A Study of Wisdom, and Conservation and Revival of the Way of Life of Pomelo Farmers in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin
The objectives of this research were to study: 1) the wisdom of pomelo farmers in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin, 2) the condition of conservation and the existence of pomelo farmers wisdom in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin, 3) guidelines of self-management using pomelo farmers’ wisdom in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin, and 4) guidelines for the conservation and revival of pomelo farmer’s wisdom in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin. This research comprised qualitative and participatory action research methods. The area of this study was Bangtoei and Songkanong sub-districts in Sampran district of Nakhonpathom. Key informants were divided into three levels: individual level including farmers, elders, farmers’ children; general level comprising people who live in this area; node level, namely, district agents, district agriculturalists, members of Subdistrict Administrative Organization, village headmen, teachers, relatives, and farmer groups; and the network level which included provincial governor, provincial agriculturalists, pomelo merchants, and academics in total 60 people. The tools of this study were focus group discussion, in-depth interviews, SWOT analysis, lessons learned, community of practice and participant observation. The data used a content analysis to organize the data. The results of the research were as follows: 1. regarding the wisdom of pomelo farmers in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin, it was found that the format of the wisdom of pomelo farmers includes, (1.1) values, attitudes, and the belief, that pomelo is the preferable fruit for rites, is plentiful and healthy, and plays a role in Chinese traditions and rituals, (1.2) to earn a reasonable living based on the condition and specific ecology of the area, pomelo gardeners must fully understand the soil conditions, and recognise weather patterns in order to produce good pomelos (1.3) the pomelo is a symbol of unity and in the context of the area and ecology it represents independence and mutual assistance in irrigating, and planting, pomelo seeds, and salvaging gardens when faced with flooding-all farmers must help and depend on each other; 2. As for the condition of conservation and the existence of pomelo farmers wisdom in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin, the principle elements are (2.1) social and cultural capital, including knowledge of intellectual capital of pomelo farmers in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin which is passed on from generation to generation, (2.2) the uniqueness of the ecology, and the sense of community are of special value and importance to pomelo farmers in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin, (2.3) the inherited wisdom of pomelo farmers can co-exist with the the dynamics of globalization to support conservation; 3. With respect to guidelines of self-management using pomelo farmers’ wisdom in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin, there must be a focus on (3.1) learning from practice and adaption because the way of life of pomelo farmers in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin is a unique identity and, (3.2) information and knowledge gained from outside must be adapted and developed for suitability within the community and outside; 4) guidelines for the conservation and revival of pomelo farmer’s wisdom in the Nakhon Chai Si River Basin include (4.1) revival of methods used by ancestors to, accumulate experience such as adapting to different soil conditions, and the conservation of pomelo seeds etc., (4.2) the application should combine old and new knowledge to best suit the context of the area, and (4.3) rebuilding, creating new formats that co-exist with change.
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