In Rajamangala University of Technology-Lampang (RMUTL), Thailand, different departments collaborate to transfer technologies to communities with the goal of improving their quality of life.
Dr. Sethasilp Ammawath, Vice President of RMUTL, shared their experience in community development during SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series, held on 12 July 2011.
According to Dr. Ammawath, RMUTL faculty and students train and educate villagers in three districts in Lampang province on livelihood activities, food processing, composting, and fertilizer use among others. He cites One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) as an example of the projects they help communities with. RMUTL also set up a Knowledge Base Learning Center for Sufficiency Community, where villagers are offered a choice of livelihood careers. These activities help increase the income of villagers, thereby improving their quality of life.
Dr. Ammawath advises that, when working in community development, it is important to assess the needs of the community one is trying to help and to have a good understanding of the knowledge to be transferred. He adds that a good relationship with the community is also a must.
While villagers may not always be open to new things, he suggests discussing matters with community leaders and involving other community institutions like temples or the church.
Dr. Ammawath encourages universities to turn their researches into action by working with communities. (Angela Mae S. Miñas)
The point of view taken by this article is entirely that of the presenter's and does not reflect in any way, SEARCA’s position.