Nakhon Pathom – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has entered into a partnership with Bliss Foundation and a network of other strategic collaborators to organize Bliss Festival 2016 on the theme “Follow His Majesty’s teaching…Experience Sufficiency Agricultural Model”. The event will take place at Sampran Riverside from December 16 to 18, 2016 and aims to inspire people to change their ways of life and follow the principles of the sufficiency economy.
Sampran Model, a collaborative movement to develop organic agriculture for the last 6 years under Bliss Foundation will also be promoted as a pioneer for the TAT’s Central Region domestic tourism campaign 2017 – Tha Tiew Kham Phak (challenge to travel across the regions), which encourages Gen-Y, women and “silver” generation (those with high spending power and time on their hands) travellers to enjoy distinctive local experiences and a different way of life.
Arrut Navaraj, secretary of Bliss Foundation and the initiator of the Sampran Model, explained that Bliss Festival is designed to allow people to enjoy first-hand experience in organic agriculture and inspire them to change their way of life.
In addition, the foundation has joined with all concerned parties to enhance the Sampran Model so that it continues to promote the Royal sufficiency economy initiative.
The three-day event will consist of 9 key zones. The first has a portrait of Phrabat Somdet Phra Paraminthara Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej to which visitors can pay respect; an exhibition of Royal initiatives; registration for TAT’s guidebook covering the 70 Royal initiative discovery routes and organic riceberry gifts; workshops on organic farming and related activities. Jon Jandai, founder of self-reliance learning and seed preservation centre Pun Pun, Witoon Lianjamroon, director of the BioThai Foundation, and Vitoon Ruenglertpanyakul, founder and director of GreenNet social enterprise, will be on the main stage exchanging ideas and experiences as well as lessons learnt from successful farm models.
The Sampran Model zone offers visitors the chance to learn about various campaigns including the Farm to Firm platform, which bridges farmers and consumers via website and which has been developed by Kasetsart University’s Kamphaeng Saen Campus. Organic vegetables, fruits and herbal products under the Pathom brand will be on sale.
In addition to organic products and food in the Sookjai market zone, visitors can enjoy an array of organic shops run by farmers and entrepreneurs from all over the country.
The Food Truck zone will tempt visitors with a variety of delectable local dishes made from organic ingredients.
Somchai Chompoonoi, Executive Director, Central, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said that the TAT would take this opportunity to introduce agro-tourism locations in Nakhon Pathom and also distribute more than 20,000 guides to the 70 Royal Initiative Discovery routes.
“The TAT has chosen Nakhon Pathom as the first location in the Central region to kick off the campaign. It will encourage target travellers from other regions to gain first-hand experience of this distinctive way of life, obtain knowledge about organic agriculture, and enjoy trips to environmentally-friendly locations,” Somchai said.
The Bliss Festival 2016 is expected to welcome more than 20,000 visitors, generating over Bt270 million in revenue.
In addition to the Bliss Festival, the Bliss Foundation will organise an annual meeting, inviting hotels around the country to exchange ideas and experiences with the organic farmers.
Last year, the foundation successfully initiated the world’s pioneering “Farm to Functions” concept, linking small organic farmers with entrepreneurs.
The foundation, in collaboration with strategic partners: Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), Thai Hotels Association (THA), and Thai Exhibition Association (TEA), signed a memorandum of understanding with nine hotels and convention & exhibition centre operators in Bangkok on a pilot project for the monthly purchase of some 20-tonnes of Jasmine rice directly from Amnajchareon Satchatam Rice’s community enterprise network.
The foundation is moving to expand the Farm to Functions model in other farming areas. The foundation recently reached a business matching deal between 13 operators in Bangkok and Ban Thap Thai Organic Agricultural Cooperative in Surin Province. The operators are to purchase an average of 7 tonnes of Jasmine rice a month.
Arrut added that the model not only connected farmers and operators, but also created a new society based on fair trade through the organic value chain. It was thus beneficial to the economy, society, environment and the health of both farmers and consumers.
In addition to strengthening the network of small organic farmers, it serves as a platform to enhance the MICE industry’s competitiveness and provides assurance to customers with regard to food safety and mitigation of the carbon footprint.
The annual Bliss Festival 2016 “Follow His Majesty’s teaching… Experience Sufficiency Agricultural Model” takes place from 16-18 December 2016 at Sampran Riverside, Nakhon Pathom Province. The fair is open from 09.00 – 17.00 hrs on all three days and admission is free. On Friday 16 December, M.L. Panadda Diskul, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, will preside over the opening ceremony. For more information, please contact 034-322588-93 or visit Facebook/sampranmodel