Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ADB 13th RETA 6489 Review and Planning Workshop Conducted

A review mission of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project entitled Bringing about a Sustainable Agronomic Revolution in Rice Production in Asia by Reducing Preventable Pre and Postharvest Losses was conducted at Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on December 2, 2009. These activities were conducted to review the 2008-2009 activities, identify constraints and appropriate action in the current research procedures and outputs deliveries, and, plan for 2010 activities.

The event was graced by Dr. Bui Ba Bong, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam, Dr. Bas Bouman, Program 2 leader, and the two projects’ regional stakeholders from Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan.

Dr. Bong also lauded the importance of the postharvest component’s current initiatives to improve the postharvest practices and combat grain losses.

The Postharvest Team of the ADB project reported about the implementation status by the regional leaders in the project key areas--Dr. Pyseth Meas for Cambodia, Dr. Phan Hieu Hien for Vietnam, and Dr. Caesar Tado for Philippines. The three spearheads and links the IRRI initiatives to the farmers in their various areas. Another topic focusing on Participatory approaches to facilitating impact, the team's major approach to project implementation, was reported the group's anthropologist, Ms. Rica Flor.

Prior to the merged Review and Planning Workshop, the pre and post harvest components met separately with their stakeholders to discuss their take-off activities in 2010 and went on a field trip on provinces of Tieng Giang and Long An.

 The ADB RETA 13 started its implementation in November of 2008 to address the issues on reducing the vulnerability of crops to preharvest losses caused by planthopper outbreaks, and reducing the postharvest losses and increasing income through better-quality rice.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rice: Post Production Training conducted

The Postharvest Unit spearheaded by Martin Gummert recently conducted a training course titled "Rice Post-Production Training" held at IRRI, from October 19 to 31, 2009. About 24 collaborators from the ADB, ACIAR and IRRC projects attended the said two-week course.

The training course aimed to provide participants with: methodologies and tools to understand and quantify quality of paddy, milled rice, and seeds;hands on skills relating to all aspects to postharvest management and postharvest technologies for harvesting, threshing, drying, storage, and milling; a basic understanding of rice markets and rice standards; familiarity with the rice postharvest sector in the Philippines; familiarity with the postproduction science and resources at IRRI; an understanding of international collaboration, and
developing a project plan, a business plan for a selected technology and personal contacts to use on their return to their homes.

Participants came from Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Philippines. The training course also provided postharvest certification based on the participants' theoretical and practical performances.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Market and Communication Strategy for Cambodia rolled out

by Alfred Schmidley

A multi-stakeholder workshop dubbed as "Market Communication Strategy in Cambodia" was conduted on September 7-8, 2009.  This workshop aimed to define further needs, topics, and next steps for the Project, including how to: 1) operationalize the Learning Alliance, 2) assess communication needs and strategies, and 3) scale out previously piloted PH technologies and interventions by developing integrated business models.

The Workshop was opened by the Deputy Secretary General of MAFF, His Excellency Sen Sovann.  The Monday dinner was also attended by His Excellency Lord Reasmey, Secretary General of MAFF.  Dr. Meas Pyseth, International Programs Coordinator at MAFF and the IRRI PH Project consultant, along with Team consultants Vichet Sorn and Son Sovann, did an outstanding job with local preparations to make the Workshop a success.

In addition, ADB Postharvest project staff Rica Flor and Trina Mendoza made field visits following the to gather additional information on needs and perspectives from farmer cooperators in Prey Veng