We are probably all familiar with the fact that agricultural products in the southern region of Thailand, aside from the main products from rubber, palm and marine fisheries, there are also other agricultural products, whether it be rice, bananas and cassava, which can be planted in the southern region. PMUC, as the driving force behind the country’s competitiveness strategy in high-value food, has provided research funding to Prince of Songkla University, which is the main agency that specializes in managing innovations that meet the needs of entrepreneurs in the area. The institution has become the main operator for scaling and upgrading research in agro-industry to industrial level, with Assistant Professor Saowakon Wattanachan, Ph.D., as the project leader. The objective is to establish a GMP-certified laboratory and prototype factory that is ready for commercialization of research results.
Furthermore, the goal is to upgrade and expand production capacity by gathering local raw materials in the south to be able to produce at an industrial level, and to become a knowledge center and one-stop service center for food industry in the southern region, which can provide technology transfer services, providing research facilities to entrepreneurs wishing to conduct research in expanding production to industrial scale, and to assist in the process of creating a product prototype from research outputs, with a set of machinery and equipment supported by PMUC, consisting of a set of twin screw extruders, semi-automatic vertical packing machine, vacuum system for customizing cup trays, which can manufacture processed food at an industrial scale. In addition, the project also provides innovative technology transfer, as well as management for entrepreneurs who wish to upgrade their production process to the industrial level.
In the past, there were entrepreneurs in the southern region who were ready to request services for research and development of agricultural products. There are specialized researchers who are ready to give advice on production technologies and production management. Examples include the development of snack products with an Extruder machine, such as puffed snacks made from banana flour, durian, cassava, healthy snacks mixed with brown rice or from Sangyod rice, or production of pasta from banana flour, etc.