Yesterday, on May 3rd, 2018, we successfully held a workshop at the M2 de Bangkok hotel on the topic of Drug Eradication in Kachin State through Substitute Production. The workshop was based on the research of Mr. James Lomethong, who is a doctoral candidate at the School of Management, Shinawatra University, under my supervision.
After I provided a basic overview of the research project and its significance, JAmes himself spoke about his experiences. He was followed by Mr. Xuwichai Hiranpruek, who has extensive knowledge of drug eradication in the Meoong Region and has been active in that subject since the 1980s. Subsequently, we heard from Major Aung, who has had experience in fighting drugs for both Myanmar’s army and police. After this, we heard from Mr. Zaw Ban, an entrepreneur (and former MBA student of Shinawatra University) who has begun growing and marketing inca inchi nuts, which are the product James has identified as being a potentially suitable substitute product. There was also a contribution from K Khunsawat (Tony) Somanuksawat, who has a large amount of land cultivating nuts in the Chiang Mai area and is central to the development of the sector. Finally, we heard from K Paisal Sae Lor, from Bangkok Toastmasters, which is an organization with which James has been associated for a number of years.
Major Aung, who has served with Myanmar’s army and police with respect to drug eradication, speaks about his experiences.
Mr. Xuwichai Hiranpruek, who has extensive knowledge and experience of drug eradication and substitute production, shares his understanding.
We focused on the problems of bringing farmers and potential substitute products in contact with markets through connectivity, better infrastructure and market development. As long as it is economically beneficially to grow opium compared to other crops, farmers will continue to do so, no matter how many interventions by the state are made.
In terms of James’ research, we divided the main findings into the following main themes, through content analysis:
- Everyday experiences of drugs
- Personal experiences
- Institutional failures
- The perspective of the authorities
- Gender aspects of drugs production and trade
- The Hmong and Cabbages
- Drugs in Nagaland
Please feel free to contact me by email (email@example.com) for further details.