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Technical Cooperation

Project Name: Mushroom and Astringent Persimmon Production Project (Thailand)
Project Description: The Royal Project Foundation, founded by Thailand’s royal family, is dedicated to assisting highland people in northern Thailand in engaging in agricultural production, originally as a means of substituting for the production of opium poppies. The foundation promotes technical capacity in key crops, and assists and provides guidance to farmers in improving their cultivation techniques, in part through the exchange of agricultural know-how with Taiwan.Recently, the foundation selected two high-value cash crops – astringent persimmon and mushroom – for extension to local farmers. However, a lack of cultivation skills and capacity to conduct trials of suitable varieties constrained extension work and assistance to farmers in growing these two crops, and so the foundation plans to introduce cultivation techniques and high-quality varieties from Taiwan, hoping to facilitate further assistance to farmers in producing these two crops, substantially improving farmers’ livelihoods.

Project appraisal indicated that the main challenge to improving the quality and yields of astringent persimmons and mushrooms produced at the Royal Project Foundation had been a lack of suitable varieties of astringent persimmon and poor mushroom cultivation techniques. The Royal Project currently cultivates a single variety of astringent persimmon, but this variety is in season for too limited a period and quality is unsatisfactory, so profits are low. For mushrooms, a lack of technical skills and varieties suitable for cultivation in the northern Thai highlands has meant that production and quality has been limited. As such, it has been difficult to raise overall production and promote cultivation of these two crops among farmers.To assist the Royal Project Foundation in extending production of astringent persimmon and mushroom, the project will:

1. Introduce high-quality varieties/strains of astringent persimmon and mushroom and assist Royal Project Foundation technicians in selecting varieties/strains that will raise quality and yield.
2. Hold training workshops and arrange for the relevant Thai technicians to study project-related techniques in Taiwan, building their capacity to conduct trials of suitable varieties and to develop cultivation trials for high-quality persimmon and carry out further extension among local farmers.
3. Conduct cultivation trials and select suitable varieties of sub-tropical mushroom for cultivation by local farmers.
Implementation Start Date: 2014/1/1
Implementation End Date: 2016/12/31
Project Objectives:
  1. Upgrade astringent persimmon and mushroom cultivation techniques: Promote cultivation techniques for the production of high-quality astringent persimmon among 40 farmers; promote improved mushroom composting and new cultivation methods using bulk bags among 20 farmers.
  2. Introduce and select high-quality varieties of mushroom and astringent persimmon suitable for local farmers: Select at least one new, high-quality variety of astringent persimmon for promotion among 60 farmers and increase cultivation over 6 hectares; select at least one new, high-quality variety of mushroom for promotion among farmers and increase cultivation over 0.3 hectares.
  3. Capacity building for stakeholder farmers and agro-technicians: Assist the Royal Project Foundation in helping at least 30 farmers to visit Taiwan and thereby upgrade their cultivation techniques; train 135 persons at the Taiwan Technical Mission based in Thailand; strengthen semi-dry persimmon production skills.
Executing Agency: Royal Project Foundation
Current Progress: To the end of December 2016, the following activities have been completed:

In 2014
  1. The high quality astringent persimmon trials are being conducted at three major production areas- Wan Chan, Mae Hae, and Mae Poon Lung, on two farmers’ orchards each. All plots were improved soil fertility by applying manure. A dormant pruning of the persimmon trees in plots was done.
  2. The comparison of 19 mycelium of 6 mushroom varieties on bottle spawn (top) and bag spawn (bottom) at Doi Pui mushroom center was made. The result showed that the bag spawn method mycelium can be fully grown within 8-10 days while bottle method took 14-20 days at the same grain volume. The bag method can save 6-10 days.
  3. Astringent persimmon varietal trials are being conducted at three areas, five varieties - Nightingale, Tone wase, Hiratanenashi, P4, and Pea sue are tested.
  4. Eryngi mushroom species from Taiwan, a cross bred species with shiitake, had much smaller size compared to the other commercial strain, however, it was marketed in mixed mushroom pack and showed popular in RPF market.
  5. A training workshop was held in February to train mushroom technicians on spawning technique. A total of 22 persons joined the workshop.
  6. A training on the topic of dormant pruning technique for astringent persimmon was held in March at Wat Chan, Mae Pun Luang, Mae Hae. A total of 80 farmers joined in the training.

