Analysis of the vegetable value chain and gender roles in vegetable production in northwest Cambodia

Rebecca Fong, Rebecca Cross, Robert Martin and Daniel K.Y. Tan

The University of Sydney, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Tel: 61 2 8627 1052 Email: daniel.tan@sydney.edu.au, rebeccaweilyn@hotmail.com 

Abstract:

Consumer demand for vegetables has been on the rise in the past 10 years due to their reported nutritional and health benefits. In addition, vegetables provide crop diversification for rice-based production systems, being suitable for crop rotation and therefore contributing to minimising the spread of plant disease and improving the quality of soil. Within the Cambodian market there is a strong, local preference for vegetables produced in Cambodia as they are recognised to be of high quality relative to those imported from neighbouring countries.  This project aims to analyse the scalability of best practice in vegetable production, by conducting a value chain analysis (VCA) to map and evaluate each actor in the vegetable supply chain within Cambodia, including farmers, collectors and wholesalers. In addition, the degree of gender equality in vegetable production is assessed to determine if there has been progress with women empowerment in the production sector. The VCA was conducted using the mixed method approach, which included interviews with 140 farmers and surveys with 524 household representatives in the Cambodian provinces of Battambang and Banteay Meanchey. Challenges that actors in the VCA face are a lack of resource-base and technical knowledge. Cambodian men do most of the heavy labour activities such as land preparation and the application of both pesticides and herbicides, while women are more predominantly involved in monetary decision making such as managing the household finances and selling the produce. Women play a key role in vegetable production; integrated models that recognise women’s potential to capitalise on and value-add to vegetable products will advance the vegetable industry in Cambodia.

Chartered Agriculturalist (CAg) – A New Industry Accreditation Scheme for Professionals in Australian Agriculture

Turlough Guerin1, Daniel K.Y. Tan1,2, Guy Coleman1,2, Andrew Bishop1, Virginia Shaw1 and Mark Harding1

1 Ag Institute of Australia (AIA), P.O. Box 576, Crows Nest, NSW, 2 The University of Sydney, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Email: daniel.tan@sydney.edu.au 

Abstract:

The Royal Commission into the Banking and Financial Services Sector has raised the need for good governance, including practical ethics, for advisors in the financial sector. It is only a matter of time before the same scrutiny is applied to advisors and consultants in other industries, including agriculture and natural resource management (NRM). An industry-wide Chartered Agricultural Scheme was launched on 28 November 2018, which places the agricultural sector in a strong position, providing an aspirational pathway for emerging professionals to build their capability to serve clients, i.e. growers, corporations, governments and other organisations in the sector. In addition, the scheme would enable agricultural professionals to be recognised for their contribution as industry leaders and place a greater industry focus on professionalism and ethics. The Chartered Agriculturalist (CAg) is such a scheme and it has been designed and developed by the Ag Institute of Australia (AIA).  CAg has been designed to recognise individuals that demonstrate expertise, experience, technical certification, a practical knowledge of ethics, continued professional development (CPD), leadership and other professional skills in the agricultural industry. This scheme is open to AIA members and agricultural professionals who are members of organisations such as the Soil Science Society of Australia, Agronomy Society of Australia and Australian Society of Animal Production. The CAg scheme will help provide protection for, and maintain the reputation and service delivery capability of all professionals and advisors in the agricultural sector. It is an umbrella program enabling applicants to gain recognition for their routine CPD, formal qualifications and experience, which includes the investment agronomists make in their existing professional development as part of their everyday jobs. The program is designed to encourage agriculturalists to grow professionally.

 

Assessment of pesticide residues in vegetables in the Inle Lake region in Myanmar

Sai Kham Thi1, Floris Van Ogtrop1, Liam Southam-Rogers1,2, Daniel K.Y. Tan1

1The University of Sydney, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia, 2Applied Horticultural Research, Biomedical Building C81, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia, Tel: 61 2 8627 1052

Email: daniel.tan@sydney.edu.au 

Abstract:

Pesticide use by farmers in Myanmar is increasing to protect crops from pest infestation. The increased use of pesticides has the potential to cause environmental contamination and poses a health risk to growers and consumers. This study focused on the analysis of pesticide residues in five vegetables grown in the Inle Lake region of Myanmar: cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, Chinese kale and pepper derived from five villages (Taung Po Gyi, Tha Pyay Pin, Nga Phae Chaung, Mwe Pway and Taung Che) and from three different markets (Thirimingalar, Nyaung Shwe and Aung Ban). The analyses were conducted using a quick test tool kit. In addition to these chemical analyses of vegetable samples, a survey was undertaken on farmers’ knowledge, attitude and practice toward the safe use of pesticides. Over 75% of vegetables sampled from both villages and markets had detectable insecticide residues. Only 38% of growers reported receiving training on safe use of pesticides from agrochemical companies and 62% of interviewees did not receive any training. For pesticide selection and use, 33% of farmers received information from agrochemical company staff, followed by 32% from pesticide retailers, 30% from peer farmers, 3% by self-decision and 2% from government. In terms of using protective equipment during pesticide application, 18% of farmers did not use any protective equipment, 10% wore only a mask and 72% wore a mask, gloves, long sleeve shirt and trousers. The implications of this work for the future safe and responsible use of pesticides on vegetable crops in Myanmar are discussed.

