For a sustainable and resilient rubber sector in Southeast Asia

Science at work 13 September 2021
The Agence française de développement (AFD) has awarded CIRAD a 1.5 million-euro grant for the FORSEA regional project (FOrecasting impacts of climate change and workforce availability on natural Rubber commodity chain in South-East Asia). The projet aims to forecast the possible effects of climate change and the increasing scarcity of agricultural labour on the rubber sector in Southeast Asia. t will be implemented with a consortium of partners in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Récolte du latex sur hévéa © I. Vagneron, Cirad
Récolte du latex sur hévéa © I. Vagneron, Cirad

Récolte du latex sur hévéa © I. Vagneron, Cirad

Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and the Philippines) produces 73% of the world's natural rubber. However, its cultivation is threatened by two major changes: global warming, which could affect its cultivation conditions, and the increasing scarcity of agricultural labour. 

In response, AFD is financing the FORSEA regional project (FOrecasting impacts of climate change and workforce availability on natural Rubber commodity chain in South-East Asia) with a 1.5 million euro grant to the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). It will be implemented in Thailand, in association with Kasetsart University (KU) and the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT), Cambodia, in conjunction with the General Directorate of Rubber and the Rubber Research Institute of Cambodia (IRCC), and in Vietnam, in association with the Rubber Research Institute of Vietnam (RRIV).

Its objective is to contribute to the adaptation of these countries to the challenges of the sector by documenting the consequences (technical, social and economic) of these changes and by specifying the options for adapting more effectively. These data will be shared with stakeholders in the sector at different decision-making levels.

"CIRAD has historically participated in AFD's main actions concerning the rubber sector in Cambodia. With the FOSEA project, CIRAD is pursuing its commitment to working to improve the living conditions of rubber producers in Southeast Asia alongside AFD and national rubber research and development partners, particularly in Cambodia, and thus ensure the sustainability of the sector", said Eric Gohet, CIRAD's FORSEA project coordinator. 

In addition to this support, AFD is currently supporting the sustainable rubber sector in Southeast Asia via a sustainable rubber production project implemented by WWF and a project on sustainable large-scale plantation management implemented by CIRAD.

"We are delighted to be able to renew our support to the rubber sector in Cambodia. This project is in line with the support we have been providing in this historic sector for AFD. It is now essential to invest in climate adaptation in this key sector of activity for Cambodia, which provides income for a large part of the rural population. This project also gives us the opportunity to continue our quality collaboration with CIRAD, AFD's long-term partner in Cambodia on projects supporting rubber systems", explained Ophélie Bourhis, Director of AFD Cambodia.  

Signature du projet FORSEA, en présence de M. Khun Kakada (Directeur Général adjoint du GDR, Président du consortium des partenaires du projet FORSEA), Mme Ophélie Bourhis (Directrice de l'AFD au Cambodge), M. Lim Khan Tiva, Directeur du CRRI (Cambodian Rubber Research Institute), H.E. Him Aun, Directeur Général du GDR, Eric Gohet, chercheur au Cirad et coordinateur du projet FORSEA, M. Kou Phally (GDR), M. Muong Sideth, Chef de Pôle, Agriculture, développement rural, infrastructure, environnement à l'AFD Cambodge © GDR : General Directorate of Rubber

© GDR : General Directorate of Rubber

Signing of the FORSEA project, in the presence of Khun Kakada (Deputy Director General, GDR; Chair of the FORSEA project partners cornsortium), Ophélie Bourhis (Director of AFD Cambodia), Lim Khan Tiva, Director of CRRI (Cambodian Rubber Research Institute), H.E. Him Aun, GDR Director General, Eric Gohet, CIRAD researcher and CIRAD's FORSEA project coordinator, Kou Phally (GDR), Muong Sideth, Head of Agriculture, Rural Development, Infrastructure, Environment at AFD Cambodia.