International Development Cooperation on Greenhouse Project for agricultural sustainability
The Greenhouse Project was launched as part of “The Greenhouse Inaugurated Project” funded by Mashav (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) and Israel Embassy. It aims to sustainably increase opportunity for equitable agricultural production through providing greenhouse growing resources, smart farming system and transferring knowledge for resilient economic development for communities.
The Greenhouse Project at Walailak University initiated in April 2019 on a discussion between Ms. Smadar Shapira, Former Deputy Chief of Mission, Israel Embassy in Thailand and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Janya Chanchaichujit, a Former Director of the Center for International Affairs. They discussed potential areas of cooperation such as establishing Internships in Israeli universities for Walailak University students in the areas of agricultural technology; WU students participating in programs related to entrepreneurship and innovation; visiting professors from Israel in various fields such as agricultural technology, management, and medical sciences to teach at Walailak University; and establishing dual degree programs with Israeli universities/institutions in the above-mentioned areas of studies. In August 2020, H.E. Dr. Meir Shlomo, Ambassador of Israel to Thailand paid an official visit to Walailak University for more discussion with Prof. Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, President of Walailak University to find out if any concrete collaboration between WU and Israel can be done in the short future. It turned out that one of the most possible projects was the establishment of Greenhouse Project—constructing a 12×36- meters greenhouse equipped with smart forming system for the benefits of agricultural teaching, learning, and transferring knowledge at Walailak University.
The Greenhouse Project has 3 phases of operation 1) site preparation and housing installation 2) academic cooperation in terms of technology transfer, training, research, cooperative education, and staff and students exchange. In the future, an ongoing cooperation project between Walailak University and Israel can be figured out on mutual consent. Forms of collaboration can probably be technology transfer and training on Smart Farming Crops to entrepreneurs in the community, joint research project on Smart, or Cooperative Education. The details of ongoing projects will be discussed on a case-by-case basis; and 3) an Opening Ceremony by the representative of Embassy of Israel.
It is worth mentioning that the project is not only a great contribution to teaching, learning and research but also to the community entrepreneurs in small-scale agriculture in vulnerable communities to improve agricultural systems to increase production and income.