Thnot d’Or awards to be held for agronomy and food processing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thnot d’Or Awards. Supplied

The Kinal Foundation, in collaboration with the French Agency for Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will hold the 2019 Thnot d’Or Awards for agronomy and food processing on Saturday.

The second Thnot d’Or Awards will be held at the Kinal Foundation’s headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district.

Six groups of students from the Royal University of Agriculture, the Kampong Cham National School of Agriculture, the Institute of Technology Cambodia, Prek Leap National College of Agriculture and Takeo province’s Saint-Paul Institute will compete for the $1,000 top prize.

In mid-July, the jury selected two teams from the Institute of Technology Cambodia – one for their work on pineapple products and the other on vegetable meatballs and product development – as well as one from Saint-Paul Institute for its research into coconut fruit processing.

The team from the Kampong Cham National School of Agriculture focused on the benefits of coconut processing, while another from the Saint-Paul Institute looked into increasing jackfruit quality.

The students from the Royal University of Agriculture researched the advantages and sustainability of integrated farming system improvements on the environment and Cambodian farmers’ livelihoods.

The six groups of students will give presentations of their academic work and answer questions posed by the jury and officials from the ministries and the Siat agro-industrial group of companies.

The jury will then choose the top three, with the winners all taking home trophies, while first place will be rewarded with $1,000, second $500 and third $250.

The Thnot d’Or Awards were established in Cambodia in 2018 by the Kinal Foundation in an effort to encourage students to conduct research in the agronomy sector to support Cambodia’s rural development.

“The Kinal Foundation established Kinal prizes in 2013 to promote research and creative ideas in the medical-pharmaceutical sector. I want the foundation to have the same role in the agricultural sector,” said Hay Ly Eang, the director of the Kinal Foundation.

The Thnot d’Or Awards were initiated by Ly Eang’s Cambodia-based speciality food producer Confirel.

Him Piseth, Confirel’s deputy director-general, told The Post on Tuesday that students from Takeo province’s Saint-Paul Institute were awarded the first prize at last year’s Thnot d’Or Awards for using all of the banana tree in making products such as candy and charcoal.

“The students won for processing all of the banana tree, which is a treasure, from its leaves to its fruit. No part of the banana tree was thrown away – they managed to process it all,” Piseth said.