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Read the Pupuk Alam Case Study

About the company

Pupuk Alam Sdn Bhd (PA) in Kuala Lumpur is a distributor of fertilisers and has worked with the International Centre for Management of Pest Fruit Flies (ICMPFF) at Griffith University, Queensland to develop environmentally friendly fruit fly bait using yeast waste from breweries. The two parties trialled the bait in the Mekong area of Vietnam and this resulted in more than 95% of fruit crops being saved from fruit fly infestation. Pupuk Alam has bait producing plants in Malaysia and Indonesia with output committed to the growing markets in each country.

Total grant funding approved: ECF A$873,100

About the project

PA will utilise an ECF grant to introduce a fruit fly bait product to farmers in Cambodia and to establish a bait production facility in Phnom Penh. The grant will be used to part finance extensive farmer training programs in all Cambodian provinces on the new, more environmentally friendly technology.

Griffith University will be involved in the initial farmer training programs but this will be transferred to local trainers as quickly as possible. Bait stocks for training programs, which will allow farmers to field test the product, will be supplied from PA’s existing production facilities. The local production plant is expected to be operational by late 2010. Any excess capacity in the new facilities will be exported to interested customers in China, Vietnam and/or Thailand.

Results December 2012

  • To achieve their results Pupuk Alam has had to overcome some challenges with the implementation of the project. Farmers are highly dependent on their produce and are often confronted with new products from a range of companies. Over the program 5,300 training sessions were held with farmers on using the protein baits
  • As at mid-2012, there were 521 farmers using baits in the district. Those that have tried it are the entrepreneurial type farmers, which are generally less likely to be poor.
  • To increase outreach, Pupuk Alam commenced wide area trials in 19 mango farms in one area to showcase the long term effect of using baits.
  • Previously farmers were experiencing between 80-90% damage from fruit fly borers and were using pesticides to deter flies. Over the trial, the farmers reported seeing less spoilage of fruit and the reduced costs of using baits rather than pesticides. Fruit fly baits set up to monitor the population of flies in the area found a decreased occurrence of fruit flies across the whole community as more farms participated.
  • In Phnom Penh, 10 men and women have been employed both full and part time in the bait production and head office.
  • Local production of the baits is underway operating out of a local brewery in Kampong Chhnang and will also supply other regional markets for baits.
  • Organic fruit fly baits are of particular interest to large scale plantations interested in export of fruit and in organic certification. The availability of the more effective and cheaper fruit fly baits will support a more commercial fruit industry in Cambodia – both in larger scale operations and a more commercial approach by individual farmers.
  • The Food and Agricultural Organisation have sponsored large scale organic chili growing in the district of Kampong Cham and is using Pupuk Alam’s baits to achieve the organic status of the chili.
  • Pupuk Alam have also signed an agreement with Food and Agricultural Organisation to supply organic fruit fly baits produced in Cambodia to programs in Laos and Myanmar.