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ISSN : 1225-8504(Print)
ISSN : 2287-8165(Online)
Journal of the Korean Society of International Agriculture Vol.25 No.1 pp.1-7

태국에서 옥수수 종자마을 조성 사례 연구

Chutima Koshawatana, Pichet Grudloyma*, Amara Traisiri*, Sopit Jaipala**, Surasak Watthanapansorn***, Penrat Thiempeng***, Siam Saehue*****, 조양희******, 박기진*******††
태국 전작물및지속가능작물연구소, *태국 나콘사완전작물연구센터, **태국 치앙마이전작물연구센터, ***태국 수코타이농업연구개발센터, ****태국 페차분농업연구개발센터, *****태국 딱농업연구개발센터, ******농촌진흥청 기술협력국, *******강원도 옥수수연구소
태국에의 옥수수 재배는 종자 가격의 상승, 잦은 기후변화, 때때로 부족한 종자로 인하여 종자구입을 주저하고 있는 실정인데, 종자의 자가소비 및 이웃농가 보급을 통하여 옥수수 종자구입 비용의 절감을 목적으로, 태국 농업청(Department of Agriculture, Thailand)과 한국 농촌진흥청(Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea)과의 협력으로 AFACI(Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative)의 태국 국별 과제로 옥수수 종자마을 조성(Maize Seed Village) 사업을 선정하여 추진하였다. 대상 품종은 태국 자체 육성종인 건조저항성 단교잡종 나콘사완3(Nakhon Sawan 3)로 교잡종 채종기술은 나콘사완전작물연구소가 운영한 채종농가 훈련을 거쳐 이전되었으며 이를 위하여 종자채종기술 교재 600부를 제작 활용하였다. 2010 여름, 2011 우기, 2011 여름 기간, 총 3작기에 걸쳐 5개주 52개 마을 175농가 96 ha에서 종자 79,988kg을 생산하여 자가 소비 및 이웃 농가 보급에 활용하였다. 생산된 종자의 판매가격은 일반 상업화 종자 가격의 46~60% 수준이었으며, 농가는 나콘사완 3 교잡 종자에 대한 채종재배기술과 품종의 성능에 크게 만족하였다.

Strengthening Seed Production through Maize Seed Village in Thailand: A Case Study

Chutima Koshawatana, Pichet Grudloyma*, Amara Traisiri*, Sopit Jaipala**, Surasak Watthanapansorn***, Penrat Thiempeng****, Siam Saehue*****, Yang-Hee Cho******, Ki-Jin Park*******††
Field and Renewable Energy Crops Research Institute
*Nakhon Sawan Field Crops Research Center, **Chiang Mai Field Crops Research Center, ***Sukhothai Agricultural Research and Development Center, ****Petchabun Agricultural Research and Development Center, *****Tak Agricultural Research and Development Center, ******Technology Cooperation Bureau, RDA, *******Maize Research Institute
Received Nov. 20. 2012, Revised Jan. 29. 2013, Accepted Mar. 7. 2013


In recent years, farmers tend to invest more on seed purchasing for maize cultivationmainly due to increase of seed price, risk from climate change and seed shortage. In this regard, anattempt has been made to establish “Maize Seed Village” in order to ensure seed sufficiency amongfarmers thus saving cost of seed purchasing. The Department of Agriculture (DOA), Thailand and RuralDevelopment Administration (RDA), Republic of Korea have jointly undertaken the project “StrengtheningSeed Production through Maize Seed Village” in Thailand from 2010-2012 under the Asian Foodand Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI). The project aimed to establish maize seed village ofNakhon Sawan 3, a drought-tolerant hybrid cultivar. The technology of hybrid seed production of thiscultivar was transferred to the farmers in 5 provinces through training programs with 600 copies ofhybrid seed production manual. 175 farmers from the 52 villages with a total of 96 ha joined the projectand continuously produced drought-tolerant hybrid seeds in the summer of 2010-2011 during rainyseason. The farmers were able to produce 79,988 kg of drought-tolerant hybrid seeds. The hybrid seedprice produced by the farmers was 46 to 60 % low compared with commercial hybrid seed. The farmerswere satisfied with the introduction of Nakhon Sawan 3 hybrid seed production technology andperformance of their hybrid variety.

