The move aims to increase the efficiency of the low-profile 59-year-old organisation, of which roles and mission are not very well-known to the public, and to cope with changes once the Asean Economic Community is formed in 2015, said director-general Titus Sukasard.
"We will turn 60 next year but when we ask people about us, most of them will shake their heads and say they have no idea what we've done. That's why we have to reform ourselves in every area."
The first thing the MO has done since last year is rebranding itself and expanding its reach.
Mr Titus, who took the helm 20 months ago, said he has tried to gradually change the mindset of staff and encourage them to improve efficiency amid the changing business environment.
Most of the MO's revenue of 2 billion baht a year comes from supplying rice and food to more than 80 prisons nationwide.
Its food supply monopoly has been challenged recently when some prisons open bids to other suppliers. The MO has lost some locations to other food suppliers so far.
"This is a wake-up call for us. We have to do something otherwise we will lose more. So, we decided to find new markets," Mr Titus said.
The MO is now approaching public hospitals, public schools and army bases as well as provincial and tambon administrations to supply them food. Some deals are expected to be concluded by the end of this year or early next year.
Moreover, Mr Titus wants to improve the enterprise's core work and responsibilities.
The MO manages five markets. Besides Pak Khlong Talat and the agriculture product market in Taling Chan area in Bangkok, it runs three markets in Lamphun, Lop Buri and Chachoengsao provinces.
But these markets have been less popular for years as Thai people prefer to go shopping at modern-trade stores like supermarkets and hypermarkets, not wet markets like in the past.
Therefore, the MO came up with a 400-million-baht plan to reinvent Pak Khlong Talat to become a modern flower market and a tourist attraction.
It awarded a build-operate-and-transfer contract to Pak Khlong Talat 2009 Co to handle the renovation and manage Pak Khlong Talat for 30 years. Rents will then be raised to 2,000 baht per month for a 2x2 metre stall. The company has already talked to vendors about the rent increase and most have no objection. Currently, some vendors sub-lease the stalls and pay rents as high as 8,000 baht a month while the monthly rent the MO collects is only 600 baht.
Under the new system, they will contact directly with the market operator. The new look of Pak Khlong Talat will be seen before Feb 14 next year, Mr Titus said, referring to one of the most busiest days of the market when fresh roses are bought for loved ones.
The market will have a 300-metre walkway facing the Chao Phraya River as a new tourist attraction, similar to Asiatique the Riverfront on Charoenkrung Road.
After the facelift, the MO will have similar plans for the other four markets.
"We hope our markets particularly the one in Chachoengsao will help boost border trade when the AEC is formed. This market is designed to be the central market for seafood in the Eastern Seaboard," he said.
Apart from the market renovation, the MO is working on the Otop Smile shop project to develop a new distribution channel for One Tambon One Product goods.
Ten shops will be opened under the pilot project and the target is 500 shops in the next three years.
The first Otop Smile shop has already been opened in Bang Sai district, Ayutthaya. In Bangkok, three Otop distribution places will be set up in areas under the expressway in Silom, Ploenchit and Ram Intra areas. They will be finished by next year.