Assessment of pesticide residues in vegetables in the Inle Lake region in Myanmar

Sai Kham Thi1, Floris Van Ogtrop1, Liam Southam-Rogers1,2, Daniel K.Y. Tan1

1The University of Sydney, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia, 2Applied Horticultural Research, Biomedical Building C81, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia, Tel: 61 2 8627 1052

Email: daniel.tan@sydney.edu.au 

Abstract:

Pesticide use by farmers in Myanmar is increasing to protect crops from pest infestation. The increased use of pesticides has the potential to cause environmental contamination and poses a health risk to growers and consumers. This study focused on the analysis of pesticide residues in five vegetables grown in the Inle Lake region of Myanmar: cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, Chinese kale and pepper derived from five villages (Taung Po Gyi, Tha Pyay Pin, Nga Phae Chaung, Mwe Pway and Taung Che) and from three different markets (Thirimingalar, Nyaung Shwe and Aung Ban). The analyses were conducted using a quick test tool kit. In addition to these chemical analyses of vegetable samples, a survey was undertaken on farmers’ knowledge, attitude and practice toward the safe use of pesticides. Over 75% of vegetables sampled from both villages and markets had detectable insecticide residues. Only 38% of growers reported receiving training on safe use of pesticides from agrochemical companies and 62% of interviewees did not receive any training. For pesticide selection and use, 33% of farmers received information from agrochemical company staff, followed by 32% from pesticide retailers, 30% from peer farmers, 3% by self-decision and 2% from government. In terms of using protective equipment during pesticide application, 18% of farmers did not use any protective equipment, 10% wore only a mask and 72% wore a mask, gloves, long sleeve shirt and trousers. The implications of this work for the future safe and responsible use of pesticides on vegetable crops in Myanmar are discussed.

Crop Livestock Enterprise Model (CLEM) – a tool to support decision-making at the whole-farm scale

Elizabeth Meier1*, Di Prestwidge1, Adam Liedloff2, Shaun Verrall1, Skye Traill3 and Mike Stower1

1 CSIRO, 306 Carmody Rd, St Lucia Qld 4067, www.csiro.au, *elizabeth.meier@csiro.au,
2 CSIRO, 564 Vanderlin Dr, Berrimah NT 0828, www.csiro.au, 
3 CSIRO, 203 Tor St, Toowoomba Qld 4350, www.csiro.au 

Abstract:

Farm management decisions can be complex, involving allocation of limited resources to competing tasks, each of which influences the final outcome. This makes it difficult to evaluate the impact of different practices on farm resources, including labour and machinery, fodder, crops, livestock and water, as well as whole farm income and externalities such as greenhouse gas emissions. The Crop Livestock Enterprise Model (CLEM) is a dynamic, bio-economic model developed to simulate the effect of diverse activities on whole of farm resources and at scales ranging from large farm businesses to smallholder subsistence farms. CLEM is a modular simulation tool included within the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM next generation) modelling framework. CLEM highlights the outcomes of practice change by providing simulated information to support better-informed management decisions such as identification of: the profitability of alternative practices, the likelihood of resource shortages, and the changes in labour required from adopting new technologies.

Growers identify that knowledge and confidence in management decisions are major constraints to profitable productivity improvement in the higher rainfall areas of Western Australia

G.P. McDonald

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, 444 Albany Highway, Albany, WA, 6330, www.dpird.wa.gov.au, glenn.mcdonald@dpird.wa.gov.au

Abstract:

During the 2010 season, grain growers from across the Western Australian southern higher rainfall areas were consulted in a series of interactive workshops designed to identify constraints to improving productivity and profitability. More than 94% of the growers believed there was significant room for improvement in their business. Similar constraints were grouped with the most important groups of these being soil management with 54% of all votes cast by workshop participants. Specific constraints of high importance were non-wetting soils and herbicide resistance. Other common constraints in order of decreasing priority included input efficiencies, soil acidity, soil constraints knowledge, soil water storage, and waterlogging. Growers identified more than 50 constraints during the workshops that can be grouped into four key themes; knowledge, confidence, time and money. Although the latter two, lack of time and insufficient money, can be neutralised by greater knowledge and improved confidence. For the adoption of any new technology or information to overcome a constraint all of these four themes must be adequately addressed.

Financial risk profiles for dryland cotton by APSIM-Ozcot and @Risk®

Sosheel Solomon Godfrey1*, Muhuddin Rajin Anwar1,2, Thomas Lee Nordblom1

1 Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (an alliance between Charles Sturt University and NSW Department of Primary Industries), Albert Pugsley Place, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.   https://www.csu.edu.au/research/grahamcentre, sgodfrey@csu.edu.au

2 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, PMB Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia   

Abstract:

Dryland (rainfed) cotton is affected by weather variability, particularly extreme temperatures and rainfalls, which influence crop growth, development and yield. This variability in production was quantified in two important dryland cotton-growing regions of Australia using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM)-Ozcot cotton model. The present study integrates @RISK for multivariate distributions of risk posed by weather and price variations over time to define financial risk profiles that show the probabilities of losses and gains for a given management plan. These results highlight how misleading a gross margin analysis can be on its own, accounting only for variable costs and neglecting the greater share of fixed costs such as depreciation, interest on the debt, wages of permanent labour and managerial allowance controlling a farm’s economic profitability over time.

Host

The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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