4th Project Partner Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 11-13 March 2014

ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN Biocontrol) 4th Project Partner Meeting Highlights Achievements and Discusses 2nd Phase Project Prospects.

The Fourth Project Partner Meeting (PPM) of the ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN Biocontrol) Project, the 4th Project Steering Committee Meeting and the 5th Meeting of the ASEAN BCA Expert Groups on Application and Regulation took place from 11-13 March 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. More than 50 participants from ten ASEAN Member States and other partners attended the meeting. Mr. Adelbert Eberhardt, Country Director, GIZ Office Phnom Penh and Mrs. Birgit Strube, First Secretary, Deputy Head of Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Phnom Penh represented GIZ and BMZ respectively and delivered the remarks. The meeting was opened by Dr. Hean Vanhan, Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Agriculture on behalf of H. E. So Khan Rithykun, Director-General of the General Directorate of Agriculture, and Director of the National IPM Programme, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Cambodia. The PPM highlighted the project’s achievements and discussed the project’s future prospects in facilitating effective implementation of the 2nd Project Phase.

Back-to-back with the PCM, the 5th ASEAN BCA Expert Groups on Application and Regulation, and the 4th Project Steering Committee Meeting convened on 12 March 2014. The ASEAN BCA Expert Groups Meeting deliberated the final draft of the ASEAN Guidelines on the Regulation, Use and Trade of Biological Control Agents (BCA) prior to its submission for consideration and endorsement by the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Crops (ASWGC). The Project Steering

Committee Meeting meanwhile considered and approved a number of key issues for project implementation.

On the last day of the meeting, MAFF organized a field trip for participants to Kandal province to visit the demonstration plots of cucumber and tomato farmers under Cambodia’s National Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programme. The farmers applied Trichoderma, which is a biological control agent to control pests. The results were more satisfactory than in the plots using only chemical pesticides.

The objectives of the meetings were fulfilled with active deliberation and fruitful outcomes as well as follow-up actions for project implementation. The ASEAN Guidelines on the BCA will be submitted for endorsement to the 21st Meeting of the ASWGC in May 2014 in Cambodia. The events received special attention from the local media and were attended by a dozen reporters. The meetings were successfully organized by German International Cooperation (GIZ) in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Cambodia.

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