On January 25, 2019 – Faculty of Agriculture and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives organized opening ceremony of Isan Agricultural Festival 2019 at Agricultural Technology Park, Khon Kaen University. Mr. Luck Wajananawat, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives presided over. Governor of Khon Kaen; Vice Governor; Mr. Liao Junyun, Consul-General of China in Khon Kaen; Mr. Kampai Pantong, acting for Consul-General of Laos in Khon Kaen; Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tuan, Consul of Vietnam in Khon Kaen; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Monchai Duangjinda, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture; and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kriengkrai Kitcharoen, Vice President for Arts, Culture, and Community Relations, remarked report speech. KKU administrators, heads of governmental offices, governmental officials, farmer, merchants, people, and mass media attended the festival at Agricultural Technology Park.
The motto of Isan Agriculture Festival 2019 is “innovation of Isan and integration of wisdom for sustainable development.” The festival is held from January 25 – February 3, 2019 at Agricultural Technology Park.
Dr. Somsak Jangtrakul, Khon Kaen Governor, said although agricultural development in the past led to much advanced agriculture, most of Isan people had low income, were less competitive in the market, and did not have a chance to improve their professions for well-being. Therefore, the objectives of Isan Agriculture Festival were to share knowledge, solve problems, and completely transfer innovation as well as technology from all fields of knowledge to agricultural field. Any interested farmer or people could apply knowledge and modern technology with different conditions and problems. This could lead to sustainability and wealth, consistent with intention of government and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Moreover, the festival responded to the government’s policy of “marketing leading production” that made students and young generation see the importance of farmers and agriculture. They could be inspiration for students when they decided to choose their own career path. In a big picture, it was clear that the festival can solve problems of farmers in different dimensions, and the solution directly had positive effects on well-being of families in Isan.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kriengkrai Kitcharoen said Isan Agricultural Festival had been held every year for 29 years. According to the report of last year, there were over 500,000 visitors, and the festival made a profit more than 600 million baht – it had great effects on economy and tourism in Khon Kaen. The objectives of the festival in this year were 1) to organize an exhibition of the king’s philosophy for sustainability of agricultural development in remembrance of the late King Rama IX and continue his determination in the reign of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and royal family; 2) to share knowledge from academic agricultural work of public and private sectors; 3) to support and promote community’s products and OTOP products; and 4) to respond consistently to the government’s policy which was “marketing leading production” in the age of Thailand 4.0, relating to zoning by Agri-Map, standard of organic products, new theories for agriculture, integrated farming, and complete plan of rice production.
Mr. Luck Wajananawat stated Isan Agricultural Festival 2019 was consistent to policy of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in the form of agricultural development improving farmers’ life quality. In addition, the king’s philosophy had been adopted and presented in the form of exhibition that provide knowledge which could improve farmers’ lives – how to reduce cost of production and how to expand competitive edge for agricultural products. All of these had been set to comply with the vision of Thailand – sustainability and wealth – and to lead Thai agriculture to the age of “Thailand 4.0” in which agriculture became a main force propelling the country. He believed that knowledge, innovation, technology, and wisdom exhibited at the festival could provide greatest benefits to Thai farmers who could be independent and make the nation stronger.
Isan Agricultural Festival is held from January 25 – February 3, 2019 at Agricultural Technology Park, Khon Kaen University. There is variety of activities, such as 1) exhibition of the king’s philosophy for sustainability of agricultural development in remembrance of the late King Rama IX and continue his determination in the reign of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and royal family; 2) exchange of knowledge from agricultural research, conducted by public and private sectors, including NGOs and farmers; 3) transferring agricultural and agricultural technology knowledge to community; 4) workshop on farming for farmers and interested people; and 5) selling OTOP products from every region in Thailand.