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This study was carried out for 3 seasons from 2010 to 2011 by Field and Renewable Energy Crops Research Institute (FCRI) as a collaborative project “Maize Seed Village”, between the Department of Agriculture (DOA), Thailand and the Rural Development Administrative (RDA), Republic of Korea under the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI). The project aimed to make the farmers self-sufficient of maize hybrid seeds through the hybrid seed production and its training programs. In addition, the project has an alternative approach to reduce seed purchasing cost. Furthermore, the success of project could contribute to strengthening sustainable agriculture for food security. At present, farmers are facing difficulties with current maize type since it doesnot have enough resistivity against adverse conditions such as climate change. The current cultivars are easily destroyed by harsh environmental conditions (natural disasters such as drought, floods, etc.) and thus, farmers have to bear great loss. One of the most persistent problems in the locality is the seed shortage since seed supply is lower than the demand. In 2009, a new drought-tolerant maize hybrid cultivar “Nakhon Sawan 3” (NS3) developed by Nakhon Sawan Field Crops Research Center (NSFCRC) (Grudloyma et al., 2009) was released by DOA and AFACI. Later on DOA and AFACI disseminated the new hybrid seed and its production technology in June 2010. The FCRI launched the project in collaboration with Nakhon Sawan Field Crops Research Center (NSFCRC), Chiang Mai Field Crops Research Center (CMFCRC), Petchabun Agricultural Research and Development Center (PBARDC), Sukhothai Agricultural Research and Development Center (SKARDC) and Tak Agricultural Research and Development Center (TKARDC). So this study was to test the viability of NS3 with local cultivar among the farmers and how to help them in 5 provinces in the Northern Region, Nakhon Sawan, Chiang Mai, Petchabun, Sukhothai and Tak. 


Study area

Focus group discussion (FGD) is one of the important social tools to gather the knowledge and ideas of different people at a single time. The main objective of this study was also to disseminate the introduction of NS3 among the local farmers and make them self-reliant about the seed production. Therefore, FGD was carried out among the local farmers in order to make them familiar with the new seed production technology and their performance. Farmers, who were interested in producing hybrid seed, joined the training prior to planting in their field.

Seed multiplication of inbred parents

Since research and development of NS3 hybrid was conducted at Nakhon Sawan Field Crops Research Center (NSFCRC), NSFCRC was responsible for the seed increasing of inbred parents of NS3 hybrid, a single cross hybrid cultivar. The female inbred was Tak Fa 1 and male inbred was Tak Fa 3. 

Demonstration plots for varietal performance and seed production

The NSFCRC also prepared demonstration plots for farmers training program. The plots included 1) varietal demonstration - NS3 hybrid vs. commercial hybrids; farmers were able to see different performances and then they scored and selected for preference of hybrids, and 2) demonstration of seed production of NS3 hybrid to show inbred row ratio of male and female, correct field inspection and off-type rouging (Koshawatana, 2007a, 2007b). 

Publication of seed production manual

The FCRI has published hybrid seed production manual by collecting data and information from NSFCRC researchers. The manual was made easy to understand with illustrations for distribution to the farmers of the project or beginners in hybrid seed production. The manual was distributed to other farmers who were interested in producing of NS3 hybrid seed. 

Training programs

Farmers or groups of farmers were trained on NS3 hybrid seed production - covering field management, field inspection and rouging, harvesting, processing etc. The activities also include fields visit to exchange experience among farmers from each province. 

Seed production by farmers

Working teams of each site provided sufficient amount of inbred parent seeds to farmers/farmers groups then continuously inspected the field and advised farmers throughout a production process as well as helping them estimate cost of seed production to facilitate seed supply and distribution in their community. Activity plan and seed production program were discussed among working teams. The teams visited the areas for site selection then they conducted discussion with the farmers and local leaders. A total of 175 farmers from 52 villages, 34 subdistricts and 22 districts jointed the project. The areas of production totaled to 96 ha (Koshawatana et al., 2011) (Table 1). 

