A summer school in Thailand called Value chain management was organized at Prince of Songkla University (PSU) in Thailand from August 1 to 18. Four students from CZU and seven students from PSU took part in it. Teaching and organization of the summer school was provided by academic staff from FTZ (Petra Chaloupková, Jiří Hejkrlík, and Olga Leuner) in cooperation with academic staff from PSU (Rungrat Saeyang, Parittiya Saejew, Siriporn Prompat, and Chutima Tantikitti).
In the first week of the summer school, the students got to know the theoretical background of value chain management and the value chain evaluation methodology used by the European Commission as part of the Value chain for development (VC4D) project. Part of the summer school was the development of a case study on a selected product, so that students had the opportunity to prepare their own analysis in practice. The participants of the summer school were divided into three working groups and each group worked on the evaluation of the value chain of the selected product. The case studies focused on the evaluation of a value chain with three products - coffee, fish products (seabass) and aromatic coconut. As part of the assignment, they should focus on the functional analysis of the value chain and describe the product itself, how it is processed and describe the entire value chain from the farmer to the consumer. The study also included a social analysis and finding out the impact of production on the environment. Students learned how to work and collect data using Nestforms. They created their own questionnaire and addressed the audience directly at the fair held at Prince of Songkla University.
In the second week, students had the opportunity to visit farmers directly and conduct interviews with other actors of the value chain, such as processors or representatives of social enterprises and farmers groups. They visited farms that focus on combined coffee production and agroforestry (bananas, papaya, dragon fruit, pomelo, coconut palm). During the excursions, we visited PlaNeat, a company that processes fish (cooling, freezing, drying) and produces fish jerky. The company also has its own store with the mentioned products and its own restaurant. Another focus is the production of fertilizer from residues from fish processing.
In the third week of the summer school, the students focused on processing the collected data and created a poster, a PowerPoint presentation and a final report describing the entire value chain. They completed everything during the last day and received a certificate of completion of the Summer School.
During the summer school, students also had the opportunity to collect data for their bachelor's or master's theses. Last but not least, negotiations took place regarding the joint Double degree study program, which is in the process of preparation between FTZ and PSU. Furthermore, a selection procedure for a 3-month study internship at CZU/FTZ for a student from PSU was also announced.
Watch the short video from the Summer School 2023: