Cleaner Agro-Industries: Agro-industrial transformations toward sustainability: Southeast and East Asia in global perspective

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.

Scope & objectives

AGITS aims to analyse 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 globalising 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 programme are: (1) Cleaner production in small and medium size rural-based agro-industries; (2) Closing substance flows in large agro-industries; (3) Environmental evaluations of trans-national food chains; (4) New technologies and environmental reform.

A long-term objective is to build a regional network in Southeast and East Asia on environmental research and education.


Six PhD students are conducting their research under the umbrella of the AGITS programme. The subjects are:

  • Cleaner technology for palm oil industry in Thailand. Options and barriers for the use of optimal process-integrated management and technological options to improve environmental performance (Orathai Chavalparit).
  • Global food chains and the environment: a case study of agro-industries in Thailand (Thanes Sriwichailamphan).
  • Sustainability of rural agro-industry; the case of Upper Northern Thailand (Ajchara Wattanapinyo).
  • Forestry practices (forest harvesting and timber processing) and the environment in Sarawak (Abas Said).
  • Environmental problems in Eucalypti forestry and paper industry in Thailand (Warit Jawjit).
  • Environmental management: in search of sustainability for the agro-industry in Malaysia (Er Ah Choy).


Prof. Dr. Ir. Tuur Mol is the AGITS scientific co-ordinator, Ir. Peter Oosterveer is AGITS programme manager (both from Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University).