NSTDA recently officiated a brand-new Plant Factory Facility, aiming to employ cutting-edge technology to enhance the quality and productivity of herbal plants supplied to pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and nutraceutical industry. NSTDA Plant Factory Facility utilizes the most advanced technologies sourced from Japan and was built with Prof. Toyoki Kozai, a world-leading expert in plant factory, on board as a project advisor.
Thailand currently produces 100 billion-baht worth of herbal plants and herbal products for domestic consumption and export. With the global market size of herbal plants and herbal products stands at 3.2 trillion baht, Thailand has potential to develop and witness the growth in this sector. However, traditional herbal plant production practiced in Thailand results in high pesticide residue and inconsistent level of active ingredients and these have become major obstacles for export. To overcome these problems, a plant factory is introduced. A plant factory is a closed facility utilizing artificial control of light, temperature, moisture, and carbon dioxide concentrations to achieve constant production and uniformity of crops without the use of pesticide as the facility is closed and equipped with an air filtering system. Plant productivity and content of active ingredients can be enhanced by providing optimal conditions for plant growth. NSTDA Plant Factory Facility will therefore strengthen the capability of pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and nutraceutical industry which is part of bioeconomy landscape.
NSTDA’s Plant Factory Facility is built on 1200 sq.m. space at Thailand Science Park. The facility has an R&D zone and a production-scale zone. R&D of this facility will center around finding the optimal conditions for growing each herbal plant of interest. The production zone is designed for plant production trial based on optimal conditions derived from R&D work. The result of research will be transferred farmers, communities as well as industry. This facility will be managed by BIOTEC-NSTDA with Dr. Chalermpol Kirdmanee leading the research team.
In addition, BIOTEC-NSTDA also built a plant factory system in Nakhon Phanom Province with an aim to improve the quality and productivity of herbal plants supplied to Renunakhon Hospital, a major hospital in Nakhon Phanom Province that manufactures traditional medicines for using in the hospital and distributing to sub-district health promoting hospitals in Nakhon Phanom and nearby.