The ministry of science and technology in Thailand has declared 2003 the year of biotechnology with the aim of improving the quality of certain food products.
According to a report in the Bangkok Post, the government is looking to employ biotechnology to improve the quality of frozen shrimp, frozen chicken, rice and sugarcane, which together made 230 billion baht (€5.9bn) in export returns last year.
The report stated that the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Biotec) in Thailand is to receive 500 million baht to develop black tiger prawn and chicken to make them resistant to diseases. Rice is to be developed to grow without chemical fertilisers, and sugarcane to give it increased sweetness.
In 2002 Europe banned Thai exports of frozen shrimp and chicken after antibiotic residues were found.
The report added that the ministry aims to focus on science and technology to not only improve the quality of products but to boost economic prosperity.