Project Activity

BIOTEC and ASEAN Cassava Centre Celebrate Success of Train-the-Trainer Project for Sustainable Cassava Value Chain

On May 30, 2024, the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC-NSTDA) and the ASEAN Cassava Centre held a closing ceremony and press conference for the "Train-the-Trainer Program under Lancang-Mekong Cooperation to Enhance Production Capacity and People’s Livelihood by Improving the Value Chain for Cassava Cultivation and Application: Clean Cassava Chips, Native Starch, Modified Starch, Ethanol, and Biogas Production (TTC)." The event took place at the Press Conference Room, Phra Jomklao Building, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), Bangkok, Thailand.
The project was generously funded by the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Special Fund (Mekong Institute) in 2020 and spanned 3.5 years. The TTC project's objectives were to strengthen and sustain the development of the cassava industry in China and the CLVT region through knowledge and technology transfer, research, and industrial cooperation. The project also aimed to train trainers from Thailand to neighboring countries in all aspects of the cassava value chain, including cultivation, processing, and waste treatment. The TTC project has successfully established the ASEAN Cassava Centre, developed a new curriculum, manuals, and toolkits for four training modules covering cassava cultivation, starch processing, waste management, and ethanol production, and trained 154 personnel from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand, and China.
The event was officiated by Dr. Junpen Meka-apiruk, MHESI Inspector General. Honorable guests included Mr. Ma Minggeng, Counsellor for Science and Technology at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Thailand, Mr. Vilavath Thephithack, Educational-Cultural Counsellor at the Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Bangkok, Prof. Dr. Sukit Limpijumnong, President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA - สวทช.), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suvit Saetia, President of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Prof. Dr. Morakot Tanticharoen, Senior Advisor to the President of KMUTT and Chairperson of the TTC Project Advisory Board, Asst. Prof. Dr. Chaowaree Adthalungrong, Executive Director of BIOTEC, and representatives from embassies, partner agencies, government agencies, the private sector, and associations in the cassava value chain. The event was also attended by TTC project country coordinators from Cambodia (Dr. Borarin Buntong), Lao PDR (Dr. Davone Keomany), Vietnam (Ms. Nguyen Thu Van), Thailand (Mr. Attapol Lerdvanichdilok), and China (Dr. Su Jian).
Dr. Warinthorn Songkasiri, the TTC project's principal investigator and Director of the Biochemical Engineering and Systems Biology Research Group (BIOTEC), shared with the press, “Cassava is a vital economic crop in this region. In 2023, Thailand was the world’s largest exporter of cassava products, accounting for over 70% of the global market. When combined with our neighboring GMS countries, this figure rises to 95%. The TTC project was initiated to train trainers across the entire cassava value chain, involving farmers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other personnel in the GMS. The BIOTEC research team, with over 20 years of accumulated knowledge and experience, is ready to transfer technology and expertise to the cassava industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and China.”
Towards the end of the event, Dr. Warinthorn underscored the Centre’s ongoing commitment to the sustainable development of the cassava value chain in the ASEAN region. Although the TTC project has concluded, the Centre will continue its efforts, staying true to its vision of supporting cassava industry advancements across the region.