The vegetable sector is becoming more of a focus for research, development and the private sector in Southeast Asia due to the high nutritional and economical value that can be generated. However, the sector faces key challenges including (1) low average yields of vegetable production in many places; (2) poor competitiveness within the region as well as outside the region; (3) postharvest losses as high 40%; (4) produce that does not conform to quality and safety demands of consumers; (5) and problems meeting market demand during the wet season.
Vegetable production is concentrated mostly in the dry season, when producers take advantage of more suitable climatic conditions, and often conventional and relatively simple techniques can be used to grow vegetables. Improving off-season (wet season) production potentially helps farmers take benefits of higher prices and fill production gaps, but it does require different technical applications to manage production, postharvest handling and market access. Many research, development and private sector partners have been working on techniques to develop innovative production and supply chain systems that enable the vegetable industry to meet consumer demand year-round.
The regional vegetable forum 2018, as a part of this series of events, has been again initiated by the ACIAR project ASEM/2012/081 – Improving market engagement, postharvest management and productivity of the Cambodian and Lao PDR vegetable industries. The theme of this forum is ‘Innovations of production and supply chain system for improved off-season vegetable’.
This forum has been held on the 7th September 2018 at Cambodiana Hotel. The event will look to share knowledge of innovative production systems for off-season vegetable and include an overview of trialled low cost, high performing protective cropping systems and other production innovations, planting methods, irrigation and nutrition, and disease and pest management. The latest studies, lesson learned, and/or research of innovative technologies for off-season vegetable in the region including postharvest handling and management and market access will be shared as the part of the supply chain system. The program will consist of the interactive panels discussion about how the innovative technologies both production and supply chain systems could transfer or share within the vegetable industry in the region. A casual networking forum dinner/cocktails drinks will be hosted at the end of the forum giving participants opportunities to develop connections with agribusiness, agricultural development agents, government actors and research institutes regionally
The forum had several objectives, including to:
- Share knowledge to promote innovative technology in production and supply chain systems to improve quality and productivity, especially off-season vegetables
- Forge networks between public, NGO and private sector professionals in the regions for future communication and collaboration
- Form a process and structure for creating this event annually
This forum is proudly sponsored by Agroecology Learning Alliance in South East Asia (GRET/ALiSEA), Life With Dignity (LWD), World Vision International Cambodia (WVI-C), DanChurchAid (DCA), Banteay Srei, Cambodian Horticulture Quality (CHQ of Plant and Food Research PFR) New Zealand, Oxfam, Caritas Cambodia, World Renew, and Anakot Kumar (AK). The ACIAR project ASEM/2012/081 is the collaboration between the University of Adelaide, Charles Sturt University, Department of Primary Industry NSW, General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA), Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), iDE global, SNV, National University of Laos (NUOL), National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute Lao PDR (NAFRI) and Clean Agricultural Development Centre (CADC).
All the documents and presentations of this forum are accessible below: