9. Modern Technology for Sustainable Agricultural Systems Annual International Training Course

9. Modern Technology for Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Modern Technology for Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Background and Rati​onal:

The world population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Therefore, managing agricultural production systems on a sustainable basis is one of the most critical challenges for the future of humanity. Technological advancements must be used to provide farmers with tools and resources to make farming more sustainable. Concepts of modern technologies in agricultural systems have given an important role for the improvement of agriculturral productions e.g. crop yield, livestock production, aquaculture production, and sustainable agriculture, in order to maintain food security. 

It has been shown that modern agricultural technology can substantially improve agricultural production and sustainability. For instance, best management practices are widely applied nowadays. It relies on targeting many of their applications, not broadcasting as was done in the past. New disease resistant hybrids, biological pest control, reduced pesticide use, cultural practices that can reduce the incidence of pests and diseases, and better placement and reduced amounts of fertilizers are all being employed. Insect-specific chemicals and biological insect controls are now being utilized, instead of broad-spectrum pesticides, which actually reduce the number of sprays needed and therefore its capitals. Organic farming by using only organic fertilizer has helped farmers to reduce costs and improve products. Crop models, GIS, and remote sensing can provide farmers with information for realizing precision agriculture, which is done by matching inputs based on actual yields of different portions on the field. These tools also allow agriculture to manage land for both agriculture and wildlife.

In this training course, we will present and discuss several concepts of modern technology in sustainable agricultural systems and their development. Emphasis will be placed on 1) Principles of genetics for the improvement of agricultural production; 2) Integrated pest management; 3) Applications of crop model, GIS and remote sensing related to agricultural systems; 4) Concepts of organic farming; and 5) Concepts of organic fertilizers. After successful completion of this training course, participants are expected to understand the concepts of modern technology in sustainable agricultural systems and how they are developed. The participants should be able to further develop their knowledge and skills in applying modern technology to their own questions regarding sustainable agriculture.

Currently, Department of Agricultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture Natural Resources and Environment, Naresuan University has 30 academic staffs with a broad array of specializations. About 90% of the staff members holds the doctorate degree. Members in the department specialize in many aspects of agricultural science and technology that cover in the broad area such as biological control, integrated pest management, bio-pesticides, plant growth promotion by PGPR, plant breeding, production of plant-secondary metabolites by tissue or cell culture, plant molecular genetics, soil microbiology, organic farming, post-harvest technology and quality control, crop modelling, GIS and remote sensing, tropical animal production and nutrition, natural animal and aquaculture production.

Concerning relevant facilities in the Faculty of Agriculture Natural Resources and Environment, Naresuan University, there are 11 laboratories, i.e., National Biological Control Research Center, Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Postharvest Technology Laboratory, Agriculture Microbiology Laboratory, Plant Pathology Laboratory, Entomology Laboratory, Weed Science Laboratory, Quality Control of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory, Plant Nursery and Experiment Farm, GIS Center, Animal Science and Animal Nutrition Laboratory, and Aquaculture Laboratory. They are all equipped with necessary tools for their research specialities.

Duration:  Mon. 8th – Fri. 19th July 2013 (2 Weeks)

Closing Date for Application: March 20, 2013

Number of Participants    25 persons

Invited Countries: 

Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, China, CARICOMMember Countries, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, FEALAC Member Countries, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, OAS Member Countries, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, PIF Member Countries (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Cook Island, Solomon Island, Marshall Island, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu), Republic of Seychelles, Senegal, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Vietnam, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Zambia and Thailand

Objectives

  • to introduce fundamental scientific knowledge and skill in modern technology for sustainable agricultural system.
  • to provide important elements and principles of modern technology for  sustainable agricultural systems with reference to biological control, biotechnology, improving soil fertility, crop modelling, GIS and remote sensing, tropical animal production and nutrition, natural animal and aquaculture production.
  • To develop necessary skills in practical modern technology for sustainable agricultural systems.

Qualifications

Applicants for this course should :

  • be nominated by their respective government;
  • be university graduated or have an  equivalent academic background in agriculture (plant science, agronomy, horticulture, agricultural extension) or related fields;
  • at least 5 years experience on agriculture, extension, rural development, management researcher;
  • be under forty-five (45) years of age;
  • have a sufficient command of spoken and written English;
  • be in good health both physically and mentally, each participant should have a health certificate provided by an authorized physician. This form is also attached together with the Nomination Form. Pregnancy is regarded as a disqualifying condition for participation in the course.

Course Contents

1.1 Course Outline   

  Unit I: Day 1-2 (July 8-9, 2013)
  Lecture on modern technology using in crop production : advantages and disadvantages
  Unit II: Day 3 (July 10, 2013)
  - Important natural enemies to control insect pest in rice
  - Mass rearing technique of certain natural enemies
  Unit III: Day 4 (July 11, 2013)
  Introduction and applications of biotechnology using in agricultural systems
  Unit IV: Day 5 (July 12, 2013)
  Basic concepts and applications of crop model for the improvement of crop production; precise integrated crop management
  Unit V: Day 8-9 (July 15-16, 2013)
  Basic concepts and applications of GIS and remote sensing using in plant diseases
  Unit VI: Day 10 (July 17, 2013)
  Semi-bio pig production
  Unit VII: Day 11 (July 18, 2013)
  Modern technology using in aquaculture
  Unit VIII: Day 12 (July 19, 2013)
  Group Presentation and course evaluation
   
