February 3, 2014

Charoen Pokphand establishes US$700,000 learning centre in Thailand


In its bid to equip poultry farmers with knowledge on advanced technology and integrated farm management practices required to ensure high-quality production and food supply-chain safety, Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) has established the Sikhiu Learning Centre in Nakhon Ratchasima province in Thailand .

The training centre will not only serve the 1,152 farmers under CPF's contract-farming programme for poultry, but also the company's employees, so that the number of experts can be increased.

The upcoming seamless trade under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which comes into effect next year, has led the company to hasten the opening of the learning centre. This ensures a pool of knowledgeable and skilled farmers, as well as CPF staff, so that increased emphasis is placed on producing safe food throughout the listed company's contract farms.

Farmers can apply for any of the available training courses, during which they will learn about advanced technology from the company's trading partners such as Cobb, a poultry research business engaged in the development, production and sale of broiler breeding stock, and also from CPF's own experts and veterinarians.

The learning centre will instil in farmers the need to strictly follow the requirements of a quality supply chain by applying modern knowledge and advanced technology in their farms.

Adirek Sripratak, president and chief executive officer of CPF, said the centre would focus mostly on the company's staff and farmers under its contract-farming scheme in order to ensure sustainable growth. It will also spell out the need to prepare to enter the era of full regional trade liberalisation under the AEC next year.

CPF invested about THB23 million (US$700,000) to set up the learning centre in Sikhio district, in Nakhon Ratchasima province. The training courses will focus on management in human resources, quality, food safety, bio-security and the environment, said the company chief.

Prajit Udnoon, CPF executive vice president for Poultry Business, said the company had to open the learning centre to cope with rapid change in technology in both the farming and business sides of the entire operation, and particularly in regard to duck and chicken.

With advanced technology, parent-stock development and developed feed-meal formulas have gradually shortened the feeding period to 90, 75, 60 and 50 days, and now to just 38 days, while each bird's minimum weight has risen over time to 2.4 kilogrammes, he said.

Prajit added that the company's staff and farmers would gain direct experience from both Thai and foreign experts during their training.