18 October 2016 - CABI’s SE Asia Regional Director, Dr Loke Wai Hong, and SE Asia Regional Director (Designate), Dr Sivapragasam Annamalai, each received the MARD medal from the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) for their significant contributions to Vietnam’s agricultural and rural development sectors.
The two scientists were presented with the medal by the Ministry’s Vice Minister, Dr Le Quoc Doanh. The Ministry presents the award to foreign nationals who are chosen for their noteworthy agricultural work in the country.
Dr Loke and Dr Sivapragasam were nominated for the award by the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) and are based in CABI’s Malaysia centre.
CABI has worked with a number of partners in Vietnam, including VAAS, for many years, helping to run a number of projects and programmes involving the two scientists. These have addressed a wide range of agricultural issues including farmer livelihoods, food security, market access and invasive species.
Plantwise is the biggest programme CABI leads in Vietnam and was launched in the country in 2012. The initiative helps meet the needs of Vietnam’s significant and vital agricultural sector and its many rural farmers. The programme is helping to establish a holistic and sustainable plant health system in the country and it provides an effective conduit to channel pragmatic information to many farmers. 25 plant clinics in five different provinces currently run in Vietnam and so far, the programme has trained more than 80 plant doctors and advised more than 2,000 farmers in the pilot sites.
As well as working in Vietnam on projects involving a wide range of stakeholders, Vietnam’s membership of CABI has also resulted in benefits which contribute immensely to the country’s agriculture and rural development.
“Dr Siva and I are honoured and delighted to receive the prestigious MARD medal,” said Dr Loke Wai Hong. “We’re very proud to have been recognised with this award as a result of our work with very cooperative partners in Vietnam.
“CABI and Vietnam enjoy a very productive and synergistic
relationship. I and colleagues have been working in the country for many years and our partnership is helping to support agricultural and rural development in Vietnam. I’m sure this strong relationship will continue to grow and bring more benefits to the country.”
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