The GASEA project (Greening Agro-Industries in South-East Asia)


The core subject of the project are "Industrial Transformations": the transformation of industries, industrial chains, industrial zones and parks, industrial networks and industrial systems to fulfil the increasing environmental and sustainability requirements set by its social environment. Production and consumption activities throughout the world are challenged to better meet environmental standards of products and processes, although not to an equal extent and in an equal way in all parts of the world.

Agro-industrial chains of production and consumption have never been without environmental effects. But the quality and quantity of environmental consequences have increased rapidly in the last two decades in Southeast and East Asia. These are related to energy use, emissions (water, air, solid waste), resource use, recycling and re-use, environmental risks, biodiversity, transport, etc. The environmental consequences vary, depending on the technologies used, the organization and management of production, the coordination of the various steps in the production-consumption chain, the regulatory regimes at the various levels, and the reactions from citizens and consumers towards products and production. It becomes increasingly clear that with the coming years the environmental requirements in the agro-industrial chains and their products will become much greater, also in the various countries in Southeast and East Asia. This happens in a rapidly changing world, where technological innovations, new organizational and management approaches, globalizing production-consumption chains, increasing communication and information exchange possibilities, and changing power balances provide new opportunities but also new challenges for the necessary environmental changes in these agro-industrial production systems.


The project runs from June 2001 until June 2005. It is funded by the North-South Interdisciplinary Research and Education Fund of Wageningen University (INREF fund). This projects aims to analyze the new opportunities and challenges for environmental reforms in agro-industrial production and consumption, and contribute to the design of more sustainable production-consumption systems in Southeast and East Asia. The AGITS project aims at developing new insights, understanding and contributions in agro-industrial transformation in the region, rather than providing an overview of all agro-industrial transformations in Southeast and East Asia. The project will bring this into perspective of an increasingly globalizing world, where North-South relations via food chains, international regulatory systems and environmental regimes, and global environmental problems such as biodiversity.


The major research lines in the AGITS project will be:

Project activities

In addition to the research, AGITS will develop the following activities:

  1. PhD research network. From the INREF funds six PhD candidates will be selected from Thailand and Malaysia on the basis of their academic achievements.
  2. MSc research on agro-industrial transformations. This research will be partially linked to the PhD research programme. To support the PhD research topics, six MSc students will receive fellowships from the AGITS project to study at Wageningen University and do thesis research in their home country on agro-industrial transformations issues.
  3. Short-term research, consultancies and international exchange. Short-term research-fellowships will be provided to junior and senior researchers. In addition, consultancies and international exchanges will be carried out by senior staff drawing from various groups of Wageningen University and other participants (including (environmental) economists, food scientists, and other disciplines).
  4. International conferences and seminars. International conferences, research seminars for PhD students and workshops will be organized in the region for all participating institutions, as well as experts from other institutions working on the same topics. AGITS project will fund one international conference and three research seminars/workshops in Thailand and Malaysia.
  5. Capacity building of academic counterpart institutions. AGITS will especially fortify capacity building in Thailand (Chulalongkorn University/ERIC; Chiang Mai University) and Malaysia (University Malaysia Sarawak(UNIMAS), National University of Malaysia (UKM)).

Cooperating partners

Prof. Dr. A.P.J. Mol (project director) and Ir. P. Verkroost (program officer)
Department of Social Sciences, Environmental Policy Group
P.O. Box 9101
6700 HB Wageningen
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 317 482495
Fax: +31 317 483990

Environmental Research Institute (ERIC), Chulalongkorn University
Dr. Somporn Kamolsiripichaiporn (director and local co-ordinator for AGITS)
Phayathai Road
Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66 2 218 8111/8446
Fax: +66 2 218 8142

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Chiang Mai University
Dr. Montri Kunphoommarl (assistant professor)
Chiang Mai 50200
Tel: +66 53 943567
Fax: +66 53 892209

Faculty of Economics and Business, University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
Institute for Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), National University of Malaysia (UKM)
Prof. Dr. Rajah Rasiah (professor and local co-ordinator for AGITS)
Koto Samarahan, Sarawak
Malaysia 94300
tel: +60 82 671792
Fax: +60 82 671794