A Nongprue tapioca farmer has traded in his traditional crop to grow a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, boosting his income.
Chaowarit Pungmuang, 70, after beginning as a chicken farmer, also took to growing tapioca on a three-rai plot in Nongprue Moo 7 village.
After tapioca sucked all the nutrients out of the soil, he rotated crops to grow regular, Gros Michel and lebmuernang bananas. All were grown organically with no chemicals and using bio-fermented water and compost to improve soil quality.
After his success with bananas, Chaowarit planted other vegetables, fruit and perennial plants including chilis, eggplant, winged beans, limes, longan, durian and avocado.
Chaowarit began growing avocados and some of the same fruit ten years ago, but only enough for his family. He recently expanded his plots to sell the extra produce to earn a better income for his family.
Chaowarit sells his products in a little stall in front of his garden, offering bananas, papayas, eggplant, limes, basil and avocados.
Most customers are people in his community who say they prefer his organic vegetables.
In addition to farming, he also shares his knowledge of organic mixed farming with interested people who visit and study in the fields.
Additionally, Chaowarit said that, aside from using the land for mixed farming, it gives his family members a healthy lifestyle and helps increase income and reduce expenses. He and his family can live happily and self-sufficiently.