The future leaders of the agricultural sector have found inspiration and new ways of thinking thanks to a 10-day study tour in Thailand.
Students studying the BSc (Hons) Rural Business Management (top-up) at Duchy College, Stoke Climsland were given a unique insight into non-European methods as part of their incredible trip.
HE Team Lead, Jurie Intachat, said: “The study tour provides an example to the students, giving them an insight into how rural business activities are conducted in countries outside Europe”.
After a long flight, the students acclimatised themselves by exploring the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Reclining Buddha. This was followed by a mealtime spent in Chinatown which is a popular tourist attraction and a food haven, packed with market stalls and street-side restaurants.
The students took the Express ferry taxi along the Chao Phraya River, the main and largest river in Thailand, to Nonthaburi and from there by road to Pathum Thani Province to visit The Golden Jubilee Museum of Agriculture, which depicts the development of agriculture and modern agriculture technology covering all aspects of land development, forestry, fishery, animal husbandry and ecology.
Student, Phoebe Atkinson said it was “especially interesting” to be given insight into a diverse range of agricultural activities.
“It was also great to see the desire for self-sufficiency, their goals for the future relating to Agriculture and their rural businesses and to experience it first-hand,” she added.
The group also visited Kasetsart University (Bangkhen campus) and had some of the basic principles of Thailand’s agricultural developments explained to them and met of the local students.
A visit to the Centre of Excellence in Silk, at Kasetsart University, (Kamphaeng Saen) campus saw the students feeding the eri-silk worms/caterpillars and separating the eri pupae from the cocoons. The students toured a beef unit, which is home to the Kamphaeng Saen (KPS) beef breed that is 25% Thai native, 25% Brahman and 50% Charolais.
In 1962, the Thai-Danish Dairy Farm was established in Thailand to promote dairy farming and provide training to those that are interested in this area. The students were given a tour of their milk production demonstration station at Muak Lek and witnessed a demonstration on hand milking a cow.
A trip to the World Heritage City in Ayutthaya also saw the students visiting an elephant sanctuary set up to help old and injured domesticated elephants.
There were lots of opportunities for shopping at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is one of the world’s largest weekend markets covering an area of 27 acres, and at other floating markets along the way.
At an organic coconut plantation the students had the opportunity to try their hand at peeling and grating the coconuts and in making the palm sugar which is an important and key ingredient in Thai cooking.
On the way back to Bangkok the students visited farms and cottage industries along the Khlong Mahawasat including a Lotus farm, which harvests 4000 flower buds each day very early in the morning, rice cracker producer, Gac fruit farm and an orchid farm. They even enjoyed a tractor ride Thai-style around a fruit orchard and paddy fields.
Cricket farming is booming in Thailand and they are produced for food. It provides high quality protein compared to beef and can be harvested on average every 45 days. At the farm the students visited, they are milled as flour.
Head of Campus, Rob Dunn, said: “What a great opportunity these students have had, to experience rural businesses in a completely different culture and to see what university life is like on another continent”.
For more information on the range of courses available across The Cornwall College Group visit www.duchy.ac.uk or call 0845 60 50 455.