Fellow Since 1993
Assembly of the Poor
This profile was prepared when Bamrung Kayotha was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1993.
The New Idea
Bamrung Khayotha has brought together groups of rural producers–initially pig farmers–and is teaching them to understand and confront the economic issues of their business in particular and market trends more generally. He helps the groups learn how to solve problems such as the falling prices of their primary products, and then guides them in development initiatives in the production, processing and marketing of their commodities.Bamrung envisions that these strong community groups eventually will be able to address additional development issues in their area and participate in policy-making processes that concern them. In fact, the associations are already beginning to confront the major food-processing and marketing companies by helping to change some of the policies that have helped the larger companies succeed in the marketplace at the expense of the producers.Underlying his program is Bamrung's commitment to pushing further forward the frontier of Thailand's democracy by giving his neighbors and fellow farmers the confidence, skills and organization that they need to be able to determine their own futures.