BIOTEC has established a Rural Development Technology Service Unit to perform technology assimilation and technology transfer to rural communities in Thailand. The Unit works closely with local communities to undertake technology transfer, demonstration and assimilation, as well as human resource development to improve the standard of living and household earnings for villagers. Following are topics of current focus:
Part of our community development’s mission is to promote science education among young generation. “Science in Rural Schools” (SiRS)” is our program dedicated to youth in the rural areas. SiRS aims to improve the quality of life and enhance learning capability in science for rural students and currently covers 7 provinces: Maehongson, Nan, Chiang Mai, Loei, Sakon Nakorn, Pang-Nga and Narathiwat. SIRs produces educational media such as books, a website and CD-ROM, as well as organizing science camps to stimulate science learning.
Examples of projects:
Introduction of New Rice Varieties and Training on Rice Seed Production. BIOTEC in collaboration with several partners utilized a marker-assisted selection technique to improve Thai rice varieties to overcome biotic and abiotic stresses. Two varieties have been widely distributed to farmers: Homcholasit (flash-flooding tolerant rice) and Thanyasirin (blast-resistant glutinous rice). Seed and seed production technology has been transferred to suitable sites throughout Thailand such as Ayuthaya (Homcholasit), Nan (Thanyasirin) and Lampang (Thanyasirin).
Technology Service for Community Enterprises. BIOTEC, in collaboration with alliances and local organizations, facilitated community enterprises and provided technical assistance through capacity building in agriculture, food processing, business planning and marketing development. As a result of the training, some communities were able to obtain certification of safe food from FDA on their products or develop new products.
Capacity Building for Organic Rice Farmers. Launched in 2014 by Ministry of Science and Technology, this project aims to boost organic rice production through science and technology and BIOTEC was tasked to lead the project implementation by working with farmers, sourcing appropriate technologies and facilitate the technology adoptions. Yasothon province was selected as the project site which could later be served as a model for other provinces. Seven farmer groups, with the total membership of 4,565 farmers, participate in this project. Training modules include the training on the use of software application to facilitate the field inspection, farm management and organic fertilizer production.
Capacity Building in GMP/GHP for the Royal Project. In 2013, BIOTEC, in collaboration with King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, launched a project to build up capacity in Good Hygiene Practice (GHP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) among staff working in factories under the Royal Project to ensure the safety of produce and products, as well as the 5S Process to ensure a safer, more efficient, and more productive operation. The activities include facility inspection, training sessions and regular follow-up.
Promotion of Science Education in Monastic Schools. BIOTEC implements activities to enhance science education in 52 monastic schools situated in Nan, Phrae, Phayao and Chiang Rai provinces. The activities include workshops for science teachers to improve teaching skills and organizing science contests and science camps. These monastic schools are also integrated into an eDLTV project, a NSTDA distance-learning project that provides a platform and creates learning materials in digital format freely accessible through internet and satellite television, made available at learning centers in remote areas.