Social Practices Required for the Recovery of Cassava Waste for Heat Generation in Thailand
Thailand is a dominant supplier of cassava to world markets, supplying around 67% of the global market, resulting in abundant cassava waste. However, farmers typically discard this waste in cassava fields, and thus, it is underutilised as an energy resource. Besides, Thailand’s domestic cassava-based bioethanol plants depend on imported coal to produce heat. To address this challenge, this research investigated the potential for the collection and recovery of cassava waste from farms. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Thai cassava farmers. Social practice theory was applied to evaluate the effects of cassava waste collection on Thai cassava farmers’ current agricultural practices. Three Thai cassava agricultural activities— land preparation, fertilisation application and waste management— would be impacted by this new strategy. The connections between each of these potentially affected activities have been discussed and, ultimately, cassava waste collection by Thai cassava growers was proposed as a new practice. This study concluded that the enhanced use of cassava waste for the production of heat and power could potentially help Thailand meet its renewable energy targets in future.
Keywords: cassava waste, farming practices, Thailand