Improper pest management has led to significant yield loss in rice and other crop harvests in Cambodia, causing economic losses to farmers and environmental disruption through ill-informed chemical use. The use of broad-spectrum pesticides as a solution to all observed pests is commonplace in the rice and mung bean fields of lowland Cambodia and can be linked to unsuitable sources of agricultural information.
In 2020, Professor Daniel Tan caught up with Dr Natali Pearson over Zoom to chat about his lifelong work supporting sustainable farming practices in Cambodia, including through targeted capacity-building programs and the development of image-rich mobile phone applications to assist Cambodian farmers with insect pest identification and crop management.
About Daniel Tan:
Daniel is Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. He is also the Country Coordinator for Cambodia at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, and a member of the Sydney Institute of Agriculture, the Sydney Nano Institute, and the Charles Perkins Centre. Daniel’s research focuses on crop agronomy, specifically abiotic stress. He has conducted extensive research in Southeast Asia, including a very successful program that aimed to improve smallholder farmer livelihoods in Cambodia, with funding from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
Daniel currently has collaborative research links at CSIRO Plant Industry (Narrabri), the University of Oxford, NSW Department of Agriculture, Applied Horticultural Research (Sydney), Texas A&M University (USA) the United States Department of Agriculture (Lubbock, Texas, USA) and ICRISAT, India. Daniel has been a member of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) since 1991. He is also on the Editorial Boards of the 'Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture' and 'Frontiers of Plant Science'.
For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.