Toward Improved Market Access for ASEAN Agricultural Commodities

Sustainable development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is highly dependent on the agricultural sector, and on exports to overseas markets. This trade in turn depends on compliance with strict plant health and safety standards established by the World Trade Organization (WTO). An important aspect of compliance is the ability to diagnose and manage agricultural pests and diseases. There are currently considerable efforts to support diagnostic services in the region, but very little effort to ensure that this knowledge is widely shared across the entire range of stakeholders involved in plant health, from farmers, market traders, processors and exporters to national plant protection organizations, universities and national research organizations.

This project will establish an ASEAN-wide network to provide plant health and safety services to participating countries. An independent clearinghouse mechanism will be established at the CAB International office in Malaysia to facilitate anonymous testing of samples in third-party countries, thereby supporting those countries in which this capacity is weak or absent.

The project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will focus on drawing up a detailed business plan and laying the groundwork for the network by constructing a website, preparing directories of stakeholders and developing project proposals. The second will establish the network as a mechanism for exchanging knowledge, and put into operation the diagnostic function of the clearinghouse mechanism.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, November 12, 2009

End Date

Thursday, May 30, 2013


36 months

IDRC Officer

Osir, Ellie Onyango

Total funding

CA$ 426,565


Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, Malaysia


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Lum Keng-Yeang


CAB International

Institution Country


Institution Website