June 21, 2022 – The Sub-Committee for the Root Economy Strengthening Program made a visit to the Integrated Tambon Socio-Economic Upgrading Project (U2T). The delegation was led by Prof. Sanit Aksornkaew, Ph.D., Chairman of the National Social and Economic Development. Among Khon Kaen University administrators who welcomed the delegates were Prof. Thidarat Boonmars, Ph.D., Vice President for innovation and Enterprise; Prof. Yupa Hanbunsong, Ph.D., from the Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture; and Miss Waraporn Phewpanngam from Suda Endofarm Co.Ltd. There were over 50 committee members, officers and personnel attended the event, which took place at Sarasin Room, 2nd Floor, Sirikunakorn Building. The delegation and the welcoming executives from KKU then visited the Industrial Insect Farming Research at the Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University.
Prof. Sanit Aksornkaew, Ph.D., Chairman of the National Social and Economic Development revealed that he appreciated the U2T Project and this visit proved that the Project had progressed a great deal. There are plans that have been followed effectively. Academic knowledge has been transferred and applied, and at the same time people have been encouraged to develop their own subsistent land. The Project has also assisted communities to develop their products. On the part of the National Social and Economic Development Council, there are personnel and expertise ready to support the project. The Council is prepared to implement the project with communities in order to strengthen the foundation economy of the country.
Prof. Thidarat Boonmars, Ph.D., Vice President for innovation and Enterprise said that the U2T Project on the part of Khon Kaen University covers 135 sub-districts in 11 provinces, namely, Nongkhai, Nong Bualamphu, Udonthani, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Chaiyaphum, Loei, Roi-et, Kalasin, Surin and Srisaket. There are 2,700 officers working for the project divided into 3 groups: 675 general citizens, 1,080 newly university graduates, and 675 university students. Of all these officers, 2,430 are working at the sites and 258 are working on official electronics information. There are 4 types of activities in progress: development of honest livelihood and building new occupations, academic services in communities, building and developing creative economy, and promotion of environment and circular economy. From continuing project implementation, the following outcomes can be concluded: the U2T Project has developed greater sustainability in the sub-districts, from 11.85% to 70.37% and has reduced the 45.19% of sub-districts that had not been able to progress to only 2.22%. The University is grateful to all of the committee members that have worked hard. The expectation of the U2T Project is that the targeted sub-districts can upgrade their socio-economic status, which will ultimately lead to strong foundation economy of the country.
Prof. Yupa Hanbunsong, Ph.D., from the Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture related about the strength of the Project, which is introducing the communities about the Black Soldier Fly, or the insect that has nutritional benefits owing to its high protein when used as food. European people eat the flies and at the same time they use them to help decompose organic wastes from animals and crops. The production of protein flies at KKU involves breeding, producing the worms from different organic wastes as raw materials for animal feeds. The University is conducting research and technology transfer to farmers and industrial start-ups, hiring students and graduates from universities, 28 people (1-year incubation), training 334 farmers to produce the flies by following the technologies transferred from the University, which involve a number of steps. There are now 3 learning centers for black soldier flies at Hi Loeng in Srisaket, Siwapon BSF Farm in Khon Kaen, and Suanjit Popiang Farm in Khon Kaen.
News / Photos: Communications Division