Thai society is based on agriculture. Rice is a cereal historically grown in Thai society as has now become a way of life. Rice is central to Thai society and good rice quality can be equated to good human quality.
Thai people are resistant to planting crops other than rice. The market price of the rice crop is very important and if prices are low this causes severe financial hardship for the farmers. Planting organic rice will ensure high sales revenue for the crop.
A case study was conducted by the network of northeastern organic community enterprises for a prototype or best practice as “zero waste” rice processing. This uses every aspect of the rice to create value. No part is abandoned. Simple quality checking guidelines are followed when members deliver organic rice to the network
1. Rice with an average of 45-50% whole grains is packed for delivery as the normal process.
2. Broken rice is defined as milled rice with an average of 20-25% whole grains. Some broken rice is sold according to the purchase orders, while the rest is further processed into organic rice flour and sold to make desserts, thereby adding value.
3. An average of 8-10% of rice bran is usually sold at very cheap prices. We extracted Virgin Rice Bran Oil for sale in capsules and bottles and this adds tremendous value to the product.
One ton of paddy rice can produce about 80 kg of rice bran oil, and 4.5 liters of oil at a selling price of 800 baht per liter has a value of 3,600 baht. When in capsule form, the sale price increases to 1,800 baht per liter. 3 baht for 60 capsules give a total of 24,300 baht.
Rice bran cream produced by filtering rice bran oil can generate about 100 pieces of organic rice bran cream soap. A selling price of 50 baht per piece gives a total of 5,000 baht. This process creates jobs and increases income to the network.
4. On average, 15-20%, as waste rice husk is removed during the milling process, selling at 0.50 baht per kg. To manage zero waste, the rice husk, residue rice (average about 5%) and rice bran already extracted are ground together into fine bran and sold at 10 baht per kg. The mixture can also be processed into various animal feeds as pellet form for easy use in raising animals such as chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, and fish food, selling at 15 baht per kg.
Questions that may arise include where to sell and who are the customers for item 3 and item
4 zero waste. Members of the network are the main customers. Organic rice bran oil with high quality and low price is first sold to farmers or members of the rice-growing community.
For every household, raising animals is a way of life. Instead of buying low quality and expensive animal feed, products from the network of high quality but low price can be used instead. This will improve the lives of people and society. This is the philosophy; we apply “Sufficiency Economy”.