Holding a giant three-month-old frog about the size of a bloated football in his hand, Thai farmer Lamai Pangsangsu grabs smiles from the circle of local and Israeli agriculturalists gathering around him.

Pangsangsu, 57, only graduated grade four, but in his northeastern province of Sikhon Nakhon – near the border with Laos – he has become an official “model farmer,” one who receives training in the latest innovations and practices, and then passes on that knowledge to others in his region. He took on this role about nine years ago, acquiring his land and expertise from the adjacent government-administrated Puparn Royal Development Study Center.

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