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AIT mobilizes its expertise in organic farming and certification in Thailand

22 Feb 2002
Pakkamol Dherapongsthada

AIT mobilizes its expertise in organic farming and certification in Thailand

Increasing consumer awareness of food supply and health has resulted in a demand for crop production systems that are pesticide-free or use reduced amounts of synthetic pesticides, raising the need for standardized certification of organic farming.

The criteria for certification should cover soil and land preparation, planting, harvesting, storage systems, packaging, transport and other essential aspects during and after the production process. While certification systems for organically produced food are already widely practiced in the EU, these are lacking in most Asian countries.

The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) will hold a half-day workshop on organic farming and certification on Thursday, 28 February 2002, starting at 9:00 a.m.at the AIT Conference Center.

In organic farming systems, soil health and fertility are maintained and improved through crop-residue management, application of manure and compost, and safe food processing, storage and transportation measures.

The workshop will document the current status of organic faming in Thailand, including production, processing and certification, identify currently available expertise, organize an organic farming network, including experts from all related institutions, identify knowledge gaps and research needs and define AIT’s role in manpower training and technology development.

Leading the list of speakers is Mr. Pansak Vinyaratn, Chief Policy Adviser to Thai Prime Minister Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, who will speak on ‘Opportunities for Thailand in Organic Farming.’ Joining him are leading organic farming experts Mr. Vitoon Reunglertpunyakul, President of Green Net Cooperatives, who will speak on ‘NGO’s and Organic Farming and Certification in Thailand’ and Mr. Suwath Sapyaprapa, Managing Director of Suwath Green Products Co. Ltd who will speak on ‘Experience with Organic Farming in Thailand.’ AIT faculty members, Prof. Athapol Noomhorm and Dr. S.Ranamukhaarachchi will speak on ‘AIT’s relevant expertise and potential collaboration with Thai universities and institutions’.

Prof. Gajendra Singh, Dean of the AIT Extension, will chair the workshop’s panel discussion.

Participants will include representatives from the Thai Government, NGOs, international organizations, business and industry, and universities.

For further information, please contact Khun Thitaporn at tel: 0-25246331. Fax: 0-25246332. Email: titaporn@ait.ac.th