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Improving market engagement, postharvest management and productivity of the Cambodian and Lao PDR vegetable industries

This project aims to develop innovative production and supply chain systems that enable the Cambodian and Lao vegetable industries to meet year-round consumer demand for vegetables.
The Cambodian and Lao vegetable industries face several shared challenges with low yields (7 tonnes/hectare in Cambodia and 8.7 tonnes/hectare in Lao PDR), competition with strong regional neighbours (Thailand and Vietnam), high postharvest losses (25-40%), product that does not conform to consumers quality and safety demands, and meeting market demand during the wet season. Cambodia's production is still insufficient to meet consumer demand, and imports (60-70%) heavily supplement domestic production.
Cambodia and Lao PDR are working to comply with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) standards to realise the full economic benefits of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The move towards increased official regional trade is likely to open further market opportunities for smallholders. Domestic markets demand high quality, high value vegetables during the late-dry and wet seasons, but producing vegetables during this time can be challenging. This project will build on the technical capacity created by HORT/2006/107 to develop and implement innovations (varieties, protected cropping, irrigation management strategies, IPM programs etc.) that help farmers to meet this challenge.
The project will form close ties with large scale development projects to enable wide-scale adoption of technologies and innovations.