CLTV Embarks on a Climate-Smart Postharvest Course for a Resilient Agrifood ValueChain

Agricultural Development and Commercialization

To enhance the region’s capability in adopting innovative postharvest solutions, Mekong Institute (MI), supported by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), held the Regional Training Program on Climate-Smart Postharvest Technologies form February 19 to 23 at the MI Training Center in Khon Kaen, Thailand. The course gathered 30 representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Highlighting the importance of extending climate-smart initiatives beyond production, the training featured postharvest technologies from processing to marketing with experts from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Thailand’s Department of Agriculture, and academe such as King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Kasetsart University, and Khon Kaen University.

“We know that climate-smart agriculture is not new in the region, but the majority of the initiatives in this area are in production. For this collaborative project with Australia, we intend to cover the other stages of the value chain despite the limited climate-smart technologies that the region has for postharvest,” said Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of the Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department, Mekong Institute. She encouraged the participants to make use of the training as an opportunity to share their experiences and build connections for future collaboration.

Structured around five comprehensive modules, the course showcased climate-smart technologies in processing, storage, distribution, and marketing that can build the resilience of the agrifood value chain. One of the highlights of the program was a learning visit to the Khon Kaen Innovation Center, where participants had a firsthand look at how companies like Mitr Phol are pioneering sustainable practices and technologies to reduce carbon footprints along the sugar value chain.

Following the training, participants are tasked with implementing action plans developed during the program. A total of 28 action plans were submitted, focusing on localized training, piloting new technologies, research, and curriculum development aimed to promote climate-smart postharvest practices. 

Mr. Shayne Mckenna, First Secretary (Development) at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, shared his enthusiasm for the forthcoming partnerships that emerged during the action plan presentations. He envisioned that these opportunities for collaboration would further foster regional cooperation and facilitate the transfer and scaling up of experiential knowledge in addressing climate change.

The training program was a part of the MI and DFAT joint project Promoting Climate-Smart Agriculture Technologies and Innovations in Lower Mekong Countries under the Mekong Australia Partnership – Water, Energy, and Climate Change (MAP-WEC).

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