In 2015
  1. High quality astringent persimmon trials are being conducted at three major production areas - Mae Poon Lung, Mae Hae and Wan Chan - on two farmers' orchards each. The young age of the grafted trees this year resulted in a lower harvest yield and fruit of poorer quality than anticipated. Of the four astringent persimmon cultivars tested in these regions, Tao Sue proved to be an optimal rootstock cultivar for the two scion cultivars Pie Sue and Nightingale.
  2. In preliminary quality trials of five astringent varieties (Nightingale, Tone Wase, Hiratanenashi, P4 and Pea sue), the Tone Wase variety yielded fruit of high quality in terms of color, flavor, texture and taste. This result suggests that Tone Wase is a good cultivar to extend among local fruit farmers.
  3. DoiPui Center produced and released 24,510 and 11,675 bottles of Portobello mushroom spawn, respectively, to mushroom farmers and Ang Khang and Kung Wang Centers for their cultivations. DoiPui Center produced a total of 1,587.7 kg of mushrooms, including golden oyster, blue oyster, yanagi, and pink oyster for mixed mushroom packs. Pra-Bath-Huay-Tom Center cultivated and harvested 4,000 airtight bags of medicinal Ganoderma mushrooms.
  4. Pa Miang Center assisted 38 mushroom farmers in producing 23,757.5 kg of shiitake mushrooms for fresh-market use and for processing. Kung Wang Center assisted two mushroom farmers in producing 1,169.78 kg of Hericium mushrooms and other varieties. Mon Nghor Center assisted three mushroom farmers in producing 3,551.55 kg of oyster mushrooms.
  5. Two workshops on mushroom cultivation were held, attended by 12 farmers and 28 technicians and Royal Project Foundation staffs. One workshop on persimmon orchard management was held and attended by 10 technicians and 62 farmers. Two workshops on management of fruit flies were held and attended by 77 fruit farmers.
  6. A Taiwanese expert was sent to Thailand to offer assistance to Royal Project Foundation in improving dried persimmon technology. Three study groups from Royal Project Foundation were arranged to visit Taiwan for training on astringent persimmon, mushroom, and industry development.
In 2016
  1. Extended the high-quality astringent persimmon cultivation technology to 21 demonstration plots and 43 farmers at 10 work stations.
  2. Produced 20,908 bottles of mother spawn to distribute to mushroom farmers. The quantity and area of mushroom production are 24,432.49 kg and 2,138 square meters respectively.
  3. Extended high-quality astringent cultivars to 95 farmers. Set up a new hot air drying machine in Royal Project Foundation’s factory.
  4. Held the High-quality Astringent Persimmon Cultivation Training Workshop and the Portobello and Crimini Composting and Growing Operation TrainingWorkshop for 443 local hill tribe farmer participants.
  5. A Taiwanese expert was sent to Thailand to offer assistance to Royal Project Foundation in improving astringent persimmon propagation technology. Two study groups from Royal Project Foundation were arranged to visit Taiwan for training on astringent persimmon and industry development.
Project Performance:
  1. Increase by 20 percent the income of farmers producing persimmon and mushroom with the Royal Project Foundation.
  2. Increase by 18 percent the income of farmers selling persimmon and mushroom under guidance from the Royal Project Foundation.
Signing Date: 2013/10/16
Mission: Other (Projects)
Sector: Others
Sector Item: Suppot To Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
Cooperating Country: Asia-Pacific, Thailand
Themes: Agriculture
Project status: Completed projects
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  • Date:2014/5/2
  • Date Updated:2018/8/27