A JILAF delegation visited Khon Kaen in northeastern Thailand from July 28 (Monday) to August 1 (Friday) for the 1st Khon Kaen Life Support Seminar and 2nd Khon Kaen Enlarged Working Committee (EWC) Seminar of the SGRA (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network) project, which is being implemented under consignment from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare).
On July 30 (Wednesday) the 1st Life Support Seminar, organized by the Khon Kaen EWC, was held in Lam Nam Pong on the outskirts of Khon Kaen City. The female mayor of Lam Nam Pong made a brief appearance at the seminar to encourage the participants. Thirty-two agricultural workers engaged in the cultivation of rice, vegetables, and other crops attended as new network members.
At the beginning of the program, Director Anuwat Pothinam of the Khon Kaen Land Development Bureau of the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives gave a lecture on the need for changed attitudes and outlook in order to improve the livelihood of agricultural workers, methods (planned cultivation, management, sales, double-cropping, etc.), and examples of conversion to organic farming methods. Director San Kompee of the Khon Kaen Branch of the Thai Ministry of Labour’s Social Security Office then gave a talk on applicability of Article 40 of Thailand’s Social Security Act (content and subscription method). There was also a lecture by a staff member of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives titled “The Improvement of Household Accounts and Savings.” Participating network members commented that the seminar had been useful in pointing the way toward the improvement and upraising of livelihoods.
On July 31 (Thursday) the 2nd Khon Kaen EWC Seminar was held in a small meeting room of the Khon Kaen Land Development Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. At the beginning, representing the EWC, Director Somboon of the Khon Kaen Labour Protection and Welfare Bureau of the Ministry of Labour commented on such issues as the inauguration of a regional informal labour administrative committee chaired by the deputy governor and collaboration with the SGRA, organic farming methods and added value, marketing and branding, continuous follow-up, and irrigation water and the competent authorities.
Next, with the participation of Director Somboon of the Khon Kaen Land Development Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, discussions took place on such issues as plans for network members to switch to organic farming training organized by the Khon Kaen provincial government. After confirming such matters as soil inspections for organic jasmine rice cultivation, visits to upland rice growing sites, sales of organic rice and other agricultural products through the SGRA Khon Kaen Cooperative (scheduled to be founded and registered during the current fiscal year), and the supply of goods to Khon Kaen branch union members of the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC), the participants agreed that all 32 network members should switch to vocational training organized by the Land Development Bureau (so-called bridging) by the end of September.
In preparation for the 3rd Khon Kaen EWC Seminar, the JILAF delegation also held discussions with the Credit Union League of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and requested its cooperation from now on.
|07/30||Wed||1st Khon Kaen Life Support Seminar|
|07/31||Thu||2nd Khon Kaen EWC Seminar|
|08/01||Fri||Meeting in preparation for 3rd Khon Kaen EWC Seminar|