A Retiree with Integrated Agriculture

Supamitr Panchavabus

As Thailand becomes more towards an aging society, finding jobs after retirement is surely not an easy task. For agricultural work, if no prior experience, it will take time to learn with trial and error before success can be achieved.

A retired veterinarian, Supamitr Panchavabus or “Mor Tum”, who decided to purchase a piece of land and turned himself into a farmer in Sakhon Nakorn province. Supamitr chose to grow a variety of plants that are suitable to his land and water need such as cassava, rice, and in 2020, he started to give it a try on Cocoa plants (Chumphon 2 variety) in 1 rai of land.

Mor Tum told us that before cocoa, he invested in cassava (Huai Bong 80 variety) in 10 rais of land and used regular chemical and organic fertilizers and manure but the results were not very satisfactory. Growth of cassava was not good and yield was around 3 tons per rai. Therefore, in the new season, he started to try Voga organic fertilizer from Kasetnumchok Co.Ltd., by the recommendation from his friend, Vichuorn, He applied 50 kg (2 bags) of Voga organic fertilizer per 1 rai of land when tilling. Field was made into raised beds then cassava stems were planted. During the first 1-4 months, sprayed with Super Silicon Voga 1-2 times.

“After retirement and started to use Voga fertilizer, I found it gave me excellent results not the same as other fertilizers. I decided to give it a try because of my friend, Vichuorn. I used Voga fertilizer for my cassava as an experimental field to show to other farmers how it helped me reduce cost and increase yield. I chose Huai Bong 80 variety and broadcasted 50kg of Voga fertilizer and then tilled and made raised beds. Cassava stems can be planted directly without having to use any root stimulants. We applied Voga fertilizer when tilling, the fertilizer in soils can give out nutrients immediately which is different from other organic fertilizers that take up to a month. I used Voga organic fertilizer in soil and also sprayed leaves with Super Silicon Voga 1-2 times. We used no other chemical fertilizer nor other chemicals. So our costs were a lot less than ones with chemical fertilizers.  Moreover, without root stimulants, stems can give out a lot of roots. Plants were vigorous with no insects nor fungal problems. I tried to dig some plants for sample and found the tubers’ weight were around 18-25 kg per tree.  When the rain stops, we will start to do the harvest.

Apart from using Voga fertilizer in cassava, I also used it in rice both in season and off season. I broadcasted 50kg of Voga fertilizer when rice was 20-30 days old and 25-50 kg when it started to bear grains. Rice was vigorous, had a lot of roots, and had large shrubs. Leaves were upright and strong. It was  resistant to collapse with strong wind. Rice grain was full and more aromatic.

การใช้ปุ๋ยโวก้าอินทรีย์ ในนาข้าว
Voga organic fertilizer in Rice

Another plant was Jinda red pepper. I used Voga organic fertilizer with KetoPluz (organic fungicide) by using 25 kg Voga fertilizer with 2 packs (100g) of KetoPluz.  I applied the mixture to soil when planting and applied later every month. The pepper was vigorous, showed no sign of leaf disease, fungal, or anthracnose disease.

“Normally, in rainy season, pepper stem are likely to suffer from rotting. When using Voga fertilizer with KetoPluz, pepper stems were fresh and can be kept for a long time without rotting. Normally for the weight, 1 full bag is 10 kilograms but peppers with Voga fertilizer, the bag was not full but the weight is 10 kilograms. It proved that Voga organic fertilizer can increase the weight of the produce”. Mor Tum said.

Cocoa farm with Voga Organic fertilizer
ใช้ปุ๋ยอินทรีย์โวก้า ทุก ๆ 3 เดือน แตกยอดดี ต้นสมบูรณ์
Application of Voga organic fertilizer every 3 months resulting in fast growth and vigorous trees

As for the cocoa, Mor Tum has 2 years old cocoa farm in 1 rai of land. The farm starts to bear fruits that can be harvested every 2 weeks. There is not much yield at the moment. I decided to plant cocoa trees because it only needs to be planted once and can stay for a long time. I invested 10,000 bahts to buy seedlings from Coorporative Enterprise in Nan province. Planted density is 2.5mx2.5m. I planted banana trees for shading and for incoming source before cocoa starts to bear fruits.  When cocoa is grown up, banana trees will be cut off. As for fertilizer usage, Mor Tum said: “We dig 30 cm hole and mixed Voga fertilizer (2-3 handfuls) with planting soils, then planted the cocoa trees. When cocoa was 3 months old, we applied Voga fertilizer by digging holes 4 spots around canopy and applied 2-3 handfuls of Voga fertilizer into each hole and then buried.  Cocoa trees are vigorous, grow fast and no insect problem. When the tree are strong, fungal diseases are also not found. I noticed that soils in the areas where we applied Voga fertilizer were loose. Soils in this area are lateral soils which are very hard and do not hold water and nutrients. As a result, yield is usually low. We apply Voga fertilizer to Cocoa trees around 3 times a month during flowering and fruiting periods since we want to have larger sized fruits and to increase weight and fruits. Our cocoa fruits are around 800 grams per fruit. Seeds are high quality, full and large, and there are no withered seeds. The fruits also contain a lot of flesh and are high grade. We do not use any chemical fertilizers just only Voga fertilizer which has all the needed nutrients. We never checked our soil’s pH since it is lateral soil. Comparing cocoa with Voga fertilizer and cocoa of other members in Bung Karn province  who use other fertilizers, their cocoa fruits need 3-4 fruits for 1 kilogram. If using Voga fertilizer with chemical fertilizers, the results will be superb and yield will greatly increased but the cost will be higher since chemical fertilizers are currently expensive.”

ต้นโกโก้อายุ 2 ปี เริ่มทยอยติดผล
2 years old cocoa trees starting to bear fruits
ลักษณะผลโกโก้ ใหญ่ ไซซ์เสมอ
Cocoa fruits, large and uniform sizes
Cocoa produce

In the near future, I will use Voga fertilizer for tomatoes and baby corns. After harvesting rice, I will immediately plant tomatoes. Farm members here usually grow tomatoes after harvesting rice. The produce will be supplied to Royal project to produce tomato juice.

“For famers who want to use organic fertilizer, I recommend Voga organic fertilizer. It helps improve soil, increase yield and really increase money in your pockets”, Mor Tum said.