Friday January 27, 2023 – Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University and divisions affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives held the opening ceremony of the 2023 Isan Agricultural Fair. The ceremony was honored to have Mr. Alongkorn Pollabutr, An Advisor to the Minister of the Ministry coming to preside over. Khon Kaen University was led by President Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D. and Assoc. Prof. Darunee Jothityangkoon, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. A great number of lecturers, students, staff and the public joined the event, which was organized at Jaturamuk Exhibition Pavilion, Agricultural Technology Park, Khon Kaen University.
The Isan Agricultural Fair is held this year after 2 years pausing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the 31st year that it has been held and is holding the theme: “Isan Agricultural Innovation for Sustainable Development”. The objectives are to commemorate the great benefaction of King Rama IX, to follow the intention of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and to be the venue for learning and sharing of academic and research outcomes in agriculture of both the governmental and private sectors, and both the private developmental organizations and farmers. It is expected that the Fair will promote the expansion of agricultural and industrial small and medium businesses as well as disseminate and transfer the bodies of knowledge in agriculture and agricultural technology to the community and people who come to the fair.
The ceremony began with Mr. Charnchai Sornsriwichai, Vice Governor of Khon Kaen welcoming the chairperson of the event. Next, Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University delivered the reporting speech, before Mr. Aongkorn Pollabutr, An Advisor to the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives delivered the opening address. The official opening was followed by performances of Thai-Isan folk dance by students from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts. The chairman of the ceremony then gave a trophy to each of the 11 people who support the organization of the fair, 7 awarded sericulture sages and 1 awardee of the prototype of organic farming using the PGS system.
Mr. Charnchai Sornsriwichai, Vice Governor of Khon Kaen said in his welcoming speech that the 2023 Isan Agricultural Fair is another event that is held as a response to the official plan of Khon Kaen Province in 2023. The objectives are to promote the safety standard of agricultural products, build the identities of farm products and promote and expand the development of safe farming, bio-farming, manufacturing farming, smart farming, and farming ecology system. All of these are very important in solving agricultural problems in all dimensions and will lead to the well-being of people in Khon Kaen.
Mr. Alongkorn Pollabutr, An Advisor to the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives said that the 2023 Isan Agricultural Fair demonstrates the readiness and greatness of the academic sector in agriculture, particularly as this year is the year of agricultural technology of Thailand.
“Covid-19 pandemic, shortage of food, and inflation from high prices of food products are the hard crises faced by the world. At the same time, it is the chance of Thailand to extend Isan agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture Agricultural Cooperatives has cooperated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the private sector for exporting Thai farm products to the Middle Asia, the Middle East and Europe by high-speed train. The route is shorter and faster than sea transportation. The Fair this year is one of the highlights to stimulate all sectors to see the importance of farm occupation in Thailand as this is the food production sector and the world cuisine.”
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University added that the Isan Agricultural Fair is another event that the University organizes to meet the objectives and the philosophy of the University to become the center of thoughts and intellects of the society and the center of education of the Northeast. The Fair is another great activity of Khon Kaen Province and Khon Kaen University that will result in circulation and stimulation of economy and tourism of Khon Kaen. During the last time it was organized in 2022, there were well over 500,000 people coming to the fair, or an average of 50,000 people a day, bringing circulation of around 500-600 million baht.
“The fair this year is full-cycle since it has not been organized for 2 years due to Covid-19 situation. The Isan Agricultural Fair demonstrates the potentiality in developments of Thai farming that meet the policy of the government in BCG economic development or the development that involves 3 dimensions: Bio Economy, Circular Economy, and Green Economy. This means economic development in parallel with social development while the environment is kept well balanced.”
The Isan Agricultural Fair of 2023 is held from January 27 until February 5, 2023 at the Agricultural Technology Park, Khon Kaen University. The Faculty of Agriculture has modified the area plan by moving the fair zone towards the south of the Jaturamuk Exhibition Pavilion. The farm of the Faculty is opened for the Fair, and the east side of the Fair area is provided for more car parking. This place can accommodate both big buses and private cars and can serve the number of visitors each day. There is also the service of small trains that bring visitors to go around the Fair. If visitors want to avoid the traffic, they can park their cars in the area provided at KKU Gate and take the free Green-line shuttle bus to the Fair. In addition, visitors can enjoy the flower fields at the Fair and the folk songs performed by the students.
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Photos: Natthawut Jaruwong, Pimkamol Chaiwang, a student under a practicum program at the Communications Division, KKU