A localized training on pest and agrichemical management on green leafy vegetables was held last August 3–4 in Svay Reing Province, Cambodia. Co-organized by Mekong Institute (MI), Svay Rieng Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (PDAFF), and Svay Reing Agro-product Cooperatives (SAC), 20 vegetable producers participated in the training course. The activity intended to guide farmers on pest eradication using environment-friendly practices to ensure the quality and safety of their fresh produce.
Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of the Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department of MI, welcomed all training participants and provided a brief introduction to the MI Food Safety Project (MI-FSP). After explaining the objectives of the localized training, she emphasized the importance of integrated pest management (IPM) and different techniques that can be used including cultural practices, biological control agents, pest resistant varieties, mechanical methods and physical barriers. According to her, IPM is a pest management system that utilizes all suitable techniques to manage pests with the least possible hazard to people and the environment.
Meanwhile, Ms. Pov Thida, Deputy Director of PDAFF, Svay Rieng Province, highlighted the significance of IPM approach in responding to current challenges in vegetable production. An IPM program focuses first on environmental management and pesticide use is minimized. When pesticides are required, the least harmful chemical for the environment and the people living in it is chosen. She ended her brief speech by encouraging farmers to pay attention to this important training course and apply the gained knowledge and skills in their farms.
The training was spearheaded by Mr. Sok Chanthorn and Mr. Hong Narith who attended the Regional Training Program on Assuring Food Safety through Pest and Agrichemical Management last May 2017. Dr. Mak Chanratana, Senior Researcher of Plant Protection Division of Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) was invited as an expert.