Table. 1. Season and location for seed production of NS3 hybrid seed.

Assessment of farmer’ satisfaction

Farmers were assessed for satisfaction on managing hybrid seed production field, seed quality as well as grain yield and performance of the NS3 hybrid seed grown in the following season. After seed production for each lot, working teams assessed on farmers’ satisfaction using score ranged from 1 = totally dissatisfied 2 = mostly dissatisfied 3 = satisfied 4 = mostly satisfied 5 = totally satisfied and N = no opinion. 


Seed multiplication of inbred parents

Inbred parents, Tak Fa 1 (female parent) and Tak Fa 3 (male parent) were produced twice at NSFCRC, before NS3 seed production in July 2011 and 2012. Rouging off-type and field inspection were performed by the researchers as recommended. Total amount of seed produced of two parents was 2,950 kg consisted of 2,200 kg of female and 750 kg of male. The seed was used for NS3 seed production in the farmers' field and demonstration plot. Male and female inbred seeds were treated by different color in order to avoid confusion. 

Training program and field visit

Training programs seed production of NS3 hybrid

Training programs were organized before seed planting especially for farmers who did not have experience in hybrid seed production. Someone who have experiences joined the training program and shared their knowledge with others. The working teams organized 6 training programs, 2 at NSFCRC, 2 at CMFCRC, and 2 at SKARDC. In total, 95 farmers joined the training programs. In the training program, FCRI and NSFCRC distributed 600 seed manuals, “short and easy to understand” with lots of illustrations, to the farmers. 

Field Visit Day

In the 2nd  year after farmers experienced all process of seed production, FCRI organized the event “Field Visit Day” in cooperation with NSFCRC. The event aimed to gather farmers and working teams and to share their experience with others from different provinces. There were 90 participants, including 81 farmers accompanied with 5 working teams from each province. Through the event of Field Visit Day, farmers involved in the training programs showing and learning from 1) conventional 4:1 ratio of female to male row, 2) technique on compact planting or inter-row planting of male parent and 3) routine work on rouging. The farmers could also see simple equipments and facility for small scale seed processing. The research revealed that farmers at Petchabun were successful in sharing their experiences with other farmers and they were also keen on advising about the project to new comers on field management. 

Hybrid seed production

Three lots of seeds were produced in the summer season of 2010, rainy season of 2011 and summer of 2011. However, some farmers did not succeed in field management which led to harvesting only a total area of 84.8 ha from 157 farmers (Table 2). Total production volume was 79,988 kg with an estimated value of 158,430US$ (Koshawatana, 2011, 2012a, 2012b). 

Table. 2. The result of seed production of NS3 hybrid seed and its using.

Seed yield and germination rate

Total average yield was 943 kg per ha. However, most farmers managed their fields quite well in their level of skill and experience. In addition, seed quality of their product expressed by germination percentage was a success because all seeds have exhibited high germination of about 96% in average, and farmers were satisfied with the high germination percentage (Table 2). Low yield of seed production was due to the unfavorable conditions such as high temperature at flowering stage in Sukhothai and it caused barren tassel. Although farmers made male row double, the low temperature in Chiangmai has caused poor compatibility during flowering stage. Other damages were caused by use of insecticides, fungicides or herbicides, and also by wrong detasselling and insufficient irrigation. 

Seed saving and distribution

Total amount of NS3 seed production was 79,988 kg (Table 2), and farmers were able to save 20% of total volume for their own use. The 80% was for distributed or sold to neighbors in the same community or province and others. 

As far as the farmers’ seed production and management, we could categorize the production into 5 cases 1) for selfuse only 2) for self-use and the surplus for neighbors 3) for self-use, surplus for neighbors and for sale 4) for self-use, surplus for neighbors and some for sale, and 5) for sale only. These cases differed among provinces especially in Chiangmai as shown in Table 2. In the summer season of 2010, farmers produced seeds for sale only since their main crop in rainy season was rice so they did not keep NS3 seed for the following season. 

