The “ASEAN Biocontrol for Sustainable Agri-food Systems” Project

Last updated: 29 October 2013  |  14:38

Section I : Background / Introduction

asean agriculture farm asean agriculture farm The agri-food sector is of critical importance in both Southeast Asia and in our ever changing world. The demand for food products of greater quality and quantity to supply both domestic and international markets, along with the need to manage scarce natural resources, has driven agricultural development policies towards the concept of “ sustainable agri-foodsystems” .

asean agriculture farm Increased consumer and industry interest in food safety issues, combined with stricter export regulations, has shifted agricultural policy across Southeast Asia towards more sustainable production techniques.

The sustainability of agri-food systems – in the economic, social and environmental frameworks – is a defining factor towards competitiveness in global markets that are growing in complexity.

  The “ ASEAN Biocontrol for Sustainable Agri-food Systems” , which is part of the “ ASEAN-German Programme on Response to Climate Change: Agriculture, Forestry and Related Sectors (GAP-CC)” , aims to address these challenging issues. The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and was implemented in early 2011.

Objectives and Approaches

ASEAN Biocontrol aims to develop regionally selected coordinated policies and strategies for sustainable agriculture and the food sector. Under this project, agri-food systems are advanced by promoting sustainable inputs and their management through the implementation of biocontrol agents and sustainable crop management practices.

farm insect trap
Farmers are using bio-pesticide (attractant) against fruit flies. The trap is made from used water bottle. Our project introduces new bait made from wood which can release the aroma slowly and constantly up to 3 months; so it can catch more fruit flies in the field and it’ s more economical.

The use, trade and registration of sustainable agricultural inputs, such as biopesticides and fertilizers, are also encouraged under the project. Sustainable agri-food systems must also be profitable for supply chain actors, such as farmers, processors, traders and input suppliers.

The objective is also to support the provision of safe, healthy and affordablefood for an increasing urban population in accordance with the efficient use of scarce resources and sensitive ecosystems. ASEAN Biocontrol works primarily on aregional level and in some cases with individual ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Member States.

farm farmer net
Some farmers use netwalls (5-6 m in height) to protect their farm from fruit flies which are assumed to fly not more than 5 m. It is quite expensive and the result is also not so satisfying. The project is promoting the bio-pesticide application (attractant) plus sustainable crop practices that will give better result and lower cost.

Greater focus is given to prominent agrarian ASEAN nations and the project supports ASEAN Member States through advice from international experts and assistance with pilot project implementation. An important approach is to strengthen regional communication in order to provide a platform for wider policy dialogue between public, private and civil society sectors.

farm harvest
Usually the infected fruits will be thrown anywhere; this habit will allow the larva inside the fruit to develop to an adult (fly) and will come to infect the field again.

To promote biocontrol agents for sustainable agri-food systems in ASEAN countries, the project has established three components:

  1. harmonization by providing support for the formulation process of ASEAN guidelines and regulatory frameworks regarding biological input procedures, as well as setting up a regional biocontrol database;
  2. promotion of sustainable agri-food systems by creating awareness among farmers and other stakeholders through media campaigns as well as establishing and facilitating regional and global networks for applied research and business practices matching;
  3. capacity development by training expert groups, producer organizations and farmers on sustainable crop management and facilitating the establishment of demonstration plots aiming at identifying successful products