Healthy Food, Quality Life
I grew up in a tobacco farming family, but I left the farm for the big city. When my mother was diagnosed with liver cancer, I decided to leave my job in Bangkok and return to Northern Thailand to help my father on our family farm. I was suffering from diabetes at that times. This return to the farming life was the turning point in my life.
We switched from tobacco farming to rice farming. Now, we also plant our own vegetables and prepare our own meals. Plus, I am switching to a brown rice diet. After three years of effort, my health has improved weight reduction, improved bowel movement, lower blood sugar level and reduced intake of medicine. My physician mentioned that brown rice contains high amounts of fiber, thereby slowing the glucose absorption process, regulating the blood sugar level and overcoming metabolic syndrome. My father’s beriberi syndrome and constipation have improved as well. Our fields, once again, are endowed with fresh water prawns and fishes.
Skin disease, liver disease, diabetes and constipation are common ailments plaguing our rice farmers. As a member of the Agriculture Promotion Department, I share my organic planting experience and methods with those farmers who are still using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This is a step towards the self-sustaining agriculture model suggested by our King.
I lead by example and serve as a model for other farmers. And as time passed, many farmers are changing their farming practices. A portion of our harvest is now exported after reserving enough for ourselves and our families. I sincerely hope that our customers enjoy the health benefits of our rice harvest, for the rice is the product of our love and hard work.
Madame Athitra Mekwai, 31 years old,
Graduated with a degree in statistics.
Currently an organic farmer with 8 years experience.
Her farm is certified organic by the USDA. She is also a member
Of the Agriculture promotion Department in Hatkruat district,
Uttaradit province, Northern Thailand.