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New Rice Festival 2024

24 December 2023

The New Rice Festival is a local tradition that happens every rice harvest.  This is because every new harvest season is a cause for happiness. regardless of the success or failure of the past production cycles, when it comes to the harvest season, it is a time of joy and celebration – the "new rice" season is here.

This tradition is marked and is celebrated at the annual New Rice Festival event. Organised by the Sustainable Agriculture Foundation Thailand (SATHAI), the event has been running for 5 years now at varying locations around the country.

The latest iteration – The New Rice Festival 2024 was organised on the 23rd of December 2023 at the office of the SATHAI in Nonthaburi, just outside of Bangkok.  The event was a collaborative effort between SATHAI and WWF Thailand through the IKI SCP Phase II Project, as well as other network members. Farmer groups and networks were also involved.

The festival emphasizes the importance of small-scale producers who continue to maintain chemical-free production methods and the cultural dimensions of detailed and diverse production in each ecological region.
Events like the New Rice Festivals are important because they allow for the stories of farmers ot be told. The struggles, the challenges, success are all communicated and showcased at the event. Consumers and producers had the opportunity to come face to face and exchange.

Beyond stories from farmers, there are also many inspiring tales to be told from a sustainable focused event like the New Rice Festival 2024. Leading up to the event several blogs were produced telling the stories of champions in the sustainability and agriculture fields. They can be read here.

At the market places in the New Rice Festival 2024, farmers representing farmer networks from all around the country were found selling various kinds of rice, other organic foods, and sustainably produced processed products.  Many of the rice found are mor uncommon species many everyday customer may have never heard of before, giving them an excellent opportunity to purchase and try new kinds of rice. This would hep preserve Thai rice varieties of which there are estimated to be over 20,000 many of which with its own unique characteristics. As the harvest season just past, all the rice sold at the market were ‘new rice’ making them he most fresh and delicious rice consumes can buy.

Apart from the market area and the opportunity to meet producers, there were also activities and workshops which included:
  • A talk by farmers on sustainable rice cultivation and sustainable living 
  • A food making workshop from organic local produce, including making sushi with a Thai twist through using local ingredients 
  • A pizza making workshop using rice flour
  • A vegetable growing workshop, starting from scratch.

Media Contact
Abhinand Aryapratheep