In the meantime seven out of the eight Pilot-Clusterfarms are registered as a Limited Company or Partnership Limited. To strengthen the Pilot-Clusterfarms in their entrepreneurial management the Project had conducted in November workshops on Entrepreneurship. The participants had been facilitated to elaborate the meaning of entrepreneurship and the properties of successful businesses. They assessed their Strength and Weaknesses (SWOT-Analysis) and defined the services, the Clusterfarm actually provides to its members and other customers and those they would like to expand or newly develop in the future. Based on this the participants finally had been guided to set up a plan with responsibilities and timeline to develop a business proposal for those business activities they would like to explore in the future. The Project Team will follow up with them on the development.
Project Steering Committee Meeting 2022
On the 18 October the 3rd meeting of the Steering Committee of the "German-Thai Cooperation Project to Promote the Sustainable Development of Clusterfarms in Thailand" had been held.
The Project reported to the representatives of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) about the activities in the past, the developed concept for an adopted extension system for Clusterfarms and the actives planned until end of the 1 phase of the Project.
The representatives of the German and Thai Ministries discussed the results achieved so far and agreed on the further implementation of the cooperation project.
Farmer Exchange Meeting 2022
In October representatives from all 8 Pilot Clusterfarms of the Project had met at the Cassava Pilot-Clusterfarm in Dan Khun Thod District, Nakon Ratchasima Province to exchange their experience and future plans for the improvement of their Clusterfarms.
The Manager from the Pilot Clusterfarm at Phu Kiao District presented the status of his development of a Robot-Sprayer for sugarcane fields. Other Clusterfarms talked about their efforts to improve the presentation of their Learning Center, plans accessing new markets and using new techniques to improve the soil quality.
The Project is supporting the farmers at all of the presented efforts.
Study Tour to Germany 2022
To deepen the exchange between Thai and German agricultural practitioners the Project had organized in June 2022 a Study Tour to Germany for representatives of its Pilot-Clusterfarms. The focus had been on showcasing and discussing the various forms of corporations of German farmers for organizing field work and marketing of their products. The Tour program also include a visit of the DLG Field Days, located close to Mannheim.
The main theme of the DLG Field Days: “My crop production, My future” can bee seen likewise relevant for Thai Farmer and well reflects the strengthening of the capacity and the future viability of the Thai Clusterfarmers aimed for by the Project.
Training on agricultural cost accounting and performance improvement
In preparation for the activities to improve the machinery use for the Clusterfarms the project had collected in 2021 data on the machinery assets of the Clusterfarms, the use of machines by the members in the agricultural production and the production costs for all Pilot-Clusterfarms. To understand and improve the agricultural production respectively the farm profitability the inputs (costs) and outputs (revenues) should be recorded, analyzed and improvements planned. This can be done by counseling each farmer individually. But in praxis the counseling of a group of farmers turned out to be more efficient and has the benefit of joint learning and benchmarking. Clusterfarms already consist of a group of farmers, thus the training on counseling for performance improvement had been conducted for the members of each Pilot Clusterfarm.
Agritechnica Asia – Clusterfarm - Exhibitor Exchange
AGRITECHNICA ASIA in its third edition is an agricultural exhibition that covers all of Asia by focusing on Asia’s largest agricultural buyers from across the region.
Clusterfarms are among the largest producers of farm products in Thailand and thus could become an interesting target group for companies providing modern machinery, equipment and services.
The Project linked Clusterfarms to agribusiness companies participating at the AGRITECHNICA to support the exchange of knowledge and access to modern technology and services.
Workshops with German Machinery Ring on implementing of Machine Sharing
Over the past five decades, the agricultural sector in Thailand has experienced a rapid and extensive processes of mechanization. Nowadays in nearly all steps of the production cycle machines are in use. Larger machines or specialized equipment are often hired as a service from a contractor.
In Germany Machinery Rings facilitate farmers to obtain inexpensive access to agricultural machinery. For Clusterfarms this model may offer the opportunity to share amongst each other machines owned by the members and the Clusterfarm and in the future increase the machinery asset of the Clusterfarm to reduce costs and obtain better service.
Support on upgrading machinery and infrastructure
The Projects provided the farmers with a budget to implement upgrades for machinery or infrastructure in alignment with activities defined in the Strategic-Action-Plan of each Clusterfarm.
Some groups procured implements as supplement to the tractors which they had obtained in the context of the Clusterfarm upgrading program of the Thai Government. The cassava planters e.g. helped the farmers to improve the planting quality and save costs.
Other groups expanded their storage and packing areas and as well installed ventilation for their greenhouses.
From the Baseline Survey and the visits of the Pilot-Clusterfarms it was found, that most Pilot-Clusterfarms lack the initiatives to explore the options for joint activities like joint buying/ selling or machine use. They mostly rely on external actors like governmental departments and the private sector to take initiatives. A greater subsidiarity should be strived for to encourage the Clusterfarmers to jointly manage their needs and their future development.
In December 2021 workshops with all Pilot-Clusterfarms had been conducted where each Clusterfarm developed their specific Strategic Action Plan where the different projects of the Action Plan shall be managed by the Clusterfarm Manager following a project life cycle.
Project Steering Committee Meeting and
The second Meeting of the Project Steering Committee had been conducted End of November 2021, comprising on the Thai side of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and on the German side of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and its General Agency GFA Consulting Group GmbH (GFA) as well as representatives from the Consortium implementing the Project together with the Thai Partner DOAE.
After the Project Steering Committee Meeting the project partners visited 4 of the 8 Pilot-Clusterfarms in 3 Provinces to obtain a better understanding of the current situation of the Clusterfarms and the needs for their further sustainable development.
Clusterfarm Future Conference 2021
The Project together with its partner, the Department of Agricultural Extension and DLG-Thai organized the Clusterfarm Future Conference as part of the Agritechnica Asia/ Horti Asia organized by DLG Thai.
It was the first event of its kind and brought together Governmental Actors, Clusterfarmers, as well as local and foreign experts to exchange about the needs of the Clusterfarms for a further sustainable development and new approaches for management, internal cooperation and agricultural production.
100 participants joint this half day session onsite and 169 online.