East-West Seed Donates 1 Million Baht To Center For Agricultural Biotechnology

East-West Seed Donates 1 Million Baht To Center For Agricultural Biotechnology
East-West Seed Donates 1 Million Baht To Center For Agricultural Biotechnology
The turn over of the Thai Baht 1 million donation of East-West Seed to the Center for Agricultural Technology at Kasetsart University.

Leading seed company East-West Seed donated 1 million Thai baht (US$28,000+) to the Center for Agricultural Biotechnology (CAB)for Thailand’s first bioinformatics supercomputer dedicated to agricultural research.

The donation was formalized during a handover ceremony on Friday, Jun3, 2016, at Kasetsart University. The amount will enable CAB to acquire a supercomputer server which will house vast amounts of data for its computational biology program.

The ceremony was presided by Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Thailand’s Minister of Science and Technology, who emphasized the importance of cooperation between public and private sectors to promote research and knowledge creation.

DEVELOPING LOCAL TALENT – Bioinformatics, a relatively undeveloped field in Thailand, is expected to become very important for the future of plant breeding. Kasetsart University hopes this investment in technology will stimulate talent development in the field.

“This new program is expected to raise the quality of our graduates,” said Dr. Julapark Chuwongse, deputy director of the CAB at Kasetsart University. “The future of Thai agriculture depends on advancements in biotechnological research and applied agricultural technology. We need to fill our shortage of highly trained professionals in all sectors from academics to governmental agencies to the private sector. Cooperation between academe and the private sector is essential to achieve this.”

Simon Jan de Hoop, vice president for R&D of East-West Seed said: “We are happy to donate THB 1 million to CAB as contribution to the purchase of a new server and other equipment. We would like to be part of the development of KU. Our company actively seeks cooperation with the academic world to develop talent and help raise the level of agricultural knowledge. We see a good opportunity to hire capable Thai graduates in this field, especially as our company’s research hub is in Thailand. I believe bioinformatics is the research field of the future for seed companies like us.”

East-West Seed Donates 1 Million Baht To Center For Agricultural Biotechnology
Happy farmers growing East-West Seed vegetables.

East-West Seed is the market leader for tropical vegetable seeds. Its R&D hub is located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and it maintains strong liaisons with Thai universities like Chiang Mai University, Khon Kaen University and Maejo University. Internationally, it has research collaborations with renowned agriculture research institutions like the University of California-Davis and Cornell University in the USA and Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Bioinformatics has emerged over the last 10 years as a powerful tool for analyzing and interpreting data to facilitate biological discoveries. Scientists use it to study molecular markers and DNA of plants and animals. It aids plant breeders in developing new varieties faster. For a seed company like East-West, this means getting new products to the market faster and giving farmers access to quality seeds that will lead to improved crops.

East-West Seed Donates 1 Million Baht To Center For Agricultural Biotechnology
Onion variety from East-West Seed grown in India.

For the last 34 years, East-West Seed has focused on serving smallholder farmers. Recently, it supported the Thai government’s drive to help farmers cope with the drought by encouraging them to switch from traditional crops to 7 types of water-saving crops which are easy to grow, consume less water, fast yielding and make good profit.

East-West Seed Donates 1 Million Baht To Center For Agricultural Biotechnology
Simon N. Groot founded East-West Seed in 1982 in the Philippines.

Earlier this year, East-West Seed was ranked #1 in the “Global Index for Vegetable Seed Companies” by Access to Seeds, an independent orgqanization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Index measures the efforts of the world’s leading seed companies to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.