- University of Adelaide, Australia
- University of Sydney, Australia
- Double Helix Tracking Technologies, Indonesia
- University of Adelaide, Australia
- National Agricultural Research Institute, Papua New Guinea
FST/2014/099: Enhancing private sector-led development of the Canarium nut industry in Papua New Guinea
Nuts have huge potential to improve the livelihood of the rural poor in developing countries and meet the Millennium Development Goal to eradicate poverty and hunger. Nuts have excellent nutritional value, can be stored for long periods and can be sold for cash, processed and exported to distant markets. Canarium indicum is an agroforestry tree in Eastern Indonesia and the Pacific that produces edible nuts and has been the focus of efforts by donor agencies to commercialize the industry in PNG and the Pacific.
This project seeks to expand markets and processing of canarium nuts in East New Britain, by strengthening private sector capacity and engagement using nuts from existing trees. Women conduct the majority of canarium nut growing and trading activities, including: nut cultivation, harvesting, processing and selling.
The project will take a whole of value-chain approach, and offer a range of interventions such as market research, technical advice, capacity building, business mentoring and access to infrastructure for both private and public sector stakeholders. The private sector will be targeted at 3 different scales: smallholder and small scale entrepreneurs, SMEs, and large scale processors. This in one of 5 projects in the TADEP program which aims to foster private sector led development in agriculture, increase agricultural productive capacity and improve access to markets for farmers in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville, particularly women farmers.
- University of Adelaide, Australia
- Centre for Rural Economy Development, Burma
- Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia
- University of Adelaide, Australia
- SPE Consulting, Solomon Islands
- Solomon Islands Government, Ministry of Forestry, Solomon Islands
- Southern Cross University, Australia
FST/2014/066: Improving returns from community teak plantings in Solomon Islands
A recent inventory by the Ministry of Forestry has estimated that there are currently (2014) 15,000 ha of plantations owned by 21,000 separate groups or individual growers in the Solomon Islands. Many of these were planted in the period 1995 -2000 and now these plantations are in need of either thinning or clear-felling. While the quality of the timber is good, the poor form of many trees is such that most cannot be sold commercially as round logs, which are also difficult to transport to the nearest port. In Cape York Peninsula, where sandalwood occurs naturally, there are often limited options for commercial development, but initial research under FST/2008/010 showed that forestry provides one of the few promising opportunities.
The project aims to develop a practical model suited to Small Island States that enables existing small scale teak plantations to be utilised and provides growers with good returns. This will be achieved by developing strategies that will allow growers to maximise the volume of timber that can be obtained from their plantations.
Turning moribund plantations into economic opportunities will assist communities to realise there are opportunities for sustainable income from plantations. Women in particular may benefit from developing secondary drying as a business opportunity. The environmental benefits will be realised through an increase in the area of degraded secondary forest which is brought back into productive forest management to provide timber for local processing and sale in the future.
- University of Adelaide, Australia
- University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
- James Cook University, Australia
- Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
- University of the South Pacific, Fiji
- Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
PARDI commenced in February 2010 and is currently on-track against project milestones.
To date, nine rapid supply chain reviews covering taro, cassava, breadfruit, coconut, pearls, sea cucumber, canarium nut, value added fisheries, and high value timber have been undertaken. A further ten partial reviews have been completed for virgin coconut oil (VCO), sweet potato, vegetables, yam, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, ginger, teak and mahogany.
To ensure integration of consumer and market demands impacting on these chains, we have also undertaken Fiji municipal markets and consumer household surveys, taro consumer preference studies in the Sydney and Auckland markets, and a Vanuatu tourist consumer study on cocoa and canarium nut products.
A further four chains will be assessed over the next few months including; sea cucumber industries (Fiji and Tonga), Mahogany (Fiji), Tamarind (Vanuatu) and participatory based reviews (Vanuatu).
As a consequence of these reviews, an initial four PARDI-funded research projects were commenced in late 2010 and early 2011. Collectively, PARDI now has project-based activities across all target Pacific countries (Fiji , Samoa , Tonga , Solomon Islands , Vanuatu  and Kiribati ). Project details below:
PRA 2010.01 - This James Cook University (JCU) led project is working to increase cultured pearl production capacity and improve quality in the Fiji and Tongan cultured pearl industries.
PRA 2010.02- This University of the South Pacific (USP) led project aims to evaluate and develop new value adding products and technologies for Tilapia and Caulerpa (seaweed spp.) for commercial application in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
PRA 2010.04- This Southern Cross University (SCU) led project is undertaking a scoping study associated with the development of village-based training programmes and information sources for better postharvest handling and processing of sea cucumber in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati.
PRA 2010.03 - A joint PARDI (Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) and ACIAR funded (PNG) project recently started, that aims to develop consumer-driven value-adding strategies and process techniques to support an emerging Canarium nut industry.
Supporting this portfolio are a series of ongoing small research activities (SRA) that include; consumer acceptance of the new taro cultivars, virgin coconut oil (VCO) chain assessment, PARDI Advisory Group operations, how best to create small-holder impacts from PARDI outputs, cocoa chain business case, and strategies for assessing and transferring capabilities.
The PARDI Advisory Group is currently reviewing a further five proposal, these include:
Creating export-orientated breadfruit production in Fiji
Producing high quality taro material in support of re-building Samoan taro exports
Premium market opportunities for smallholder cocoa producers in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands
Understand the impacts of population dynamics on supply chains
Establishing a series of pilot scale participatory guarantee schemes for vegetables
Much of PARDI’s supply-chain driven research projects have only recently commenced. Consequently it is pre-mature to demonstrate research outputs and impacts. Preliminary project-specific activities include:
PRA 2010.01 (Pearls): Pearl farmers and market structure research has been completed for Tonga and Fiji, a project-funded staff (Jamie Whitford) appointed, and initial farmer training commenced. A full-time Fiji-based project scientist was appointed in May 2011.
PRA 2010.02 (value-adding fisheries) Desk-top studies for Fiji, Samoa & Tonga markets, and analysis of chains in Fiji and Samoa have been completed. Work is ongoing for Tonga outer island groups.
PRA 2010.04 (Sea cucumber): Supply and value chains in Fiji and Tonga have been documented. An evaluation of export chains for processed product from Pacific into Asian markets is anticipated shortly. Tonga and Kiribati field trips are ongoing
SRA 2010.01 (Taro consumer study): Taro sensory testing has been completed in Fiji and Auckland markets and a final report completed.
PARDI has completed three training and development initiatives in the Pacific, including a pearl farmer training workshop in Tonga (Nov 2010), survey training for USP students (Dec 2010), and value chain analysis teaching workshop, Vanuatu (May 2011). Further targeted training of fisheries staff is ongoing (PRA 2010.01 and PRA 2010.04).
To ensure effective project communication we have held six coordination workshops, prepared two six-monthly newsletters, and plan to shortly post PARDI research reports on SPC’s LRD website.
PARDI has participated in series meetings to establish close links with other current ACIAR and donor-funded activities in the region. Through the assistance of SPC and ACIAR, strong engagement with other ACIAR and EU-funded projects particularly in taro and cocoa are emerging; and with PHAMA in cocoa and canarium nut.
Finally, over the last 6 months the PARDI team has increased by 30 staff. There are presently 51 PARDI research staff; with the possibility of a further 19 staff dependant on the outcome of research proposals reviews.
To ensure pending commissioned projects have sufficient operational time, PARDI has requested and been granted a variation to extend the project completion date to January 2015.
PARDI conducts value chain analysis and research to strengthen selected value chains in Pacific horticulture, fisheries and forestry products. This year’s achievements include:
16 technical training workshops have been held.
28 industry and government stakeholders are receiving targeted capacity building and technical support.
17 higher degree students are linked to PARDI projects.
Three major consumer and market place studies have been undertaken:
1. Retail transformation market study - 1000 households in Fiji;
2. Consumer study for Canarium and chocolate products - 400 tourists in Vanuatu;
3. Study of teak supply capabilities in Solomon Islands and a global market analysis is well advanced.
Cocoa. Work has continued with cocoa value chain stakeholders in Vanuatu and the Solomon islands. The collaboration continues to expand to include the Vanuatu statistics office, two new chocolate importers, and PHAMA as well as facilitation for an annual Vanuatu Cocoa Industry Strategic Workshop.
Breadfruit. Research trials and infrastructure associated with the PARDI breadfruit project were severely impacted by flooding in early 2012. A large number (2000) root suckers and marcotts are now ready for field trials. SPC has released nearly 200 tissue-cultured trees. Three orchards have been established and a total of 350 trees planted.