Farmers’ satisfaction on NS3 hybrid seed production

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of NS3 on the project area, farmers were asked to give their opinion on the basis of different scores. Farmers’ responses were summarized in the Table 3. Research results revealed that majority of the farmers were satisfied with the introduction of NS3 on their provinces as the new cultivar (NS3) was more effective in terms of quality and quantity. Majority of the farmers agreed that the introduction of new hybrid seed helps to reduce the cost of seed purchase. And also they gave their strong comment about the positive aspect of new hybrid seed in the locality because the new cultivar has high tolerance and resistivity against adverse environmental conditions. One of the prominent results of this project was that farmers were totally satisfied with the quality of the new hybrid seed. However, few farmers were not satisfying with the introduction of the new hybrid seed. Their argument was that the introduction of new hybrid seed did not really increase their household income level. 

Table. 3. Farmers’ satisfaction on seed production of NS3 hybrid.

Farmer’ satisfaction on cost reduction

Farmers agreed that seed production could lead to save money for seed purchases (Table 3). The estimated seed price per kg was calculated by the working teams based on the farmer’s interview and calculation did not elaborate on every detail as that of economical analysis. On the first production, seed cost per kg varied among provinces as follows: Chiangmai 26 Baht1) , Petchabun 50 Baht, Sukhothai 49 Baht and Nakhon Sawan 35 Baht (data not shown). These did not include management or business running cost of commercial seed company. At present, commercial seed price varied from 120 to 150 Baht per kg on cash bases and 180 Baht per kg if on credit bases. Thus, the result of study strongly confirmed that production cost by community or farmers could definitely reduce cost of seed purchase to at least 40% or more. 

1) 1US$ = 29.9Baht 

Farmer’ satisfaction on NS3 hybrid yield and performance

As farmers grew NS3 hybrid seed they were able to produce seed the following season. The working teams continued tracking the farmers’ satisfaction on NS3 hybrid performance as shown on the data in Table 4. Data was collected from the farmers who produced F1  seed in summer season of 2010, rainy season of 2011 and summer season of 2011. The 49 farmers from the four provinces namely Chiang Mai, Petchabun, Sukhothai and Nakhon Sawan were satisfied on seed price, agronomic characters especially seed color, harvesting, yield and the overall hybrid seed performance. However, the characteristics of drought tolerance of NS3 were not assessed because there was no drought occurred in all sites while planting F1 seed.

Table. 4. Farmers’ satisfaction on cultivation NS3 variety.

In conclusion, “Maize seed village in Thailand” Project has produced NS3 hybrid seed by the farmers and their community. The project remained successful in disseminating the importance of hybrid seed among the local farmers. Because introduction of hybrid seed not only improve the quality but it also helps to increase their household income level through various activities. One of the positive points about the introduction of NS3 is that this technology can be easily transferred to the next generation of the farmer without any constrains. Therefore, this study can conclude that farmers and their communities could manage or continue to produce NS3 hybrid seed for their own use or even for sale. Furthermore, this project taught lesson about self-reliant and sustainability in terms of seed production and management to the local farmers. 


We would like to take this opportunity to thank Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI), RDA, Republic of Korea for the financial support and warmth cooperation during the project period. Our thanks and appreciation is also extended to Dr. Yang-Hee Cho, Dr. Gihwan Yi, and Dr. Gyoung-Rae Cho for their significant contributions to the project. Sincere and special thanks also to Dr. Seong-Bum Baek and Dr. Beam-Young Son, Director Pichet Grudloyma, and Ms. Amara Traisiri for their valuable suggestions and comments. Many thanks for the endless friendship of Dr. Ki-Jin Park. Finally, we are so grateful to the continued endeavors of the researchers and officers from the five centers during the implementation of the project. The project would not be possible without their commitments. And this study was supported by Bio-industry Technology Development Program, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of Korea. 


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