Regional Vegetable Forum 2019 Sharing knowledge and experience to promote development of vegetable and improve income of smallholders

Regional Vegetable Forum 2019 Sharing knowledge and experience to promote development of vegetable and improve income of smallholders

Regional Vegetable Forum 2019

Supporting the adoption of interventions (improved practices and new technologies) by smallholders for sustainable year-round production of safe fresh vegetables

The vegetable sector is becoming a higher focus for research, development and the private sector in Southeast Asia due to the greater nutritional and economic values that can be derived. However, the sector faces key challenges including (1) low average yields of vegetable production in many places; (2) limited knowledge of good horticultural practices; (3) postharvest losses as high as 40%; (4) produce that does not conform to quality and safety demands of consumers; (5) and difficulties supplying market demand during the wet season.

Currently, vegetable production is predominantly in the dry season, when producers take advantage of more suitable climatic conditions, and conventional and often relatively simple techniques can be used to grow vegetables successfully. Yet, sustainable smallholder business growth and vegetable sector development ultimately depend on year-round reliable production.  Improving off-season (wet season) production enables farmers to benefit from relatively higher prices in the short term as well as satisfying domestic production gaps that foster broader development and opportunity within the vegetable sectors.

Various technical applications and practice changes can help to manage production, postharvest handling, and market access. Research for development in the vegetable sector, encompassing collaborations between government agencies, development projects (NGOs) and private sector partners,continues to develop innovative production and supply chain systems and solutions which need to become established within the sector to enable the vegetable industry to meet consumer demand year-round as well as to implement quality assurance and appropriate certifications to support market competitiveness and safety standards.

A number of technical solutions and practice improvements are developed and refined through research and capacity programs, though the adoption of interventions can be haphazard.

The ACIAR ASEM/2012/081 project “Improving market engagement, postharvest management, and productivity of the Cambodian and Lao PDR vegetable industries”, is again facilitating a vegetable sector Forum, to be held in Laos PDR in early September 2019.  This event creates an opportunity for stakeholders to connect and discuss the opportunities and challenges of enabling adoption of technologies and improved practices throughout the supply chain. The aim is to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas between government, NGOs and the commercial sector to better foster the adoption of appropriate practices and technologies.

This Forum focusses on “Supporting the adoption of interventions (improved practices and new technologies) by smallholders for sustainable year-round production of safe fresh vegetables”. 

The Forum will bring together experiences and expertise to canvass the challenges, the strategies and the research that offers effective impact enables increased awareness and confidence in interventions and ultimately moves target audiences toward adoption. The aim of this event is to share an understanding of issues (social, economic, technical and political) that can inhibit adoption, map the challenges facing vegetable chain actors and identify the critical barriers to adoption in a collegial and open manner.

The project invites event support and participation from stakeholders of the vegetable sector as

  • financial contributors,
  • members of the steering committee,
  • speakers (and suggested speakers) and
  • forum participation.

This event is a non-profit activity aimed at improving networks, stakeholder success, collaboration and partnerships throughout the vegetable sector, regionally.

Participation in the steering committee is invited and the project aims to represent the range of stakeholders. This committee will plan the program and event budget, select and invite speakers and develop networking opportunities.

The proposed agenda will include;

  • discussion of the social and community impacts of interventions,
  • strategies and tactics for driving successful adoption and
  • proven methods of building confidence and support for new practices amongst target groups, including the optimal role of regulation and commercial incentives.

A Forum handbook will again be produced presenting the diversity of projects and organizations actively involved in the vegetable sector and all stakeholders are encouraged to make a submission and share their work, their approach and their achievements. A display of posters will also be made.

The Forum will also be launching a new information share point to offer all stakeholders an online portal to actively share project work, trials and information resources, throughout the region.

For more information contact:

Dr. Thongkhoun Sisaphaithong

Mr. Phatana Sengounkeo

Mobile: 856 20 55857550

Email: [email protected]

National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute

Nongviengkham village, Saythany District     Tel/Fax: +85621770094, 770414, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR, P.O.Box:7170      Website: http://www.nafri.org.la