Taro. CePaCT has continued working on taro virus indexing and elimination, in support of the Samoan taro-leaf-blight breeding program. Two virus-elimination methods have been selected, which have proven effective against some TaBV and DsMV infecting cycle-7 taro. Agronomic assessments are being undertaken monthly, with soil tests on selected parameters almost completed. Corms are being sequentially harvested to determine the optimum age for harvesting. A market-based consumer-acceptance study of selected varieties amongst Samoans living in Auckland, New Zealand, was recently completed.
Vegetables. This project seeks to improve smallholder vegetable farmers (Fiji and Solomon Islands) access to high-value domestic markets, through the development of participatory guarantee schemes (PGS). Two target resort partners and four core PGS grower groups have been identified. An industry stakeholder workshop was held in November 2012. An assessment of postharvest wastage has been undertaken. In the Solomon Islands, an audit of farm business management skills has been undertaken.
Protective cropping crops. This new project seeks to address poor product quality and short seasonality, through the development and application of protective cropping systems in Fiji and Samoa. A preliminary assessment of existing protective cropping infrastructure has been completed, with current effort focussed on establishing four trial sites.
Pearls. Development plans for pearl industries in Fiji and Tonga have been drafted. A national spat collection program was initiated in Fiji, in partnership with Fiji Fisheries. Spat collection equipment has been deployed to communities adjacent to pearl farms throughout the country, to provide an on-going supply of oysters for current pearl farms, thus addressing a key bottleneck for the industry. A series of capacity-building workshops have been held. A survey of the mother-of-pearl (MOP) handicraft industry in Fiji showed that this sector had an annual value of more than F$10 million of which more than 85% is based on MOP items imported from Asia.
Value-added fisheries products. Marketing strategy and market chains have been developed and tested for tilapia and Caulerpa (sea grapes). In Fiji a cold-chain HACCP analysis is needed for Caulerpa. The shelf-life of Caulerpa has been extended up to 12 days and a research partnership with the private sector is assessing how this can be incorporated into the supply chain (for the export market).
Tamarind. The value chain map has been completed. Research has demonstrated that a solar dryer was more efficient than passive sun drying for tamarind and that the fruit dries to a commercially acceptable water activity level after two days of fine weather in the solar dryer. Microbiological test results indicated that all samples met Australian food standards.
Canarium. The industry has increased since the start of the project with a private-sector partner now selling product in supermarkets and planning to triple production to 1.5 tonnes in the coming year. Research on tree selection has shown that the profitability of the industry could be greatly increased by selecting trees with large kernels and high kernel recovery.
Teak. The social research team visited collaborating villages in Solomon Islands to document areas of concern for growers. Grower and plantation operations were then assessed to identify market drivers for teak and their effect on grower participation.
PARDI publications, reports and newsletters are available online: http://www.spc.int/lrd
Annual report not required. Awaiting Final report
Significant challenges face Pacific island countries (PICs) in improving livelihoods and overcoming poverty - in particular, food and fuel price surges in 2008, the impact of the global economic crisis, a number of natural disasters, difficulties maintaining infrastructure and the negative effects of climate change. PICs and international agencies acknowledge that the way to meet many of these challenges is to improve competitiveness of industries and thus provide a platform for stronger economic growth. This project will study issues particularly affecting food production and agricultural sector development. These include isolation from key growth markets and limited coordination of supply chains. There is a growing presence of internationally supported economic development programs that address some of these issues in the region; this project, involving ACIAR’s Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI), will complement that work with a focus on research for development to underpin the competitiveness of targeted high-value agriculture, fisheries and forestry products.
- University of Adelaide, Australia
- International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics, India
- Department of Agricultural Research, Myanmar
- Department of Agriculture, Myanmar
- Yezin Agricultural University, Myanmar
This project is one of five components of a multi-sector program, funded by AusAID and managed by ACIAR, to improve food security and small-holder farmer livelihoods in the Central Dry Zone (CDZ) and Ayeyarwady Delta of Myanmar. The program is focussed on rice, legume-based systems, livestock and fisheries with an overarching socio-economic/extension component.
The specific objectives of this legume-based systems project, involving personnel from the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DoA) and Yezin Agricultural University (YAU) in Myanmar, from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India, and from the University of New England (UNE) and University of Adelaide (UA) in Australia are to:
Develop new, high-yielding varieties of pigeonpea, groundnut, chickpea, green and black gram through genetic improvement with emphasis on resistance/tolerance to biotic stresses to link with institutional and community-based seed production and distribution.
