Representatives of Mekong Institute (MI), Excellent Center of Waste Utilization and Management (ECoWaste), National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) oversaw the formal appointment of advisory board and steering committee members of the “Capacity Building on Circular Economy, Resource and Energy Efficiency for Productivity and Sustainability of Cassava Chain to High Value Product: Cassava Root, Native Starch, and Biogas in Mekong Countries” project on December 9, 2020 at the BIOTEC Office, Thailand Science Park in Pathum Thani, Thailand.
“Cassava is among the major economic crops in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (CLMTV). This project will help Mekong countries increase their cassava production and processing yields for the benefit of stakeholders in the cassava industry,” Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, MI Director of Trade and Investment Facilitation, said.
Implemented by ECoWaste and BIOTEC, Thailand NSTDA with support from the Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF), the project was designed to promote breeding technology and precision farming, foster zero waste approaches, and institutionalize product diversification to boost the competitiveness of the cassava industry in CLMTV.
Professor Morakot Tanticharoen, Chairman of Project Advisory Committee extended his appreciation to MI for their support. He also underscored the critical role of the newly-appointed members in seeing through the successful implementation of the project. “We will need your expert recommendations so we can strategically move forward and meet all the deliverables by 2022,” he said.
In addition, Dr. Warinthorn Songkasiri, Director of Biochemical Engineering and Systems Biology Research Group, explained that the project was also developed to widen value chain networks and partnerships, as well as to introduce technologically advanced cultivation methods to increase cassava varieties in CLMTV.
MI attended the meeting as part of its responsibility as MKCF fund manager and coordinator. High-level officials and specialists from Thai Biogas Trade Association, Foundation of Thai Tapioca Development Institute, Mahidol Wittayanusorn School; Chulalongkorn University; Chiang Mai University; and Thai Tapioca Starch Association also participated to pool technical inputs into the project design and implementation.