1.2  Practices
Plant biotechnology laboratory
 
  • Techniques in plant tissue culture and applications
Biological control for pest management in rice production
 
  • Sampling technique in rice paddy field
  • Identification of insect pest and their natural enemies in rice
  • rearing technique of certain natural enemies
Crop model
 
  • Software installation (WaNuLCAS model)
  • Understanding input parameters, calibration and validation of crop model based on agroforestry systems
  • Interpretation and discussion on model outputs
  • Application of crop model to special cases related to agricultural production
GIS and remote sensing
 
  • Introduction to GIS and remote sensing
  • Application of GIS and remote sensing to special cases related to plant diseases
Semi-bio pig production
 
  • Techniques essential for raising pigs in semi-bio production system
Appropriate aquaculture techniques
 
  • Fish cultu ring system in lower northern Thailand
   
1.3 Study Trips / Field Trips
  Day 1 (July 8, 2013) (in the morning): Naresuan University (NU) Campus tour for giving information to participants
Day 3 (July 10, 2013) (in the afternoon) Study trip to Biological Control Research Center for developing an idea about practical biological control using for sustainable agricultural systems
Day 6-7 (July 13-14, 2013) (whole day): Field trip to show participants about organic farming, integrated pest management, biopesticides and using organic fertilizer, All participants will go to an integrated vegetables farming, Bungphra, Phitsanulok; organic rice paddy field, Bang Rakam Phitsanulok; KamnanChul Farm, Phetchabun; Khaoko, Phetchabun
Day 10 (July 17, 2013) (in the afternoon):  Visit a research farm at Ban Bueng Rachanok, Phitsanulok for semi-bio pig production

 

Day 11 (July 18, 2013) (in the afternoon): Visit a research field at Ban Bueng Rachanok, Phitsanulok for aquaculture production
 
Advance Assignments
  Country Report
Participants will be asked to briefly introduce about their country and experience in agricultural systems. About 8-10 minute presentation will be organized for each participant.
  Reading Assignment
- Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century. National Academies Press (2010) 570 pages.
- WaNuLCAS model manual: available from the website: http://worldagroforestry.org/sea/Products/AFModels/wanulcas/download.htm
  Project Assignment
We invite all participants to bring his/her own experimental data e.g. daily weather, soil physical and chemical data, crop management, crop characteristics, and crop growth analysis. These data will use to test with WaNuLCAS model. Participants will develop a skill in designed agricultural systems based on their own data set by using WaNuLCAS model.
   
Participants Criteria
 
  • Participant is a resident of one of the following countries (see 8. Invited Country).
  • Participant for this training course should graduate from university and currently involve in agriculture field related to research, lecture/teaching or farmers.
  • Participant has basic knowledge in agricultural systems.
  • Participant should be able to communicate (speaking and writing) in English and he/she should have a basic computer skill (Microsoft Windows & Microsoft Office).
   
Venue
The training course will be mainly arranged at the Faculty of Agriculture Natural Resources and Enviroment, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, 65000, Thailand.
For accommodation of participants, we will reserve rooms at hotels nearby Naresuan University.
   
Expected Results
After successful completion of this training course, the participants are expected to
 
  • have knowledge, understanding and skills required to manage agricultural production systems in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
  • have knowledge of, and skills in, decision-making and the evaluation of technology and management techniques used in sustainable agricultural systems.
   
Evaluation
 
  • Participants must strictly attend classes as scheduled.
  • Group presentations (6 groups) will be assigned for participants. The criteria will be related to 1) conclusion of concepts gathering during lectures and study trips/field trips and 2) how to introduce the modern technology for sustainable agricultural systems to farmers and motivate them to put it into practice. After each group presentation, there will be questions, discussions, and comments by academic members and other participants.  
   

Institution:

Executing / Implementing Agency

Implementing Agency: Department of Agricultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture Natural Resources and Enviroment, Naresuan University
Academic members and staffs are about 40 persons.
Members in department specialize in Agricultural Science and Technology that cover broad areas such as biological control, integrated pest management, bio pesticides, plant growth promotion by PGPR, plant breeding, production of plant secondary metabolites by tissue or cell culture, plant molecular genetics, soil microbiology, organic farming, postharvest technology and quality control, crop modelling, GIS and remote sening, tropical animal production and nutrition, natural animal and aquaculture production.

Training Materials/Equipment Availability: Computer room, Crop modelling software

Contact information: Dr.Wanwisa Pansak
Department of Agricultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture Natural Resources  and Enviroment, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, 65000, Thailand 
Tel: (+66) 55-962724 Fax. (+66) 55-962709 Mobile (+66) 815346644

Collaborative Organizations
1. Prof. Dr. Georg Cadisch
    Institute Plant Production in the Tropics and Subtropics, Hohenheim University,   
    Garbenstrasse 13, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
2. Assist. Prof. Dr. Vicharm Amarakal, School of Liberal Arts, University of Phaya, Thailand
3. M.Sc. Apiwan Varin, Department of Agriculture, 65000, Phitsanulok, Thailand
4. Dr.Natta Takrattanasaran, Land Development Department, Pratumthani, 12110, Thailand