A first two-year project “Taxonomic capacity building to support market access for agricultural trade in the ASEAN region (AGF/CRO/11/007/REG) funded by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), has drawn positive response from all AMS.
At the recently-concluded 18th Meeting of ASEAN Expert Working Group on Harmonisation of Phytosanitary Measures (EWG-PS) held in Vientiane, Laos, in 2016, Member States endorsed a proposal to request a second phase to the Project, so that the positive outcomes from the first project can be built upon to realize safer and smoother trade within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its major trading partners.
The Phase 2 project aims to increase the capacity of ASEAN plant health officers in diagnostic skills for accurate and timely diagnosis and identification of pests and diseases which underpins the development and maintenance of robust pest lists, and to provide key skills needed in monitoring and surveillance, and border inspection systems.The one-year project is composed of 2 (two) training workshops and 1 (one) attachment program in Japan:
Beneficiaries of the Project
The direct beneficiaries of the project will be the plant health personnel (40 officers from the training workshops and 3 officers from the attachment program) of AMS who support key food security and market access-related activities. These include plant quarantine, monitoring and inspection, pest surveillance and pest list development, measuring 40 participants to the training workshops and 3 participants for the more in-depth attachment programs. Indirectly, the confidence built as a result of the hands-on training and exposure to more advanced plant health systems through attachments and visits will benefit existing national systems within the AMS and encourage a cascading effect within national systems in improving capacity and efficiency in related support services.
The extension of a Phase 2 to the project will provide the opportunity to not only extend capacity development into other pests and diseases of economic importance to AMS, but also the useful time frame to monitor and encourage the graduates of training workshops and attachment programs to continue to apply their knowledge gained to their daily responsibilities as well as pass on to relevant colleagues at home. M&E activities will include attempts to measure the sustainability of Phase 1 activities in building the required capacity in ASEAN.