ATMI-ASEAN Thesis Grant Topics List

IFAD-IFPRI-SEARCA Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in the ASEAN Region: Responding to Food Security and Inclusiveness Concerns (ATMI-ASEAN) Thesis Grant Topics List

Priority Commodities:
  • Maize
  • Cassava
  • Pig (Swine)
  • Chicken (Poultry)
  • Aromatic rice
  • Vegetables
  • Mango
  • Aquaculture
  • Fisheries
Rapid VCA Policy Study: Value Chain Study of Maize in Cambodia
Topics from National Inception Workshops:
  • Identification and zoning of high potential agricultural crops
  • Formulation of agricultural cooperative models
  • Establishment of an Agricultural Information System
  • Setting up national standards on crop varieties and farm inputs
  • Development of irrigation systems
  • Improvement in agricultural machinery use
  • Processing of agricultural products
  • Challenges and opportunities in agricultural trade
Topics from Regional Launch Workshop:
  • Review of Cambodia agricultural development policy
  • Review of Cambodia agro-industrial development plan
  • Value chain analysis of high potential agricultural crops (e.g., aromatic rice, pepper, maize, beans, pulses, fruits, vegetables)
  • Adoption of modern technologies and practices in agriculture
Priority Commodities:
  • Rice
  • Maize
  • Livestock
  • Fisheries
Rapid VCA Policy Study: Analyzing Cross Border Maize Value Chain in Lao PDR
Topics from National Inception Workshops:

Policy reviews on:

  • Agricultural lands
  • Processing of agricultural products
  • Business/private sector development assistance to agriculture
  • Existing agribusiness model
  • Food safety and standards
  • Farmers organization and extension workers
  • Agricultural financing schemes
  • Agricultural risk management
  • Pattern of agriculture commercialization
Topics from Regional Launch Workshop:
  • Review of national strategies and policies on the following agricultural commodities: rice, maize, coffee, cassava, cattle, vegetable, tea and other potential crops
  • Assessing state of agricultural transformation and market integration
  • Strengthening extension network (i.e., farmers, extension workers, private sector)
  • Development of sanitary and phytosanitary standards
Priority Commodities:
  • Pulses
  • Rubber
  • Rice
  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Onion
  • Chili
  • Livestock
  • Fisheries
Rapid VCA Policy Study: Value Chain Study for Pulses Sector
Topics from National Inception Workshops:
  • Development of the beans and pulses sector
  • Assessment of policy reforms on the rubber sector
  • Review of rice policies and value chain improvement
  • Assessment of fruits and vegetables market potential
  • State of food and nutrition security
  • Development of food safety standards
  • Improvement of exports marketing/promotion and product quality
  • Socioeconomic improvement of small- and medium-scale farmers
  • Development of agro-based small- and medium-enterprises for target agricultural crops/commodities
  • Research studies on selective breeding, native species, endangered aquatic species and livestock
  • Research on growing seasonal and regional crops and rice
  • Improvement of seed varieties and distribution process
  • Review of crop management practices
  • Improvement of postharvest and logistics procedures to increase value-added for farmers/producers
  • Establishment of an online marketing network and commodity exchange
  • Review/development of financing programs for selected crops
Topics from Regional Launch Workshop:
  • Comprehensive study on beans and pulses sector
  • Trade opportunities and challenges for rubber sector
  • Review of the rice value chain and cross border trade
  • Assessment of market/trade potential of mango and watermelon
  • Synthesis of existing studies on transformation, market integration, and smallholders
  • Leapfrog Strategy: ICT application, market information dissemination and agriculture extension
  • Study on the sesame value chain
  • Improving Traceability of livestock sector
Priority Commodities:
  • Cacao
  • Coffee
  • Seaweeds
  • Abaca
  • Swine
Rapid VCA Policy Study: Value Chain Analysis of Selected Pork-based Products in Luzon, Philippines
Topics from National Inception Workshops:

Research on farmers' aspirations/visions:

  • Capturing aspirations, culture of smallholder farmers
  • Consultations (include smallholder farmers, value chain players, including traders)
  • Strengthening collective action

