NSTDA, the Chaipattana Foundation and Maejo University recently held an MOU signing ceremony to establish a research and development partnership in long-term preservation of plant genetic resources for conservation and sustainable utilization. The signing was executed among executive officers of the parties, namely NSTDA Executive Vice President Dr. Ladawan Krasachol, Chaipattana Foundation Secretary-General Dr. Sumet Tantivejkul, and Maejo University President Assoc. Prof. Dr. Weerapon Thongma.

The Chaipattana Foundation established the Chakraband Pensiri Center for Plant Development with an aim to improve and develop plant varieties and high-quality seed to support small-scale farmers and sustainable agriculture.  The center has been collaborating with Maejo University and Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna on collecting heirloom seeds and plant breeding to supply quality seeds to farmers.

Under this collaboration, the seed collection of 1,533 plants resulted from the afore-mentioned joint research will be stored at the seed bank of the National Biobank of Thailand (NBT) managed by NSTDA. The collection represents new registered varieties, legume, chili, tomato, melon, brassica, coriander, okra, spinach and flowering plants. Seeds stored at NBT will be used for research and conservation purposes.

NSTDA established NBT as a national infrastructure to support the conservation of the biological resources of Thailand and the research and development to explore the potential use of bioresources and their data to underpin bioeconomy.