WUABS: Supporting Free Access to Safe Agricultural Technology to Promote Sustainable Agriculture
Walailak University, located in the southern region’s largest plantation area, has a clear vision: “To Unfailingly Address Community Needs, and To Strive for International Recognition for Excellence,” with Agricultural Biology Production and Service Center Walailak University (WUABS) to continuously provide access to knowledge, skills and safe agricultural technology to local farmers alongside the university, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, southern region, and now expanding to 77 provinces in Thailand.
From the discovery of Trichoderma (local species) under the name Trichoderma harzianum, NST-009 strain, isolated from the roots of the alsophila podophylla at the Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat Mountains Range, it is highly effective in controlling plant diseases, selected from more than 2,000 species throughout the southern region because it has a mechanism to destroy fungi of plant disease by eating as food. It can also produce many antibiotics, promote plant growth, and induce plants to build immunity. This fungal species controls many plant diseases, such as durian root rot and foot rot, citrus root rot and foot rot, panel dryness, white root disease of rubber trees, damping-off Disease, anthracnose of chili peppers, and important diseases of rice. There is also an outstanding that it can live in soil that accumulates chemicals and high humidity better than other species. Additionally, there are innovative agricultural bioproducts, such as Beauveria sp., WU-002, and Metharhizium sp. Fungi, WU-003, which is highly effective in controlling insect pests.
In 2021, WUABS, the Center for Academic Service, and the Science and Technology Park partnered with the source of investment funds of the Office of Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, the source of investment funds of the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (ORDPB), and the source of investment funds of Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Agricultural Extension Office, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to participate in continuously bringing free innovations in agricultural bioproducts of 3 types to transfer safe agricultural technology with knowledge and practice skills in using biotechnology to more than 500 farmers (Durian, Tabtimsiam Pomelo, Mangosteen, Rice, Vegetables, and Herbs).
In addition, common microorganisms and Trichoderma were analyzed from farmers’ planting soil samples. Also, there were free consulting services for using biochemicals based on the analysis of common microorganisms and Trichoderma from individual farmers’ planting soil samples. As a result, it enabled farmers to learn to use and extend technology to their farmer networks.Currently, more than 2,300 farmers use bioproducts nationwide, covering all 77 provinces in Thailand.
Using innovative bioproducts of agriculture will improve soil quality. Also, it helps to increase crop yields, quality, and quantity. Moreover, the export quantity of products will increase according to the reduction of chemical contamination in agricultural products because plant and pest control biologics are tested and confirmed to be harmless to humans, animals, cultivated plants, and the environment. Besides, innovative bioproducts help to reduce the number of pesticide residues in the soil and products. Therefore, the environment, farmers, and consumers are protected.
Safe agricultural technology, which the university has worked together with all sources of investment funds, aimed to promote the production of environmentally friendly crops through comprehensive sustainable management of safe agriculture and to support upgrading farmers and entrepreneurs to increase their ability, has been certified standards and has developed an efficient business plan management system to lead to community enterprises. Also, this efficient business plan management system can create partners with local government organizations, the Department of Agricultural Extension, the Department of Agriculture, and the Non-Formal and Informal Education to expand the knowledge of transferring the use of biological substances for plant disease and pest control continuously and sustainably.
In addition, from collecting information about plant diseases, insect pests, and problems of improving the quality of agricultural products from farmers who have received transferred technology, WUABS invented a new type of bio innovation, “Trichodermaphy Plus” which is high-efficiency biological pesticides from good fungi which increases the quantity and quality of crop yields that are safe from pesticide contamination. It also has undergone research and development in 5 areas, fungi biochemistry, fungal ecology, fungal genetics, interactions between plants and fungi, and the development of bioproducts. Therefore, it won the first runner-up award in the category of social innovation in the innovation award contest “7 Innovation Awards 2021.”
Those who are interested can request a free consultation on the use of biological substances from the Center for WUABS as follow:
Line ID tcruwu
or joint agency Walailak University Clinic Technology
Associate Professor Doctor Warin Intana
Walailak University, Thasala, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80160
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals