The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation gave the nod to the Integrated Economic and Social Enhancement Project of University to Tambon for the Center for Academic Service and affiliated schools, Walailak University, to implement the so-called University to Tambon scheme, aimed at economic and social improvement. There are participating universities across the country as system integrators to increase the rate of employment for the public, new graduates and university students.
The activities under the project focus on career improvement and building a new career (OTOP product and career enhancement), the development of “creative economy” (touristic upgrading), using the body of knowledge in community service (health care and various technologies) as well as circular economic reclamation with 36 participating sub-districts which consist of 4 provinces, e.g., Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Chumphon and Krabi.
During the previous 4 months, the working group and staff of the Center for Academic Service, Walailak University had had an initial endeavor to study and understand the problems, visited the sub-districts in order to become acquainted with the communities, community organizations and analyzed the situations in each region. It had led to a model for community development and implementation plan. Currently, it is in the process of implementation and continuous improvement of activities in accordance with the framework of the Integrated Economic and Social Enhancement Project of University to Tambon.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat, there was a project called “Career Enhancement and Building New Career Project”, aimed at the improvement of product on the identity of community focusing on product, supply chain and value chain development to be of high quality and up to standard satisfying the demand of the market toward the goal of enhancing the sub-district level increasing income for the communities.
Furthermore, the purposes of the project conformed to “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) in SDG1, SDG8 and SDG17 which were “No Poverty”, “Decent Work and Economic Growth” increasing the rate of employment and “Partnerships for The Goals creating collaboration networks with the communities and other organizations respectively.
The project is the collaboration between the staff of teachers from Walailak University, the target population and the affiliated agencies which comes to grips with the low-price raw material problem, the extension of shelf life and the agriculture good enhancement.
At the present, it is in the process of producing prototype products and the physical and nutritional analysis with the body of knowledge along with technological innovations, e.g., baking and drying signifying a community way and notable raw materials in each sub-district used for creating the products and developing a new merchandise.
Besides, there is the value-added creation with the application of branding, which means the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. The products under the University to Tambon project of Walailak University are as follows:
Processed Seafood Products
The local raw materials, such as crab, shrimp, fish and squid, will be processed as various products, e.g., snack, beverage and seasonings. In the case of Nasaton sub-district, Huasai district, it uses those raw materials processed as herbal croaker fish chips, crispy coconut crepe with smoked shrimp, and rice seasoning with dried shrimp. Meanwhile, Kohpet sub-district makes fish floss, chili paste fish floss, chili paste and dried shredded fish and spicy crispy shrimp seasoned and, Thapaya sub-district produces chili paste and crispy fried shrimp, curry chili paste and crispy fried shrimp, crispy shrimp chins with chili paste, chili paste with fried fish bar and chili paste with crispy crab stick. The project has developed many procedures to treat and process food, whether to enhance its flavor or color or to standardize and preserve it.