Improve nutrient management of the legume-based farming systems, particularly phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N), boron (B), sulphur (S), potassium (K) and zinc (Zn), using both mineral and organic sources, including rhizobial inoculants.
Improve the agronomic management of the legume-based systems through crop benchmarking with farmers to increase efficiency of water use and effectively integrate new high-yielding varieties and pest, disease and nutrient management.
Enhance capacity for RD&E in the relevant agencies in Myanmar through effective implementation of the collaborative ACIAR project model and through targeted training, extension and capacity building activities.
The geographic foci of the legume project are the Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway Divisions of the CDZ with linkages to ACIAR/AusAID project on rice production in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Bago Divisions (SMCN/2011/046). About 2 million ha of chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut are grown in the CDZ annually producing 2-3 million tonne grain worth A$600-900 million. Other crops in the rotations, including rice, green gram, maize, millet and sesame, add to the gross value of production (to an estimated A$1.5 billion). The potential economic impact of the proposed project, linked to adoption of new varieties and technologies, is A$30 million annually. More long-term potential impacts through capacity building at DAR, YAU and DoA are more difficult to quantify in economic terms but may be substantial. Social and environmental impacts of the project are likely to be positive. The project’s methodology will follow the ACIAR model of collaborative RD&E with much of the research done on-farm with farmer involvement. There will be explicit linkages to both government (e.g. DoA) and NGO extension & technology transfer programs (e.g. LIFT), to the socioeconomic/extension project ASEM/2011/043 and SMCN/2011/046 (rice project) and a focus on post-graduate and short-term training.
Implementation of the multi-sector program including this project (SMCN-2011-047) has been extremely difficult. Commencement date of the program was originally set at 01 July 2011, to be completed by 30 June 2015. Because of difficulties with visas for scoping missions and the delays that this caused, the program commencement was reset to July 2012 to terminate in June 2016. Since then, difficulties in realising sign-off of the MOUs, the lengthy approval processes in both Myanmar and Australia have resulted in further delays. The fisheries and livestock projects associated with the Ministry of Livestock & Fisheries in Myanmar were finally singed off during the early part of 2013.
By the end of August 2013, all approvals were received for the MOU covering the rice, legumes and extension projects under the Ministry of Agriculture & Irrigation (MOAI). The MOU was finally signed off at DAR, Yezin, on 29th November 2013, facilitating the release of SMCN-2011-047 project funds by ACIAR to UNE in December 2013. Variation 1 of the SMCN-2011-047 Project Proposal and Budget was submitted to ACIAR in late December 2013/early January 2014 to account for changes in personnel and dates of activities as well as changes in budget expenditure by the Australian institutions on behalf of DAR. These changes necessitated a fresh round of approvals of project documents by all institutions, which was finalised during February/March 2014.
We are currently waiting for the relevant Ministry approvals for DAR, DoA and YAU to set up foreign currency accounts with banks in Nay Pyi Taw to receive project funds. Submissions for the approvals have been in the Myanmar system for more than 2 months now. Until the approvals to come through, project funds cannot be transferred to the three institutions in Myanmar. Project funds have been dispersed as per the contractual arrangements to ICRISAT and the University of Adelaide.
In spite of these problems, there have been significant activities during the period July 2012 to April 2014 and progress towards project goals has been achieved. These included:
Five site visits by Australian project scientists to Myanmar in November 2012, February 2013, August 2013, November 2013 and February 2014 (total of 19 person visits)
Three site visits by ICRISAT project scientists to Myanmar in November 2012, February 2013 and November 2013 (total of 9 person visits).
Travel by Dr Su Su Win, DAR, to Australia and New Zealand in April 2013 for laboratory training at the UNE soils laboratory and participation by Dr Su Su Win and Chris Guppy in the 13th International Soil Science and Plant Analysis Conference, NZ.
Key activities during the visits and travel were:
o a participatory rural appraisal (PRA) involving a survey of 259 farmers across the CDZ (November 2012)
o inception workshop for the legume program involving all project scientists from Australia, ICRISAT and the three institutions in Myanmar (November 2012)
o whole-of-program inception workshop in Yangon (November 2012)
o two soil water workshops in Yezin and Magway (February 2013)
o three lectures at YAU (February 2013)
o one lecture at YAU on IPM (November 2013) by ICRISAT scientist
o work-plan development of legume crops in consultation with DAR & DoA for 2014
o whole-of-program M&E workshop in Yezin (March 2013)
o seminar for 100 attendees on R&D at DAR, Yezin (August 2013)
o participation in the ADB Myanmar Policy Forum on Myanmar’s seed industry (August 2013)
o whole-of-program annual review in Ngwe Saung (November 2013)
o three nutrient management workshops in Nyaung Oo, Magway and Yezin (November 2013)
o on-site 13-day training for the soil chemistry group at DAR Yezin in analytical techniques by Ms Gabrielle Ray, UNE (February 2014)
o project review, discussion and planning conducted during all project travel.
