme”, the Queen of Colours” is having red and pink colour when it was cooked. It also contains antioxidants. In addition, “Buepado” is a famous type of the hill tribe people because it is big grains, easy to cook up, and delicious. This type is also grown the most in Thung Luang Community, and it is a popular one. Regarding the development and improvement in production process, we have the product trial sales which receive the good responses from the consumers. This makes the agriculturalists have more income and start doing more in organic farming.
Q: Problems and obstacles during the competition
It would be the travelling. It was very difficult to travel as we were the students. We did not have the vehicle to take us to the village. We sometimes wasted our time for half a day to wait for only some vegetable truck to pick us up from the city to the village. We sometimes wanted to give up, but we thought that is a part of our life. If we are too convenient, we will not know the difficulty of life. However, it was very fun and challenging (laughing).
Q: The most difficulties in team collaboration
The problem is the language used in communication as there is only a team member who can translate the dialect. When we collect the data, the information are the stories telling about rice and the community of Pakakeryor, a tribe of Karen. The data need to be obtained from the elders of the community who only communicate in their dialect. The translation is necessary to make sure that the set of information are correctly and completely translated.
Q: How does the university support and promote the competition?
The university has provided the facilities and utilities to us. The university also support us in all matters and help all of our activities publicized to the outsiders. This makes Khao Sam Suk to be well known and get more the number of orders.
Q: What do you have earned from the competition besides the award?
I am proud of expressing our heart to communicate with the community. Today, Thung Luang is well know across the country. According to the story of Khao Sam Suk, we are proud of being a small group to support, to promote, and to develop quality of life for agriculturalists in the community, to manage rice to increase more income, and to produce and sell rice by themselves.
The other thing that we received besides the award is experience in working together among team colleagues, the project advisor, and the community. Even though we study the theories and do some practice in the classes, we sometimes cannot remember all of the details. There are not many opportunities that we can work together with the community because we need to study. In the lessons, we study only the strategies, but we do now know how to solve the problems. Actually, the experience in the project can help us understand the lessons both inside and outside the classes. We need to apply all knowledge and experience to work with the community. We learn the theories which we can apply to the community; and also, we share experience in working to help us solve the problems.
Q: What experience do you gain in participating the activity / the competition / the representatives?
We practiced ourselves. After joining the project, we have more courage to speak, to think, to do, and to express ourselves. We have good experience in working together.
Q: What are the messages that you would like to pass on to the people who have dream or want to success?
I want you to start at yourselves. It is important to find your own competency, and you must put all of your effort to work the best on those things. Finally, you will be fun of doing what you are doing now; and also, you will succeed in those things.
Dr. Surapon Jaiwongsa, the project advisor, shared his opinions about the competition that “It is a way of teaching students by using activities in classes. We give the students the challenges regarding social issues so that they can practice in applying the process of thinking, analyzing, and solving the problems. Submission the project into the competition is also a way of teaching which the students will learn the process of work including the process of step-by-step thinking. The students can also learn about their personalities and social skills to adjust themselves in the society. For example, some students are very shy and unconfident. The activities will help these students to meet and have more interaction with other people which the students will have more confidence. I do not tell the students what they have to do when we work together as a team. I want them to try, to learn, and to solve the problems by themselves. I will only give them some advice, the guidance, and more information they needed. It is very fun to work with the students because both of us learn together from doing this project.”.
“Not only do the students develop the skills in this competition, but it also benefits the community. After the project finished, the people in community has gathered to build the group of nature farming to do full function in organic farming. Our university is well known to the people in the society and community that we are the university truly introducing the innovation to the community.”.