Vegetable Industry Forum Series 2018: Sharing knowledge to promote development of the vegetable sector

Vegetable Industry Forum Series 2018: Sharing knowledge to promote development of the vegetable sector

‘Innovations of production and supply chain systems for improved off-season vegetable’

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) post harvest 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, post harvest handling and market access well.

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. As part of a series of Vegetable Forums initiated by the ACIAR project ASEM/2012/081 – Improving market engagement, post harvest management and productivity of the Cambodian and Lao PDR vegetable industries, a forum on ‘Innovations of production and supply chain system for improved off-season vegetable’ will be organized in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

This forum follows on from initial forums held in 2017 which focused on ‘Fostering a safe and sustainable vegetable sector’. The more technical aspects of production as well as supply chain systems were identified as topics of interest at the previous events, and it is timely to bring together key stakeholders to share research and development results for improving off-season vegetable production and quality.

The forum will cover a range of issues related to off-season production, including production, post harvest handling and market access. It will allow stakeholders to showcase research and experiences, and raise awareness among policy makers, researchers and commercial partners. It will build links for regional stakeholders across the vegetable industry, fostering trans-disciplinary approaches to vegetable production within the farming system.

Planning and organization

The ACIAR ASEM/2012/081 project ‘Improving market engagement, post harvest management and productivity of the Cambodian and Lao PDR vegetable industries’ will take the lead in organizing the Forum, which is proposed to be held in Cambodia on 6th to 7th September 2018.

A steering committee representing a range of stakeholders will be established to facilitate implementation of the workshop/forum. Potential speakers will be invited based on the most relevant topics. Other participants will be invited to submit a poster of their work and experiences, to be displayed and discussed during the workshop/forum. All stakeholders will be invited to submit a short summary of their activities, objectives and contact details, to promote further synergies and collaboration. Copies of summary papers, posters and activity summaries will be compiled and distributed widely.

Participation and/or sponsorship are invited from relevant interested agencies and organizations.

Contact person for more information about this forum: Sonnthida Sambath (sonnthida@gmail.com)