The geographic foci of the legumes project are the Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway Divisions of the CDZ with linkages to the ACIAR/DFAT project on rice production in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Bago Divisions (SMCN/2011/046). About 2 million ha of chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut are grown in the CDZ annually producing about 2.5 million tonne grain worth close to A$1 billion. Other crops in the rotations, including rice, green gram, maize, millet and sesame, add substantially to the gross value of production. The project’s methodology follows the ACIAR model of collaborative RD&E with much of the research done on-farm with farmer involvement. There are explicit linkages to both government (e.g. DoA) and NGO extension & technology transfer programs (e.g. LIFT), to the socioeconomic/extension (ASEM/2011/043) and rice projects (SMCN/2011/046) and a focus on post-graduate and short-term training.
During 2014, foreign currency accounts for receipt of project funds were set up by DAR, DoA and YAU. This followed another lengthy approval process within the relevant Myanmar Government Ministries. Project funds have now been dispersed as per the contractual arrangements to ICRISAT (4 payments), the University of Adelaide (4 payments) and the three institutions in Burma (4 payments for DAR and YAU and the 4th for DoA currently being processed).
Project activities during the period May 2014 to April 2015 included:
Nine person visits by Australian project scientists to Burma, in June 2014, August 2014, October 2014, November 2014 and January 2015
Twelve person visits by ICRISAT project scientists to Burma, in July 2014, November 2014 and February 2015
Capacity enhancement in the DAR Soil Chemistry laboratory through equipment purchase (soil grinder) and development of protocols for analysing plant and soil boron and soil silicon. Training of 7 DAR lab staff in the new protocols.
Capacity enhancement in the DAR Rhizobium Inoculants laboratory through development of plant-based infection tests as a standard quality control measure to improve the production of rhizobial inoculant.
For legume varietal improvement, 25 replicated Mother Trails and 230 unreplicated Baby Trials were conducted across the CDZ covering all 5 mandate legumes - chickpea (total 48 trials), pigeonpea (155 trials), groundnut (35 trials), green gram (6 trials) and black gram (12 trials).
The field trials showed yield improvements of tested elite genotypes of groundnut of 12 and 36% over local check varieties at mother and baby sites, respectively. Yield increases for elite pigeonpea genotypes were, on average, 12 and 26% over local check varieties. For desi and kabuli chickpea, yields of best lines were 55% and 11% higher than check varieties
During the 2014-15 cropping seasons, 48 field days were organized across the CDZ by DoA and DAR involving more than 3,000 farmers.
A clear strategy developed by local partners and ICRISAT to implement seed propagation and distribution systems for the CDZ involving partnerships between the farmers, communities, Government Institutions (DoA and DAR) and the private sector. Discussions with LIFT during early 2015 regarding funding of the program.
In the nutrient management and agronomy programs, 172 trials conducted in the CDZ assessing nutrient inputs - P, S, B and Zn - and an additional 20 trials researching factorial additions of Rhizobium and P. In 3 experiments in Tatkone township involving B fertiliser, yields were increased by an average of 40%. In the same trials, yields were increased by an average of 17% with added S.
In addition to the experimental program, farmers fields were sampled in the CDZ for soil chemical and physical status (319 fields) and chickpea rhizobia (20 fields x 2 samples per field). These 360 soil samples have been completely analysed and the report is in preparation. Selected soils will be tested for rhizobial numbers and effectiveness.
Definition of the challenges that rice farmers face in managing crop nutrition through the PhD program of UNE student Hla Myo Thwe. Her study, involving 100 farmers and 50 rice fields in the the Ayeyarwady R. delta north of Yangon, showed that soils were very deficient in P and K because of low/negligible fertiliser inputs, resulting in grain yield losses of as much as 1-3 t/ha. Her data also suggested that N supply was boosted through free-living and symbiotic N2 fixation, including legume N.
