(Left - Right) AFA's Secretary General Ms. Esther Penunia and Policy Advocacy Officer Ms. Maria Elena Rebagay; and SEARCA's Acting Program Head for Research and Development Dr Bessie M. Burgos, Program Specialist Ms. Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel, and ARD2014 Program Associate Ms. Junette Dawn Baculfo
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Asian Farmer’s Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) met on 21 March 2014 to discuss AFA’s participation in the 2nd International Conference on Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia (ARD2014).
The meeting was attended by Ms. Esther Penunia, AFA Secretary General and the International Year of Family Farming Special Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific; Ms. Maria Elena Rebagay, AFA Policy Advocacy Officer; and SEARCA's Acting Program Head for Research and Development Dr. Bessie Burgos, Progam Specialist Ms. Carmen Nyhria Rogel, and ARD2014 staff Ms. Junette Dawn Baculfo.
AFA is a regional alliance of national federations and organizations of small scale farmers and producers with a vision that includes self-reliant and prosperous rural farming communities. For the past 12 years, it has been involved in capacity building on small scale farmers’ organizations, lobbying for farmer’s rights and development, and mainstreaming sustainable agriculture in Asia. Currently, its members come from ten countries, namely, Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, South Korea, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
AFA’s work and experience will contribute to the aim of ARD2014 to provide a venue for sharing the wide and diverse knowledge pool on ARD that exists within and beyond the Southeast Asian region. It has agreed to partner with SEARCA on the conference by convening the session on Sustainable Agriculture under the theme Sustainability and Poverty Reduction.
With the theme, Strengthening Resilience, Equity and Integration in ASEAN Food and Agriculture Systems, ARD2014 will be held on 12-13 November 2014 in Dusit Thani Manila, Makati City, Philippines. It will cover a range of important topics on the following themes: productivity improvement, inclusive value chains, sustainability and poverty reduction, food security and food safety, institutions and governance, and regional cooperation and integration. The conference will bring together relevant stakeholders from, but not limited to, Southeast Asia. Participants will include agriculture and rural development experts from the academe and research institutions, government policy makers, private sector practitioners, farmer leaders, and other interested stakeholders.