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Tropentag, September 18 - 20, 2019 in Kassel

"Filling gaps and removing traps for sustainable resources development"

Towards a Sustainable Sugarcane Management in Thailand through Mitr Phol Model

Sasithorn Limsuwan

Mitr Phol Innovation and Research Center Co., Ltd., Thailand


Thailand is one of the largest exporters of sugar. Sugarcane growing period in Thailand varies from 10 to 13 months depending on the cultivar. The farmers put a lot of efforts towards making the plants through maturity. Farmers are paid on the basis of cane quality, as measured by CCS (commercial cane sugar) content. Mitr Phol is ranked as the world's third largest sugar producer company in 2018. The “Grow Together” philosophy that strives to uplift the quality of life for sugarcane farmers is derived from the “Mitr Phol Model”, which promotes sustainable sugarcane productivity development in four key areas: 1) Having high productivity requires proper farming management: fertile soil, sufficient water, good quality sugarcane sprouts, timely planting and harvest, and effective pest controls. 2) Operations must inspire collaborations between farmers, Mitr Phol Group and government agencies, in line with the “Grow Together” philosophy. For example, educating farmers on cane farming, reducing taxes on loans, providing water sources in local communities and procuring sugarcane variety. 3) Efficient cost management, particularly planning and controlling every step of the process, collective bidding, and reducing operational costs from soil preparation, farming, maintenance, and harvesting. 4) Sugar cane farming management must take into consideration environmental and social responsibility, such as reducing the use of chemicals, green cane harvesting, and minimising field burning. The goal of this Mitr Phol Model is to build a sustainable resources management of sugarcane productivity in Thailand. Moreover, Mitr Phol has operated its cane and sugar business using the “From Waste to Value” philosophy. Recognizing the importance of utilising waste, we have expanded our core sugar business to encompass several other entities including wood substitute, biomass, ethanol, and fertilisers. At the heart of all of our business operations is our effort to be “friendly” to all of our stakeholders.

Keywords: Sugarcane, sustainable development

Contact Address: Sasithorn Limsuwan, Mitr Phol Innovation and Research Center Co., Ltd., Pathumthani, Thailand, e-mail: jjoy1117@yahoo.com

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