Ten small projects (2015-16) were approved to be conducted by YAU Faculty and post-graduate students funded through SMCN-2011-047. The projects were in agronomy (3), soil & water management (6) and Rhizobium science (1). Five projects involved post-graduate students (3 female, 2 male). Budgets for individual projects ranged A$1500-4500
Short-term training of Burma scientists at ICRISAT. Three researchers from Burma ( Ms Su Htwe Nge (DAR), Ms Thida Aung (DAR) and Ms Ei Han Kyaw (YAU) had 3 weeks of in-depth training on integrated crop management of legumes at ICRISAT during 8-27 December 2014. This training program followed on from a 3-person program at ICRISAT in December 2013
Post-graduate training. Ms Khin Myo Thant and Ms Kyin Kyin were awarded DFAT Endeavour Scholarships in 2014 to study in Australia at UNE in soil chemistry with Dr Chris Guppy. Mr Myint Zaw, YAU MSc graduate, applied in April 2015 for a John Allwright Fellowship to PhD study at Adelaide University under Dr Matthew Denton. Mr Aung Myo Thant applied for an Australia Awards scholarship to also study at Adelaide University under Dr Matthew Denton.
Key activities during the visits to Burma of Australian and ICRISAT project personnel were:
o Legume Project 2015 annual review at DAR, Yezin, involving 85 participants including 7 Project scientists from Australia and ICRISAT (November 2014)
o Whole-of-Program 2015 annual review at Bagan, involving 50 participants including 4 Project scientists from Australia and ICRISAT (November 2014)
o On-site 12-day training for the soil chemistry group at DAR Yezin in analytical techniques by Ms Gabrielle Ray, UNE (August 2015). Introduction of new procedures for analysing plant and soil boron and soil silicon
o Ongoing training in the Rhizobium Inoculants laboratory in microbiological techniques associated with Rhizobium R&D
o Ongoing supervision of UNE PhD student, Ms Hla Myo Thwe, by David Herridge with face-to-face contact during 2 site visits and email contact at other times
o Three workshops on soil water/agronomy conducted by Craig Birchall, at Nyaung Oo (11 DAR staff) and Magway (33 DAR and DoA staff)
o Project review, discussion and planning conducted during all project travel
o Project management including discussions on staff, budgets and the management of the flow of project funds to recipient scientists.
Providing smallholder farmers in Myanmar with the means of increasing agricultural productivity is an effective short-term option to address the country’s issues of poverty alleviation and food security. With a geographic focus on Myanmar’s central dry zone (CDZ), this project will build on the outcomes of a previous ACIAR-funded project (SMCN/2006/013). It seeks to develop new, high-yielding varieties of pigeonpea, groundnut (peanut) and chickpea, and to improve nutrient management and agronomic management of the legume-based farming systems. It will also enhance the capacity for RD&E in the relevant agencies in Myanmar, through implementation of the collaborative ACIAR project model and through targeted training, extension and capacity building programs.
Upland farms in Cambodia and Laos are often unproductive due to low fertility soils and water constraints, both drought and waterlogging. The farming systems currently consist of rainfed cropping and open grazing, but due to reduced dependence on livestock for draft and to labour shortages, there is a need to intensify and diversify these systems. Greater integration of livestock production systems into cropping systems is a significant opportunity to increase agricultural productivity and profitability, which will have a major impact on rural communities and national GDP. This strategy must be approached carefully, however, to identify and assess solutions that are environmentally, economically, culturally and sociologically aligned. Suggested changes need to be implemented through appropriate and effective dissemination and uptake pathways.
- Murdoch University, Australia
- Charles Sturt University, Australia
- NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia
- General Directorate of Agriculture, Cambodia
- Cambodia Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Cambodia
- Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia
- National University of Laos, Laos
- National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Laos
- International Development Enterprises, Cambodia
Vegetable production in Cambodia is expanding, with current production estimates at 400,609 tonnes/year (MAFF, 2013). By 2015, Cambodia and Lao PDR need to comply with ASEAN GAP standards to realise the full economic benefits of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Likewise the move towards increased ‘official’ regional trade is likely to see further market opportunities open up for smallholders.
The overall aim of the project is to develop innovative production and supply chain systems that enable the vegetable industry to meet year round consumer demand for vegetables in Cambodia and Lao PDR. This project will employ a clustering approach for agro-enterprise development, building on the approach used in the Philippines vegetable program (HORT/2007/066/4; Murray-Prior et al., 2011). This will include the implementation of low-cost postharvest technologies and interventions developed in HORT/2006/107.