October 19, 2020 – Mr. Sattha Kochapalayuk, Khon Kaen Vice Governor made an official visit to Ban Saen Tor, Nam Pong District, to conduct the following-up work after the October 16 visit by Mr. Alongkorn Pollabutr, the Advisor to the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Chairman of the Agricultural Technology 4.0 Policy implementation. The official visit of the Minister’s Advisor was to expedite the policy for Thailand to become the world’s hub in protein manufacturing from edible insects, or the World’s Insect Hub. Mr. Sattha Kochapalayuk, Khon Kaen Vice Governor has been acknowledged of the problem and needs of the community’s sufficiency economy enterprises – Ban Saen Tor cricket farming. The village’s 21 cricket farms have been certified under the GAP standard as safe cricket farms, the highest number of such farm in Thailand. These farms also have expertise in farming Maeng Sading as well as crickets. However, their limitation is to progress towards the middle stream in manufacturing crickets. In this regard, they need equipment and tools for cooking crickets, sealing device for packaging, and ovens for roasting eggs. These tools and equipment, when available, will enable them to step forward toward the marketing scale. At present, cricket farmers at Ban Saen Tor have already invested in installing a refrigerating chamber that will collect sufficient crickets to meet consumers’ demand. Up to now, transaction and negotiation has been made with the silk leaf farmers in Lopburi. On October 19, 2020, another transaction was made with Chutikan Farm that also joined the meeting this time.
Mr. Sattha Kochapalayuk, Khon Kaen Vice Governor explained that crickets are one out of the 6 cash animals promoted by Khon Kaen Province. Ban Saen Tor has been selected as the cricket farming model for study visits. Budget will be sought for developing Ban Saen Tor as a cricket product outlet of the province. The village is now one of the targeted villages under the Northeast Cricket Farmers Project that aims at progressing toward safe and standard manufacturing. The project is headed by Assoc. Prof. Rangsan Niamsanit and is under Khon Kaen University’s Strategic Research and Coordination Institute for Northeast Development. The project is granted supporting budget by the Agricultural Section of the Office of Science, Research and Innovation Promotion and the National Research Council to enhance cricket farmers’ capabilities in producing safe and standard crickets. There are also clusters of entrepreneurs who will receive more incomes from cricket farming.