Introducing “Perspectives from the Fields” – stories of SRP farmers

SRP members cultivating change: Farmer stories from the fields.

SRP is excited to introduce our new initiative “Perspectives from the Fields”, where we share stories of SRP rice farmers our members work with. We want to showcase their stories to encourage more actors in the global rice sector to join our mission, motivate more farmers to switch to sustainable rice cultivation, and inspire more consumers to choose sustainable rice.

Starting our Series: Featuring SRP Partner Mars Food & Nutrition and Rice Farmer Jularak

We kick-start our new series with Jularak, a farmer from Thailand who was introduced to sustainable rice practices through the Sustainable Agriculture and Rice Initiative (SARI) program, facilitated by the German development cooperation (GIZ) and funded by Mars Food & Nutrition. Jularak’s journey embodies the transformative power of sustainable agriculture in improving livelihoods and preserving our environment.

Name of farmer: Jularak

Project participated in: Sustainable Agriculture and Rice Initiative (SARI)

Country: Thailand
Story submitted by: Mars Food & Nutrition

Meet rice farmer Jularak: reviving rural farming through sustainable rice production

At Mars Food & Nutrition, we believe healthy food shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet and should be sustainably produced for future generations. We are proud to share the inspiring story of Jularak, a rural Thai farmer and mother of two who has been dedicated to reviving rice farming by embracing sustainability principles. By turning the tide of economic outmigration and embracing the potential of sustainable farming, Jularak is breathing new life into her village and offering hope for future generations.

At the age of 17, Jularak left her village in pursuit of a better life in the city. However, the allure of urban promise soon faded, and Jularak found herself yearning for simplicity and connection to the land she left behind.

Recognizing the resilience and debt-free lifestyle of her mother, a rice farmer, Jularak made the life-changing decision to return to her village. With the support of her parents, she embarked on a journey to rediscover the art of rice farming, learning valuable lessons passed down through generations and learning new practices for the future.

Rice farmer in her rice field.
SRP rice farmer Khun Juralak in her rice field. (Photo credit: Mars Food & Nutrition)

In 2019, she was introduced to the Sustainable Agriculture and Rice Initiative (SARI) program, facilitated by the German development cooperation (GIZ) and funded by Mars Food & Nutrition. Through SARI, Jularak gained access to resources and training in sustainable rice production techniques aligned with the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standard. The program emphasizes climate-smart practices that enhance efficiency in fertilizer and water usage, discourage straw burning, promote organic fertilizer utilization, and encourage farmers to maintain a comprehensive record book to track expenses and income.

The implementation of these practices brought about visible results. Prior to joining the program, Jularak’s land yielded approximately 1500 kilograms of rice per hectare. Today, just a few years later, she achieves an impressive 3600 kilograms per hectare. Her high-quality rice, nurtured through sustainable farming practices, proudly makes its way into Ben’s Original® products across the globe.

According to the SARI project results (2023), increased yields and income is not the only result. In general, the 1200 farmers who participate in the project in the province have been able to achieve 56% water reduction in rice farming. Moreover, more than 70% of the rice farmers in the program are women, highlighting the significant impact of empowering women in sustainable agriculture.

Inspired by the potential of sustainable agriculture to not only provide a livelihood with greater income but also preserve the environment and support her community, Jularak is determined to continuously explore the possibility of reviving rural farming in her village. By sharing her knowledge and experiences, she is actively empowering fellow female farmers to embrace sustainable practices and pursue careers in agriculture. “My dream is to inspire more women to follow in my footsteps and contribute to the agriculture sector. With the income from increasing yields, I can support my children with better health and education. I encourage them to also embrace rice farming and secure a prosperous future for themselves,” says Jularak. The dedication and determination of women like Jularak who are leading the way in sustainable agriculture remind us of the transformative power of women in building a better world for generations to come.

If you are an SRP member and would like to submit a farmer experience for our “Perspectives from the Fields” series, please contact Roong Tepkaew at We share these stories on our website, in our newsletter and on our social media channels.

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