CEAS Professors gave invited talks at Small Farm Precision Agriculture Seminar in Bangkok
Co-organized with Kyoto University Research Administration Office, “Kyoto University ASEAN Center Seminar Series” plans to connect international projects and to cultivate a new collaborative platform in the ASEAN region and beyond. On 23rd of May 2018, a group of visitors from The Thailand Research Fund (hereafter TRF) visited Kyoto University and introduced policy plans and projects in the food and agricultural sectors in both countries. This seminar attracted 35 participants from Kyoto University, with a wide range of research background, agriculture, agro-economics, social psychology, regional studies in Southeast Asia and Africa. (https://www.kura.kyoto-u.ac.jp/act/359)
Followed by the fruitful interdisciplinary discussion in May, Prof. Yasuyuki Kono (Vice President for International Strategy, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, CEAS) and Affiliated Associate Professor Kazuo Watanabe (CEAS) were invited to the 2nd Small Farm Precision Agricultural Seminar (SFPA) in Bangkok on 21st August 2018. This seminar was held to bring together growers, policymakers and leading academic scientists to exchange and share their experiences and research results about “empowering small farms with data for human, ecosystems and precision agriculture” in Thailand and neighboring countries. Chaired by Prof. Attachai Jintrawet (TRF-PA Coordinator, Chiang Mai University), case studies were presented in Yunnan Province in China, Don Daeng village in northeast Thailand, Kinki region in Japan, and northern Laos PDR in front of 50 attendees.
VP Kono first introduced an overview of small-scale agriculture in Japan and his fieldwork in Don Daeng village in northeast Thailand. He pointed out that accumulated data since the 1980s showed that during the rapid economic growth of Thailand rice production had been improved with the farmers’ own effort such as little technical improvement in fertilizer, irrigation and agricultural machinery. He pointed out that a lifestyle, population, and family structure of the farmers had been changed concurrently. He observed that the economic growth had greatly influenced on the production and lifestyle of the farmers. He concluded that aging of farmers was getting serious both in Thailand and Japan and suggested that we should work together with small farmers toward a common development goal.
Affiliated Associate Professor Watanabe presented uses of drone to support small farms management in Japan. In addition to aging, some farmers gave up agriculture due to severe damage of wild animals, dear, wild boars and monkeys on mature crops. He cooperated with a local government and collected real-time data from a thermo-camera attached to the drone on air above Inabe City in Mie prefecture, which has a collaborative agreement with CEAS. His comments on the video drew attention that “observation during the night can easily visualize the difference in between temperature of the wild animals and that of ground in question. Here we can see three dears are traveling to eat dinner every day”.
There are many participants who joined both seminars in Kyoto and in Bangkok. On this occasion, Associate Professor Prapaporn Khopaibool (Director of Agriculture division TRF), other TRF members and Chisato Saito (Research Administrator, KURA) promised to collaborate further. Such connection <En> will become vital human links <Wa> to promote joint activities. Kyoto University ASEAN Center and Research Administration Office will continuously support research exchange.