Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rajabhat University researchers get funding to transfer knowledge to farmers

Dec 25. 2019
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By THE NATION

The Science and Technology Centre of Uttaradit Rajabhat University (URU) has received funding support from the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) to facilitate transfer of know-how on bio-char and biomaterial production to local farmers, the centre’s director, Assoc Professor Chanphen Chumsang, said.

“We organised a workshop for 32 farmers from four fruit production groups, namely, durian, langsat, cashew, and tamarind. Also, it gave each farmer two bio-charcoal furnaces” she added.

This activity was based on the research project on agricultural soil improvement by using bio-charcoal and biomaterial to reduce acidity in the soil. The project studied Palmyra fruit-waste processing. The URU researchers found that the Palmyra fruit shell can be burned as charcoal briquettes and charcoal odour absorber.

The researchers plan to develop this waste-processing idea to apply for different kinds of wastes in other areas. However, in Uttaradit, the processing of Palmyra shell was not practical.

“The geographical indication of this province is fruits, which are grown on the mountain where the soil is highly acidic,” she explained “Moreover, there are numerous agricultural wastes, so we decided to adapt our know-how to solve the local farmers’ problem of wastes.”

The URU operational team then discovered the bio-char burning technique, which was suitable for this provincial area. The bio-char produced from this technique can store moisture and also release nutrients at the same time. Besides, the bio-char was capable of keeping the carbon dioxide under the soil, reducing the factor of greenhouse effect in the air.

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