In collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and USAID through the Cambodia HARVEST Programme, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN Biocontrol) organised a national workshop on the use and trade of biological control agents (BCA) on 22 May 2014 in Phnom Penh. The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness and share experiences on the use of BCA in promoting sustainable agricultural production, identify the needs of relevant stakeholders concerning regulation, commercialisation and application of BCA, and encourage networking among BCA experts in Cambodia. Presided over by H.E. So Khan Rithykun, Director-General of the General Directorate of Agriculture, MAFF, the workshop was attended by representatives from state institutions, the private sector, local NGOs and individual consultants in the sector. Mr. Teffera Betru attended as a representative from USAID.
Commercial biological control agents are becoming increasingly important and gaining more attention due to their relatively low toxicity to humans and the environment, their potential for local production, and their compatibility with smallholder farming, which is the predominant form of agricultural production in Southeast Asia.
The workshop provided a good venue to exchange information about the global, regional and national experiences on the use of BCA. The implementation of ASEAN guidelines on the regulation, use and trade of biological control agents in Cambodia was discussed and a needs assessment conducted among core partners.