Assoc. Prof. Thongchai Suwanasichan, Ph.D., Deputy Director of Program Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC) and Assoc. Prof.Thamrongrat Mungcharoen, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Circular Economy Program Subcommittee at PMUC, participated in the research dissemination activity entitled “Study of Circular Economy Model for Waste Management and Sustainable Development in Dairy Farms” at the National Dairy Festival 2022 held between 3 -7 January 2022 at the Dairy Research Center in Ban Mak Community, Muak Lek Sub-district, Muak Lek District, Saraburi Province. This research is the work of Mr. Nattaphon Kaewprathum, Ph.D., academician of the DAIRY FARMING PROMOTION ORGANIZATION OF THAILAND (DPO) and the research team, which has become a model display of dairy farm management for farmers to meet farm standards and create added value from farm waste and generate income for the farmers, following the Circular Economy (CE) philosophy. By creating added value for farm waste, turning waste into energy and finally zero waste, thereby replacing the need for external energy with renewable energy that can be produced in-house, and also helps farmers to earn additional income.
Assoc. Prof. Dr.Thongchai said that the PMUC has always promoted the development of technology and innovation to promote the circular economy. Circular economy is an economic model that is used as a guideline for the development of a country’s economy towards sustainability by focusing on maximizing the benefits in utilizing the available resources, in order to minimize waste, emissions and energy leakage by designing products and services from waste. Another end goal is to be able to create economic growth, increase the country’s competitiveness while helping to prevent the loss of biodiversity, as well as preserving national resources in a sustainable way.
Assoc. Prof. Thamrongrat Mungcharoen, Ph.D., said that, “The model circular dairy farm is a demonstration of the management of dairy farms under the circular economy philosophy to add value to farm waste. It is development at the farm level of upstream farmers, which will affect the downstream dairy industry, which is another way to increase the country’s competitiveness in the dairy industry, by engaging the farmer community to create sustainable development. The results of this research led the people in the community to jointly establish “Circular Economy Community Enterprise in Dairy Farms, Muak Lek District”, with Mr. Nut Phaorod as the chairman of the community enterprise. Therefore, it is a model for community-based economic development by using waste from dairy farms to create added value, such as the production of compost from cow manure; biogas production from waste water; raising tilapia in wastewater treatment ponds on farms; mushroom cultivation from left-over straw; and fertilizer production from under-quality milk, all contributing to job creation and distribution of wealth throughout the community, achieving Zero Waste objective. Another goal that was achieved as well was raising the level of dairy farm management for farmers to meet farm standards and earn more income from waste, resulting in better quality raw milk from the upstream source. This allows the Thai dairy industry to meet international standards to be able to compete with foreign countries.”
PMUC contributes to efforts in driving the development of Thai dairy farms and dairy products to meet international standards for export products, ultimately helping to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s dairy industry.