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One of the development challenges for Cambodia as it seeks to increase competitiveness and expand trade in agricultural commodities, is to manage plant health to maximize productivity, to address food security concerns and to generate rural income. A key element in pursuing these goals is to generate list of arthropod pests and plant diseases of crops. Such data are required by potential trading partners to assess the quarantine risks associated with importing agricultural commodities. The capacity of Cambodia to meet its obligations under the International Plant Protection Convention and the world Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary (WTO SPS) Agreement is severely constrained by the inadequate/absence of list of the collections of arthropod pests and plant diseases. Thus, it is a must to train plant health staff of the Plant Protection Sanitary and Phytosanitary Department (PPSPSD) of the General Directorate of Agriculture to produce a credible pest list and update this as the need arises. The maintenance of a national specimen based pest lists is a must to underpin pest risk analysis, support trade negotiations and manage domestic plant pest and disease problems.
Based on the above considerations, the Project Management Unit assisted by the Plant Health Component Implementation Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Cambodia decided to proceed and finalize an agreement with the National Crop Protection Center (NCPC), College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) to conduct a three week training course from June 25-July 15, 2017 consisting of a combination of lectures in the classroom, hands-on in the laboratory and field work in the experimental stations, farmers fields, export packing facility and mango heat treatment plant.
The lecturers/resource persons are from NCPC, IWEP, BPI, RCPC III and IVA, BSU, PHILMECH, PHILRICE, , Municipal Agriculturists of Tarlac City and Lapaz , Tarlac, Greenstar Produce Philippines Incorporation, Diamond Star Agro Products Inc. ornamental farm owner, and a Vertebrate Pest Specialist. .
The expected outputs are as follows: 1) The participants have acquired knowledge and skills on Pest Surveillance and Pest List Development and 2) Better relationships, mentoring, networking and joint collaborative research have been forged between the UPLB trainers-lecturers and the Cambodian trainees that will enhance future harmonization and awareness of international/global SPS issues.
The trainees are the Technical Officers from the PPSPSD at MAFF namely Mao Chenda, Phang Chanleng, Kim Sannarith, Nit Ti, Ouk Mithona, and Prak Sopheavina.
Dr. Gil L. Magsino is the over-all Training Coordinator and assisted by the project management staff from NCPC namely; Dr. Bonifacio F. Cayabyab, Ms. Melissa P. Montecalvo, Mr. Gideon Aries S. Burgonio, Mr. Randolph N. Candano, Ms. Loreta del Mundo, Ms. Elvie O. Cuerdo, Ms. Alice G. Aquino, Ms. Emma Perez, Mr. Genaro Katimbang, Mr. Fredelino P. Penalba, Ms. Virginia de Mesa, Mr. Gomercindo Malabanan, Ms. Joan de Mesa, Ms. Majella Magallona, and Mr. Edwin Micosa.
The training participants and coordinators visited RCPC III in Nueva Ecija for field surveillance.
Dr. Bonifacio Cayabyab, Assistant Training Coordinator and University Researcher, explains how to collect and identify pest problems in the field.