What is the ACP-ACTAE project?
The ACP-ACTAE project, carried out in 2017 and 2018, was devoted to Agroecological Crop Protection (ACP) in Southeast Asia. It was funded by the AFD (Agence Française de Développement) within the ACTAE regional project (" Towards Agroecology Transition in the Mekong Region"). The project was coordinated by the Cirad and the Cirad's Regional Direction for Continental Southeast Asia, with Dr Jean-Philippe Deguine (Cirad, UMR PVBMT) as coordinator. The ACP-ACTAE project gathered numerous partners from Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos via the Cansea network.
The ACP-ACTAE project aimed at writing a new page on agroecology in the Cansea platorm activities in Southeast Asia. ACP, the declension of Agroecology to Crop Protection, is an essential field of agroecosystem management, coherent and complementary with Conservation Agriculture (and agroecological soil management). ACP is based on two main axes: i) soil health and ii) biodiversity.
The ACP-ACTAE project benefits Cansea countries (i.e. Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia) and more generally countries in Asia. The project was also an opportunity to develop new networks and collaborations within Southeast Asia and other parts of the world (namely Europe and regions in the Indian Ocean).
Cansea is a network and platform of research partners keen to implement agroecology and conservation agriculture in Southeast Asia via research and training. ACP is a new theme addressed in Cansea, opening a new era in research and training in this network. This theme was addeed because it matches with a demand of stakeholders in agriculture in Southeast Asia and because it is an increasing issue of interest in sustainable agriculture.
The ACP-ACTAE project corresponds to the main stream of evolution of Cansea, i.e. opening to other fields of agroecology in the future. The ACP-ACTAE project took place in the 2016 Grant ACTAE Cansea process, and it resulted from discussions with partners in Cansea countries. Before submission, this proposal was consolidated with Cansea partners. All Cansea countries were concerned by this proposal, which included participation in workshops or meetings, but we had choosen to focus activities on the priorities of ACP themes in certain zones due to the limited amount of funds in the ACTAE Grants. Thus, the ACP-ACTAE project mainly concerned one country, Vietnam, with links with neighbouring countries.
We suggested to consider this ACP-ACTAE project as a framework to start basic activities, such as surveys, exchange of information and training, and as a leverage to build further collaborations. The overall objective of the ACP-ACTAE project was, by starting and promoting activities in a new field of agroecology, to contribute to the global development of agroecology in Southeast Asia.
Objective of the ACP-ACTAE project
> Responding to the need of and request for Agroecology in Crop Protection within the framework of the Cansea platform
During the Cansea Steering Committee held in Bangkok (Thailand) in November 2015, the perspective to develop ACP in Cansea was proposed and accepted in accordance with identified needs from different partners. Two avenues were identified: i) to develop Agroecological Crop Protection, the field of Agroecology in Crop Protection, with and besides Conservation Agriculture; and ii) to contribute to the Cansea platform with activities of training, applied research and academic education with and to the benefit of Cansea partners.
The ACP-ACTAE project contributed to open a new appoach of agroecological practices in Southeast Asia in the field of Crop Protection. It is necessary and relevant to stress the coherence and complementarity of ACP with the pillars of Conservation Agriculture, particularly with the priority given to soil health and to biodiversity in agroecosystems. In this respect, a scientific goal of this project was to contribute, structure, promote and implement interface between agroecological soil management and agroecological biodiversity management. Of course, ACP is of interest to the countries involved in the ACTAE regional project (Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia) and more generally countries in the Asian zone (members or not yet of the Cansea network).
We suggested to consider this project as a framewok to start first and basic activities (survey, exchange of information, training) and as a lever to build a medium-term ACP research collaboration, with further technical and financial partners.
Overall and specific objectives
The development of Agroecology in the field of Crop Protection in Southeast Asia can be divided in 2 phases:
- 2017-2018, the ACP-ACTAE project helped partners reach the same level of understanding on ACP (sharing concerns, exchanging informations, writing collectively, training, identifying axis of a mid-term project in partnership, etc.)
- After 2019, medium-term collaborations will aim to initiate a perenial partnership in the region and to implement durable activities in ACP (research, teaching, supervising, training, dissemination of knowledge, …)
The overall goal of the ACP-ACTAE project was, by starting and promoting activities in Agroecology, to contribute to the global development of Agroecology in Southeast Asia. This project was coherent with the Conservation Agriculture. It was also in accordance with the regional dynnamics in Agroecology (see FAO meeting in Bangkok in 2015). Among the issues, ACP aimed at placing agroecological issues at the centre of concerns, while maintening or enhancing socioeconomical considerations of small scale farmers, and taking into account respect of environment (particularly biodiversity) and human health.
Thus, the 3 specific goals of this ACP-ACTAE project were:
- Make a state of the art of Crop Protection in Southeast Asia and identify the priority issues of Crop Protection to address
- Train and exchange information on ACP for different stakeholders (researchers, extension officers, stakeholders, growers)
- Build the foundation of an ACP medium-term project, integrating research, training, education and extension support, with Cansea partners.
The three axes of the ACP-ACTAE project resulted from these three specific objectives listed above and gave 5 actions which are presented below.
Meetings and seminars planned in this project, such as workshops and Scientist School, targetted all ACTAE countries (Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia). However, taking into account the limited amount of the budget, this ACP project particularly focused on developing partnership with two countries: Vietnam and Myanmar.
A co-designed project
The ACP-ACTAE project was discussed, detailed and consolidated by the partners met during the first and previous contacts, mainly in Vietnam and Myanmar. At this occasion, meetings were organised with different institutions of these two countries. Local contacts were identified to be the focal persons to transfer information and to exchange with other colleagues in the country (or in the part of the country for Vietnam).
The 5 actions of the project were concrete answers to the concerns of the partners and agricultural stakeholders. The main targeted countries were Vietnam and Myanmar. However transversal activities, such as for example workshops and seminars, aimed also to involve partners of Laos and Cambodia.
Before the project, in Vietnam, the following partners discussed on this ACP-ACTAE project: MARD-VAAS (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences), MARD-PPD (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Plant Production Department), SOFRI (Southern Fruit Research Institute), PPRI (Plant Protection Research Institute), SFRI (Soils and Fertilizers Research Institute), NOMAFSI (Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute), HNUE (Hanoi National University of Education), VOAA (Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association), FAVRI (Fruits and Vegetables Research Institute), VNUA (Vietnam National University of Agriculture) and CTU (Can Tho University). In Myanmar, the partners who confirmed their interest and involvement on the basis of the project were the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) from which the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), Land Use Division (DOA-LUD) and Plant Protection Department (DOA-PPD) and the Yezin Agricultural University (Plant Protection Division, Department of Plant Pathology). In addition, partnerships with Laos and Cambodia were consolidated in the planned workshops of the ACP-ACTAE. Researchers of Laos and Cambodia planned to attend the regional workshop and Scientist School in South Vietnam.