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Enabling improved plant biosecurity practices in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand

This project aims to improve the capacity of Lao and Cambodian crop protection and plant quarantine staff in plant disease diagnosis and plant biosecurity.
Biosecurity and plant protection systems in Cambodia and Lao PDR cannot effectively identify and diagnose pest interceptions or monitor pests in local crops. This is largely due to a lack of local expertise, information and physical resources at the operational level, and the absence of organisational processes and communication networks essential to the diagnostic process.
The program will train staff in general diagnosis, improve diagnostic capacity to plant protection agencies and document horticulturally significant plant viruses for the first time. Australian and Thai experts are working together to deliver a training program consistent with these goals.
The project will involve staff in taxonomic training and surveillance exercises; they will conduct diagnostic processes and procedures, repeat them in different contexts and thereby reinforce them. They will survey plant viruses affecting major horticultural crops. Although plant viruses are widespread and damage the region's economy, few have been identified and recorded in pest lists.