Participants of the farm visits to three Thai farms during the new AGRICONNECT Conference & Exhibition 2023, which had been organised by DLG and Thai partner organisations.
Photo: © DLG

DLG – AGRICONNECT 2023 sets new standards towards sustainability

The AGRICONNECT Conference & Exhibition 2023, a new event addressing sustainability challenges facing Southeast Asian agriculture, took place in Bangkok, Thailand, towards the end of May. The event attracted around 400 participants from 19 countries. It was organised by the German Agricultural Society (DLG) and VNU Asia Pacific, with the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives as the official co-host.

More than 400 international experts and professionals from agriculture gathered at AGRICONNECT 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand, from April 24th to 25th to exchange knowledge and insights on the latest innovations, technologies and trends in agriculture.

The wide range of conference topics included environmental protection, agri-finance for agri-future, smart farming, carbon neutrality in the cane and sugar industry, biogas as an alternative to crop residue management, business models in vertical farming, digital technologies for Thai farmers.

In a session titled “Opportunities and Challenges for the Adoption of SMART Farming Technologies in Thailand”, organised by the German-Thai Cooperation Project on the sustainable development of cluster-farms, Project team leader Karsten Ziebell provided valuable insights into the development of farm structures in Thailand over the past 20 years, highlighting the decline in average agricultural area per farm and its impact on Thai households' livelihoods. The potential of cross-cutting initiatives, including research, enabling policy frameworks, rural financing and smart farming innovations, in shaping the future of farming was emphasised.

The session “Sustainability in Southeast Asian Agriculture: Challenges in Sustainable Production and Opportunities for German Agribusiness Companies”, supported by Germany's Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), featured a roundtable discussion fostering open dialogues between the private sector, international organisations, and ministry representatives. Dr Bernd Christiansen, Counsellor for Food and Agriculture of the German Embassy, stressed the importance of continuous capacity building for farmers through technology and knowledge transfer, while Dr Vanida Khumirdpetch, Director of the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ Bureau of Foreign Agricultural Affairs, encouraged private sector involvement in policy dialogues to include all stakeholders in the value chain.

Vorachai Manomuth, Managing Director of CropTech Asia, and Nerio Antonio Sibulo II, Executive Vice President of the Philippine Agricultural Machinery Manufacturer and Dealer Association, highlighted the significance of adaptability to technology, cultural and contextual awareness and robust network engagement to sustain business relationships in Southeast Asia, ultimately aiming to create an agribusiness that aligns with the demands of sustainable development.

Three farm visits present sustainability approaches

The second day of AGRICONNECT 2023 featured farm visits that provided attendees with valuable insights into the achievements and aspirations of three farms in Thailand: Chia Tai x True Digital Solution in Kanchanaburi, Speedy Access in Samutprakarn and DiStar Fresh Farm in Nonthaburi. Co-organised by the BMEL, these farm visits offered a captivating journey into the advancements and practices within the agricultural industry.

At the DiStar Fresh farm, CEO Sansin Sriphiromrak shared its success story, emphasising the farm’s commitment to ensuring that produce remains free from pests and pollutants. DiStar Fresh has emerged as a leading superfood farm, prioritising total quality control. Dedication to “zero pesticides” has positioned it as a champion of sustainable farming, while strategically locating farmed land in urban areas has enabled local growth and distribution. By reducing transportation-related emissions, DiStar Fresh actively contributes to a more sustainable food system.

At the Chia Tai x True Digital Solution farm visit to Kanchanaburi, Dr Wallapat Kaewumpai, the CSO of Chia Tai Farm, presented a range of advanced solutions, including a smart fertigation system, which combines irrigation and fertilisation, automating crop fertilisation through sensor monitoring. The presence of robotics for harvesting and delivery, spraying drones ensuring precise and efficient pesticide application, and seedling drones facilitating accurate and efficient seedling provision, demonstrated commitment to sustainable farming practices.

Under the guidance of Poomipun Koosakul, Managing Director of Speedy Access, the farm visit highlighted expertise in innovation and technology for plant growth. The development of a control system tailored to the unique needs of different crop types was emphasised. Whether it be indoor farming (Indoor/PFAL), greenhouse cultivation or outdoor planting, Speedy Access showcased their mastery of advanced technology and agricultural equipment from renowned global brands.

This farm visit provided practical insights, demonstrating the transformative progress occurring within the agrifood industry. Attendees witnessed first-hand the strides made towards sustainable and innovative farming practices.


More information:

Read more about DLG’s activities in South-East Asia


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