Approximately 120 people attended the “Southeast Asia Symposium on Quality Management in Postharvest Systems” held in August in Cambodia, sponsored in part by the Horticulture Innovation Lab. The conference was held under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science with conference leadership by Borarin Buntong of the Royal University of Agriculture.
The first morning was attended by H.E. Ty Sokhun, Secretary of State and the representative of Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Sandra Stajka, USAID/Cambodia’s Director of Food Security and Environment Office, among other dignitaries.
Elizabeth Mitcham, Horticulture Innovation Lab director, provided a keynote speech about postharvest handling of horticultural crops in developing countries. Other partners of the Horticulture Innovation Lab also led talks, including John Bowman of USAID, Robert Paull of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Jingtair Siripanich of Kasetsart University, and Dyno Keatinge and Jacqueline Hughes of AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center.
After two conference days focused on research presentations, participants spent a third day on a field trip to a silkworm farm, dragonfruit farm and packinghouse, and nearby Angkor Wat.
“Professor Buntong and his team executed a very successful international conference, the first of its kind by the Royal University of Agriculture,” Mitcham said. “The event was very focused on research, with excellent student posters and many networking opportunities.”