WU Sustainable Food Sources for All
Walailak University must always continue to find strategies to be more efficient while maintaining quality in its operations. As for food security on campus, the university realizes that super-healthy foods are essential for students and staff, resulting in academic performance enhancement. The policy on sustainable food consumption and cooking also is the main factor that all food outlets at Walailak University are healthy, affordable, and sustainable.
Thus, in order to achieve that, WU establishes 3 food production centers, responsible for food provision with sustainable processes, technologies, and innovations from the upstream, midstream, and downstream.
1.WU Agricultural Innovative Demonstration and Development Center in Honor of Rama IX
The WU Agricultural Innovative Demonstration and Development Center in Honor of Rama IX is a learning center with an area of 16,000 m2 founded by the School of Agricultural Technology and Food Industry for research conduction, agricultural innovation development, community engagement project provision, food production with sustainability principles, and studying. The center operations adhere to the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy developed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The operations of this center focus on food security creation, distributing self-produced products in Honor of Rama IX under the brand “Kla Dee”. Besides, the WU Agricultural Innovative Demonstration and Development Center organizes activities for student potential development. For example, “Traditional Rice Farming” is a project disseminating knowledge to students on issues, e.g., land preparation, transplanting the paddy seedlings, maintenance of the field and rice sprouts, and harvesting. The cultivation of rice uses the methods of pesticide-free agriculture through using organic fertilizers.
In 2021, the number of customers purchasing the products was 300-400 per month or 5,000 per year. The predominant agricultural activities of the center are duck farming, Hydroponic Vegetable gardening, and melon farming.
Duck farming follows the Principles of Animal Hygiene and Sanitation and utilizes Azolla as food for ducks which contributes to the high quality of eggs and feed cost savings. To date, the center is home to around 150 ducks. The total eggs produced are at an average of 900 eggs per week, selling for 55 baht per 10 eggs.
Hydroponic Vegetable gardening
Hydroponic Vegetable cultivation with 20 growing tables is a project to enhance food safety through problem-solving techniques for chemical contamination of vegetables and fruits and pest control. In addition, the gardening system adopts the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). The vegetables planted by the center are Chinese broccoli, Chinese cabbage, and white cabbage, producing 50-80 kilograms per week and selling for 80-120 baht per kilogram.
Melon cultivation in an 8*30m single tunnel greenhouse is funded by the “Greenhouse Inaugurated” project in collaboration between Israel’s Agency for International Development and the Embassy of Israel to Thailand. The cultivation utilizes Microbial Pesticides to reduce chemical contamination and produces at about 600 kilograms per three-month period
WU Agricultural Innovative Demonstration and Development Center in Honor of Rama IX has activities related to potential student development, such as the “Continuing Traditional Rice Farming Project.” The project allows students to learn from the process of preparing the fields, preparing the seedlings, cultivating the seedling, taking care of the rice plants, and harvesting rice traditionally.
The rice production in the field of the WU Agricultural Innovative Demonstration and Development Center in Honor of Rama IX focuses on non-toxic rice farming by using manure obtained from animal husbandry in the WU Agricultural Innovative Demonstration and Development Center in Honor of Rama IX to replace chemical fertilizers. Moreover, it focuses on rice pest control by biological methods to replace chemical pesticides to obtain quality and safe rice.
In addition, the WU Agricultural Innovative Demonstration and Development Center in Honor of Rama IX also has activities to provide academic services to outsiders, such as teachers and students from various schools in the southern region who are interested in studying, learning, and agricultural practices for sustainability in food safety.
2.WU Smart Farm Center
Walailak University realizes that agricultural development is essential for society because Thailand is one of the agricultural countries. With its far-sighted vision, the university founded the WU Smart Farm Center setting itself in an area of 3,550,400 m2. The mission is to support agriculturists to access facilities and technologies in agriculture which increase agricultural production potential in sustainable ways. The center sets up the agriculture development strategy covering four matters, including: 1) Manufacturing cost reduction 2) The enhancement of production quality and products 3) Disaster risk reduction and agriculture sector interrelated planning Processes 4)Technology transfer on the use of information technology in agricultural practices
The WU Smart Farm Center is a smart farming model exploiting information technology and modern agricultural tools such as drones, covering the upstream, midstream, and downstream for farming management and practices, e.g., soil preparation, sowing, adding manure and fertilizers, and marketing.
The total amount of land for farming is divided into 13 parts for the following functions:
The center has developed both online and offline marketing channels. The main customers are students and food operators. The price of products is cheaper compared to off-campus markets at about 10%. All products are retraceable back to their origin which is safe from medicine and residual substances.
In addition, Walailak University collaborates with local government organizations to jointly drive Thasala district toward a smart city. The WU Smart Farm Center is one of strategies to strengthen the agriculturist capacity of the district through community engagement, training, workshops, and others with free access.
3.Sufficiency Economy Learning Center of the King’s Philosophy, Chumchon Mai School
Walailak University established partnerships with Chumchon Mai School, and government and private sectors to found the Sufficiency Economy Learning Center of the King’s Philosophy taking environmental and social impacts into consideration, with an area of 4,800 m2 at the school as an agricultural learning center for students which adopts Sufficient Economy Philosophy integrated with curriculums.
The center plays a pivotal role in agricultural education, food security, and awareness-raising activities. in addition, the students can provide the knowledge to the general public and their parents.
The operations of the center include:
Moreover, some of those agricultural products produced by the center are purchased by Walailak University to ensure that the university prioritizes local food purchasing. Those products can be seen across the university, such as markets and canteens.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals