Pathum Thani to grow into ‘Market City of Thailand’


Pathum Thani, known for its diverse range of markets, plans to revamp the sprawling facilities under an initiative that will see the area rebadged as the “Market City of Thailand” with international recognition.

Under the initiative, launched as Pathum Thani Market 4.0, all the big traditional markets in the province will be modernised, becoming more hygienic and boasting store-like decorations.
Staff will be trained in improved service and English-speaking capability. Each retail market would have its own brand and logo, as well as a website, which should be developed in at least two languages.
For the wholesale market, traders should have their own applications to help them sell their products and provide information. They should develop a logistics system and provide efficient delivery services.
The province will also cooperate with modern trade stores and shopping malls to promote tourism destinations in Pathum Thani as well as the community products available.
Pathra Mora, senior manager for public relations at Rangsit Plaza, the operator of the Future Park shopping complex that is participating in the initiative, said Future Park will this year would focus on work and income creation in the community under its corporate social responsibility programme.
More broadly, the initiative is in line with Pathum Thani’s Pracha Rath project that aims to develop individual entrepreneurs in the province.
“Under Pathum Thani Market 4.0, the province wants to develop its markets for sustainable growth and to position itself as the Market City of Thailand and, in turn, be recognised by the world market,” Pathra said.
She said the markets are divided into four categories determined by size: the S Market for Pracha Rath markets; the M Market for general retail markets; XL Market for wholesale markets; and XXL Market for all modern-trade markets.
Pathra said that Future Park has been included in the XXL Market category.
“We view Future Park as a place to connect traditional entrepreneurs, especially farmers, with end-consumers. The move will help generate income for the community,” she said.
From 2014, Future Park began allocating space, for free, at its shopping mall for individual entrepreneurs and farmers to sell their agricultural and community products.
The project, called Community Market on the Shopping Mall, has been conceived as a win-win strategy as it is not only generates retail channel and income to individual entrepreneurs and farmers, but also brings traffic at the shopping mall - especially in the lower traffic areas.
Between Mondays and Thursdays, there will be a Pracha Rath Market of Prathum Thani for the sale of agricultural and community products produced in the province. 
Meanwhile, the area will turn into a market for green-themed products on Fridays and Sundays. This market will be run by the Green World Education Foundation in Pathum Thani, the Agricultural Service - Saraburi, and the Chaipattana Foundation.

Green foundations
Chonthicha Srisuk, president and founder of the Green World Education Foundation, said that the GreenWEF is a non-profit organisation established in 2012 with the objective of promoting education and creating a curriculum for integrated organic farming. The foundation is also involved in the development of indigenous medicinal agriculture and encourages better management of the environment, as well as improving public health.
“We also supports youth, women and disadvantaged groups in the community by involving them in these practices and helping them to earn income and to pursue careers in these fields of study,” Chonthicha said, adding that GreenWEF has more than 200 members, including farmers in Surin, Buriram, Nakhon Ratchasima, Pathum Thani, and Bangkok.
She cites the foundation’s consultancy services to farmers in Surin that help them give up the use of chemicals in their farming process, enabling them to switch to environment friendly practices.
“We need to have good food to be healthy. Some foods, however, need a management process that is environmental friendly from upstream to downstream,” said Chonthicha.
She said that farmers need to improve themselves to become smart farmers and become involve in the whole value chain from planting to processing and distributing to the retailing of their agricultural products. The end result is to gain good margins and provide reasonable prices to the end-consumers.
Buakham Poowa, owner of Poowa organic farm for fruits and vegetables in Pathum Thani, said that by having a retail outlet at Future Park, the farm is able to create more business value from good customer connections. 
“With our fresh organic vegetable and fruits, shoppers who visit our booth will always ask for our farm location,” Buakham said. “They tend to visit our organic farm and buy products there. This prompted us to come up with the idea of developing eco-tourism and a learning centre for organic farming at our farm in the near future,” she said.