Sustainable Energy and Environment
As part of its efforts to promote sustainable and smart agricultural supply chains through the use of smart renewable energy technologies/innovations, Mekong Institute (MI) recently held an online regional training on “Smart Renewable Energy Technologies for Agricultural Supply Chains in the Mekong Region”. This course is part of “Sustainable and Smart Agricultural Supply Chain Development in Mekong Countries” project funded by the Mekong-Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF).

The demand for energy is needed at every level of the agricultural supply chains. This ranges from the production of agricultural inputs, agricultural production in the field, food processing, transportation, to marketing and consumption. At the same time, the transport of fresh produce is subject to many obstacles such as slow transit time and high rates of perishability, particularly fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers. Without intervention, the high dependency on fossil fuels and the impact on the environment is concerning,

She added that optimizing the energy efficiency of existing energy sources would be key to reducing the postharvest loss. The end result would be an energy-efficient agricultural supply chains with pastoral communities and farmers all benefitting.  

From November 21 – 25, participants explored 3 training modules. The first module focused on an overview of the agricultural supply chains in the Mekong region and the challenges for renewable energy technologies adoption. In the second module, 6 resource persons were invited to introduce and share their insights on smart renewable energy technologies. The 6 technologies which were presented were Smart Solar Roof Technology, Tidal Hydrokinetic Energy, Wind Power Technology, Drone in Agriculture, Biomass Energy, and Electric Forklift for Agricultural Warehouse. This was when the participants gained deeper understanding of each technology in terms of its operationalization, application, and optimization. The theoretical session was then followed by a lively discussion on the way forward. On the last day of the training, each participant was assigned to implement an action plan in their respective country using the knowledge gained from the training before reconvening in March or April 2023 at the Synthesis and Evaluation workshop to access the progress of their respective action plan implementation, as well as to share good practices and lessons learned.

The online training brought together 30 participants from 5 countries including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam, and Thailand, namely government officials, researchers, and private sector representatives involved in the energy and agricultural industry.

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