Institutional reviews on:

  • Technology
  • Property rights
  • Commodity versus area-based focus
  • Program/policy continuity
  • Expenditure/budget allocation

Farmers' models:

  • Benchmarking agribusiness models
  • Success stories on indigenous farming

Market reviews on:

  • Mechanism on how to understand markets and link to smallholders
  • Role of research and development

Cross-cutting topics:

  • ASEAN perspective, concerns, and consequences
  • Food security and nutrition
  • Food safety
  • Environmental concerns
  • Sustainable development


  • Review/assessment of existing value chain studies
  • Measures to address/manage risk in production and trade – fishery industry plan
  • Collective action as vehicle to enhance profitability, productivity, and sustainability in production and trade
  • Profiling of SHFs (psychographic profile)
  • Nutrition-driven and nutrition-sensitive agriculture
  • Contracting and dis-contracting arrangements
  • Tenurial arrangements and property rights
  • Existing support services to farmers
  • Existing domestic laws
Topics from Regional Launch Workshop:
  • In-depth meta-analysis / scoping of existing value chain studies including implementation and other problems and issues to find gaps opportunities for different commodities
  • Assessment of different industries involved in value chain, especially inter-relationships among different stakeholders; value addition; commercialization and technology transfer in agriculture; challenges and opportunities focusing on small-scale rural producers
  • Measures to address/manage risk in production and trade: i.e. crop insurance, access to credit, technical assistance
  • Research on collective action as vehicle to enhance profitability, productivity, and sustainability in production and trade
  • Nutrition driven and nutrition sensitive agriculture in relation to diversification of diet (i.e. affordable, accessible, nutritious, safe); role of nutrition education in promoting diversified diets
  • Review of policy landscape and distortions
  • Review contracting arrangements for agriculture between smallholders and private companies as they affect production efficiency and equity
  • Review of tenurial arrangements and property rights as they affect efficiency, income distribution, environmental sustainability, and people empowerment
  • Efficient and effective delivery of support services to farmers: Review of different mechanisms for support to smallholders including budget allocation across agricultural programs (R&D, role of institutions, infrastructure, market matching)
  • Review of existing domestic laws affecting Philippine agriculture – logistics, distribution, storage, processing, standardization, food certification (i.e. Cabotage Law, Quarantine Rules and Regulations, Competition Act, Standardization, Food Safety Act, etc.)
  • Suggestions on direction for policy reforms and possible scenarios
Priority Commodities:
  • Rice
  • Livestock
  • Coffee
  • Cash crops
Rapid VCA Policy Study: Pig Value Chain Analysis in Hanoi Province - Recommendations for Inclusive Growth
Topics from National Inception Workshops:
  • Strengthening climate change adaptation of farmers/agricultural crops
  • Review of existing land policies
  • Development of agriculture-related Infrastructure
  • Increasing private sector investments in agriculture
  • Strengthening market linkages in agriculture
  • Review and reform of existing agricultural policies
  • Increasing farmers' incomes and reducing farmers' vulnerability to market shocks
  • Development and capacity building for small-scale women producers
  • Assessment of growth potential of local beef industry
  • Researches on: farmers cooperatives, rural labor, and institutional reforms
  • Development of food safety standards and certification
Topics from Regional Launch Workshop:
  • Inclusiveness of value chain through "small farmers and big field" models in Vietnam: The case of rice commodity
  • Land consolidation in Vietnam as a tool to improve competitiveness of SSRP: obstacles and lessons
  • Needs assessment of capacity building of SSRP to better integrate into regional and international market
  • Strengthening linkages of SSRP to emerging markets by IT support for traceability for fruit and vegetables (pilot testing model)
  • Enhancing the participation of SSRP in value chain: Comparative study of coffee and tea in Vietnam
  • Impact of regional integration on livestock SSPR in Vietnam
  • Stimulating trade facilitation in ASEAN countries through market information system development and policy sharing: Pilot project
  • Ensuring food safety by better SPS management of border trade
  • Competitiveness analysis of selected agricultural commodities in Vietnam in the context of regional integration