May 27, 2022 – Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University; Mr. Khemkhaeng Yutithamdamrong, Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension; Mr. Tanarat Ngamwalairat, Manager of the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative; and Mr. Morakot Pittarat, President of Khon Kaen University Alumni Association; signed an MOU for promoting and developing the agricultural sector. The MOU also involves extension of participation and sustainable agriculture, research work, and technologies for Thai agriculture. A great number of administrators, lecturers, and news correspondents joined as witnesses. The event took place at Sarasin Room, Sirikunakorn Building, Khon Kaen University.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University explained that there are 2 MOUs. The first is for academic, instructional, research and agricultural extension collaboration between 2 organizations, namely, the Department of Agricultural Extension and Khon Kaen University. This is the second MOU that succeeds the first one signed on July 10, 2018. The new MOU is aimed at joint collaboration in development of instruction, research and agricultural extension. The Department of Agricultural Extension that is going to work with KKU, is a big department with the greatest number of officers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative. It is the organization that works closely with farmers, with sub-district agricultural officers, agricultural extension academic officers working in the area and supports farmers or farming entrepreneurs in the communities, which are the foundation economy of the country.
The second MOU is for sustainable and participatory agriculture extension, to be conducted by 4 agencies including the Department of Agricultural Extension, Khon Kaen University, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and Khon Kaen University Alumni Association. This MOU is meant for collaboration to promote sustainable agriculture, build participation from communities in management of sustainable agriculture, upgrading the quality of life related to socio-economic conditions of the communities using sustainable agricultural technologies, promoting environmental conservation and supporting reduction of greenhouse gas as well as technology and innovation transfer.
“The academic collaboration under the 2 MOUs will last for 4 years as of the date they were signed. Collaboration may be extended after the period for utmost benefits to the social and to the farmers in the Northeast. The plans for implementation have already been primarily set, and the selection of the target areas and collaborative plans of each sub-project will be done in due course.”
Mr. Khemkhaeng Yutithamdamrong, Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension added that the academic MOU between KKU and the Department of Agricultural Extension in development of instruction, research and agricultural promotion in fact has been put into practice since 2018. The collaboration will continue, with joint research work in the topics that deal with solution of farming problems, development of personnel and farmers that will go alongside agricultural academic development.
“The collaboration of the 4 organizations is expected to involve participation of the communities in management of sustainable agriculture, upgrading of the quality of life of people in terms of socio-economic conditions of the communities by using sustainable agricultural technology, promoting conservation of the environment, supporting reduction of greenhouse gases and transferring technologies and innovation to the communities. The 4 organizations will cooperate and promote participatory agricultural development in the target areas in order to achieve utmost benefits for farmers.”
The MOUs will be the guidelines for the collaboration of the 4 organizations that will work on problem solving in communities, which will be the center of the developmental work.
After the MOU signing ceremony, the administrators of the 4 organizations made a visit to the past collaborative research work outcomes, including sustainable agriculture under the forest farming of the tree bank at Ban Thalee, Nongrua District, Khon Kaen, which is the project site of BAAC.