CPFoods’ CSR Makes Thai Farmers Rich

Breeding Pigs
Pakdee Thai Siam is the president
of Nong-Wah Agricultural Village.
Arnnop Jeanprasert (left) of CPFoods Philippines
at the briefing at Nong-Wah Agricultural Village.
Nopachat Panyawachiropas is a contract
grower raising 2,100 fatteners at a time.
Big companies with a well-focused Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) could transform the lives of poor farmers, making them financially independent and proud of their achievement.
  
Just like the 50 landless farmers who were allocated 3.8 hectares each by the King of Thailand in 1978 in the province of Chachoengsao, about two hours drive northeast of Bangkok. Now the farmers have transformed the once brushland into the Nong-Wah Agricultural Village which has become a land reform management model.

The transformation came as a result of the cooperation of the bank and Charoen Pokphand, the giant food and agriculture company in Thailand.

In the beginning, the settlers did not have any money to start their farming. But CP Foods had a bright idea. Their experts trained the farmers to take care of breeding hogs to produce piglets the scientific way. Then CP Foods would buy the piglets for its contract farming of slaughter pigs with farmers outside Nong-Wah.

The CP experts had to convince the bank about the viability of the project, assuring the bank that the farmers would be able to repay their initial loans of 300,000 baht each. And how did CP make sure that the farmers would succeed?

They provided them with the improved technologies. One is the raising of the improved breeds in confinement. The houses today are equipped with evaporative cooling system so that the breeders feel comfortable and conducive to problem-free reproduction. The pigs are fed with the right nutrition. They are protected from diseases with the help of CP’s veterinarians and animal husbandry experts. The farmers are also taught how to artificially inseminate their animals.

One very important factor that made the farmers succeed was that they were assured of their market for their weanlings. All they have been doing is do the best they can in producing healthy weanlings for sale to CP Foods. The current price per weanling is 1,200 baht.

From their zero assets in 1978, the settlers have each accumulated at least 6 million baht in assets today. But of course many of them have amassed much more than that and they are investing in farms outside of the village.

Pakdee Thai Siam, the 50-year-old president of Nong-Wah Village, is now a multi-millionaire in his own right. While serving as president of the village cooperative, he receives a minimal 1,500 baht per month but he makes much, much more from his pigs and other projects.

Pakdee started taking care of 30 sows which grew and grew in number through the passing of the years. Today, he is taking care of 600 sows, each producing about 22 weanlings a year. At 1,200 baht per weanling, one sow could produce 26,400 baht per year which is equivalent to P36,432 in Philippine peso.

Pakdee seemed reluctant at first to disclose how much he makes in profit every month but after some prodding, he admitted that he makes about 200,000 baht a month from his piggery. That’s about P276,000 in our currency. And that is why he could afford a big house, and send his daughter to a medical school. He has also bought a 15-hectare property outside Nong-Wah which he has planted to rubber trees.

Nong-Wah Agricultural Village is a modern community with wide well-paved roads. The place is beautifully landscaped and the plants are well maintained. The village does not smell just like the ordinary pig farming community. That’s because the pig manure is turned into electricity by means of a biogas system. The biogas system is responsible for supplying the village with 30 percent of its energy requirements. Another byproduct of the manure is organic fertilizer.

CP Foods is also very helpful to young farmers who go into pig farming. Just a few kilometers from Nong-Wah, we visited the project of 27-year-old Nopachat Panyawachiropas who finished a course in animal husbandry. For a year, he worked with the livestock project of CP Foods but four years ago, he decided to venture into his own pig farming.

With the help of CP Foods, he was able to borrow from the bank 7 million baht to put up three hog houses, each with a capacity of 700 fatteners. The pigs are fattened in about five months to 100 to 110 kilos each, unlike the usual 85 kilos in the Philippines.

The hog houses, as is usual in projects of CP Foods, are all equipped with evaporative cooling systems which make the animals comfortable and fast growing.

CP Foods provides the piglets, the feeds and medicines. Nopachat, on the other hand, owns the housing and spends for electricity, water and labor. At the end of a growing cycle, Nopachat makes an average of 450 baht per head. Which means he could gross about 945,000 in less than six months of raising the animals. That’s why he could afford to amortize his loan from the bank at 100,000 baht a month.

In three more years, he would be able to pay all his loan and could probably expand his operation so he could make more money.
   

Piglets are the main product at Nong-Wah
Agricultural Village, Chachoengsao province
in Thailand northeast of Bangkok.
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One thought on “CPFoods’ CSR Makes Thai Farmers Rich

  1. What is the recommended village produce or livestock for Muslim and indigenous communities? Swine production is not culturally appropriate for Muslim communities. What had been tested in countries such as Malaysia and Turkey, for instance?

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