24 Jul 2023
At Frasers Property, we apply our Purpose – Inspiring experiences, creating places for good. – across all stages of a property’s lifecycle. Our experience as a multinational real estate company operating across a range of asset classes enables us to develop complex and large-scale masterplanned projects, blending planning, design, development and placemaking to deliver inspiring experiences and meaningful outcomes for communities and the environment.
Our Thailand business unit leads the masterplanning for a township development project in Samut Prakan Province. This includes managing the temporary land-use of the site for agriculture. We tapped on partnerships, applying agri-tech and design thinking to encourage local farmers on the site to upskill, adopt smart farming, and play a part in environmental stewardship. These helps minimise carbon emissions and chemical residues produced during the cultivation process.
Dr Kitti Setavoraphan, First Senior Vice President - Township Development, sheds light on the project, and how it came to fruition:
“The project serves many purposes, including community engagement, sustainable site management, as well as to manage land/property taxes for temporary land-use (agriculture). Using agri-tech to control carbon emissions from machines and reduce chemical residues from cultivation. It involved a demonstration of an agri-tech platform for our nearby farmer communities combining drone technology, geographic information systems (GIS), and Internet-of-Things (IoT) with indigenous knowledge for rice cultivation on 64 hectares of land.”
From left to right: Dr. Kitti Setavoraphan (First Senior Vice President, Township Development, Frasers Property Industrial Thailand), Mr. Sopon Racharaksa (CEO, Frasers Property Industrial Thailand)
Dr Kitti explains the impact of this initiative as “a mindset transformation that inspires local farmers to take environmental responsibility while utilising our temporary land-use under our professional guidance and mentoring programme.”
The demonstration phase saw a 30% decrease in costs, 35% increase in productivity and 20% increase in sales. Among the other impact areas was the 50% reduction in chemical pesticide and fertiliser use, in addition to improved soil conditions. These then opened new possibilities for local farmers to explore organic farming.
It is worth noting that design thinking can be leveraged to develop viable business and operational models. In the lead-up to the township development project, the team underwent a design thinking workshop which allowed them to ideate ways on how to manage land/property tax on undeveloped land during the development phase and promote sustainability practices with communities and other stakeholders.
This multi-year project is in collaboration with a business network that has the same focus on agri-tech, and similarly aligned sustainability goals – comprising a Thai drone manufacturer, a Japanese agriculture machinery manufacturer, and a group of researchers and traders. The key focus is to work closely and understand the needs of the supply chain, ensuring that the solution addresses the local farmers' needs and improves soil conditions over time.
Bringing diverse perspectives and resources under a common set of goals, partnerships play a critical role towards not only realising our ESG commitments but also scaling up their impact. Furthermore, partnerships enable us to tap on the knowledge and expertise of local stakeholders to develop, contextualise and optimise solutions that would bring about the kinds of impact that would be meaningful and sustainable for the community. As Dr Kitti's sharings have highlighted, the township development initiative demonstrates a partnership further enabled by innovative technologies and design thinking methodologies, yielding tangible benefits for both community and environment.
With the goal of becoming a net-zero carbon organisation by 2050, Frasers Property continues to intensify our partnerships and further embed innovation and sustainability across the lifecycle and with its value chain.