Mr. Pansak Vinyaratn, (fourth from left) is seen flanked by AIT President, Prof. Jean-Louis Armand, and Prof. Mario T. Tabucanon, Provost. Also in the photo are from left: Prof. Chongrak Polprasert, Dean of School of Environment, Resources and Development; Mr. Vitoon Reunglertpunyakul, President of Green Net Cooperatives; Mr. Suwath Sapyaprapa, Managing Director of Suwath Green Products Co. Ltd.; and Prof. Gajendra Singh, Dean of AIT Extension who chaired the workshop’s panel discussion.
Workshop on organic farming and
certification in Thailand
The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) recently organized a half-day workshop on organic farming and certification at the AIT Conference Center. The workshop was organized as a forum for participants to be informed by representatives from the Royal Thai Government, governmental agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, farmers organizations, the private sector, Thai universities, expert institutes and other stakeholders, of their view on the priorities to promote organic farming. The workshop documented the current status of organic farming in Thailand, including production, processing and certification. Efforts will continue to identify available expertise from all related institutions; organize an organic farming network; identify knowledge gaps and research needs; and, define AIT’s role in manpower training and technology development.
Mr. Pansak Vinyaratn, Chief Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, was one of the keynote speakers who spoke on ‘Opportunities for Thailand in Organic Farming’. He gave an overview of global organic food sale, organic growth market, organic food in the US, Asia, and China, organic movement, organic farm land, and Thai Government policies and action. Mr. Pansak welcomed the initiatives at AIT on organic farming and proposed that AIT take a prominent role in organic farming human resource development, research and support to both the Royal Thai Government and the private sector. Joining him were leading organic farming experts Mr. Vitoon Reunglert punyakul, President of Green Net Cooperatives, who spoke on NGO’s and Organic Farming and Certification in Thailand; and Mr. Suwath Sapyaprapa, Managing Director of Suwath Green Products Co. Ltd. who spoke on ‘Experience with Organic Farming in Thailand.’ AIT faculty members, Prof. Athapol Noomhorm and Dr. S. Ranamukhaarachchi spoke on AIT’s relevant expertise and potential collaboration with Thai universities and institutions.
In his welcome speech, Prof. Jean-Louis Armand, President of AIT stressed that as a regional multicultural institution of higher learning, AIT’s renewed mission is to develop highly qualified and committed professionals who will play a leading role in the sustainable development of the region and its integration into the global economy. President Armand made specific reference to AIT’s long-standing cooperation with the Royal Thai Government in the fields of human and institutional development. The Institute has entered into numerous programs of cooperation with various universities, institutions and governmental agencies in Thailand. To date AIT has graduated 11,260 students from all over Asia, with the largest number of graduates 2,899 from Thailand, many of whom occupy positions of responsibility in government, industry and academe.
President Armand referred to the workshop as an excellent example of AIT’s renewed strategy of collaborative partnership and in contributing jointly with its partners to the much-needed human resource skills in this important and challenging field.