Ban Nong Mang village is situated in Non Klang sub-district, Ubon Ratchathani province. The economy of Ban Nong Mang is predominantly driven by agriculture. Realizing the adverse impact of heavily-used agrochemicals to human health and the environment, in 1997 farmers in Ban Nong Mang formed an organic farmer group in order to promote
organic farming practice in their community. The group sets up a fertilizer fund and makes composts and EM solution for its farming activities. By eliminating the use of agrochemicals and making composts and EM products on-site, farmers can also earn more profit with organic farming practice in addition to health benefit.
In 2006, NSTDA started working with the organic farmer group in Ban Nong Mang as part of the mission of Ministry of Science and Technology to develop science villages by sourcing and supporting proper science, technology and innovation to support the community development. In the case of Ban Nong Mang, NSTDA introduces useful knowledge and innovations that can be applied to agricultural activities and encourages farmers to integrate science into their farming practice. Through the community learning center, farmers have been trained on the farm management (soil, water and fertilizers), the use of biocontrol agents (Beauveria bassiana, nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV), entomogenous nematodes) for pest management, and the cultivation of post-rice crops such as sesame and mung bean. A number of new crop varieties have also been introduced, including KUML5 mung bean (high yield, large bean size), Thanyasirin rice (blast-resistant glutinous rice), and snack-slim tomatoes (sweet cherry tomatoes). In addition, NSTDA also promotes an innovative greenhouse using photoselective plastic film and double roof design. The double roof design structure improves ventilation efficiency; whereas specially-formulated plastic film can diffuse light more effectively and absorb or reflect specific wavelengths of light in order to enhance plant growth. So far, 29 greenhouses of this type have been built in the village.
Further to agricultural technology, NSTDA also helps the community develop new products from local farm produce such as brown rice ice cream in order to earn more income, strengthens community through STEM approach and advocates the exploitation of modern technology in combination with local wisdom.
Over a decade that NSTDA has introduced science, technology and innovation to Ban Nong Mang, positive changes have been made to this community. The greenhouse cultivation has increased household income by 36%, from 290,000 baht/household/year to 397,000 baht/household/year. With proper practice and management, their organic farm produce can meet the standards and enter some high-end supermarket chains. Non Klang Organic Farming Community Enterprise has been formed to manage community businesses. Ban Nong Mang has been recognized as a role model for developing sustainable organic farming community.