Since 1999 Mr. Sho Oga, a former executive of a Japanese health product manufacturer, pioneered organic agriculture in Thailand.
For the farm in Thailand, he picked the foothill of Dong Phayayen mountain under a giant white Buddha – the remote place in Klang Dong sub-district of Nakhon Ratchasima, as the perfect location to make healthy, organic products.
Organic agriculture requires two things: land unaffected by pesticides, and water that was not contaminated by chemical waste from other farms. He had drilled 150 meters deep well to finaly find clean, exclusive, water source for irrigation.
“Why organic? Because I just don’t want to do business and simply earn money ignoring nature, by discharging into rivers chemical-tainted water that could severely hurt fish and people and ruin the harmony of nature,” said Mr Oga.
His farm is certified as an organic farm by the Agriculture Department, of Thailand. Now it produces about 150 tons of more than 60 different types of vegetables a year, including Japanese cucumber, cherry tomatoes and moroheiya, which yields some 50 tons a year.
The produce is supplied to leading supermarkets, restaurants and health shops. The factory also produces some natural products – such as massage oil, soap, shampoo, organic teas and noodles – to supply domestic markets and to export to other countries.
Like many organic producers in every country, Mr. Oga had difficulty accessing the market, especially during the very first years of operation. However, he said that consumers want healthier lives and a better environment – and this is strongly driving the growth of organic produce.