The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), together with local partners, will conduct national inception workshops in Cambodia and Myanmar under the project titled Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in the ASEAN Region: Responding to Food Security and Inclusiveness Concerns (ATMI-ASEAN). This project is being implemented by SEARCA and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The Cambodia National Inception Workshop will be held in Phnom Penh on 27-28 March 2017, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF), through its General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) as focal agency. This will be closely followed by the Myanmar National Inception Workshop to be held in Nay Pyi Taw on 30-31 March 2017, with the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) as partner. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MoALI) of Myanmar will assist in the preparations for the event.
These inception workshops aim to achieve the following:
Enhanced understanding of structural transformation and market integration as these relate to agricultural growth and food security in these countries;
Common appreciation of what the Programme hopes to achieve and the roles of various stakeholders – ASEAN Member States (AMS), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)/farmers' organizations, the private sector, research institutions, and project implementers;
Identified promising commodities for regional and global value chains; and
A Country Action Plan towards the achievement of the Programme's outcome, i.e., enhanced capacity of the AMS to identify and design national strategies, policies, programs, and national agrifood value chain investment initiatives that benefit small-scale rural producers (SSRPs).
The national inception workshop is the first step in a series of activities towards meeting the ATMI-ASEAN objective of strengthening the institutional capacities of the AMS, particularly of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam to develop and implement policies and sub-regional programs in support of the integration of smallholders in agriculture and food markets. ATMI-ASEAN likewise seeks to enhance cooperation in food security and agricultural development among the AMS through the preparation of strategic programs and measures in the areas of research and development, food safety and quality standards, and investments in food and agri-based industries.
Workshop participants will include the respective ministries of agriculture, other relevant ministries and government agencies (e.g., Trade, Rural Development), academe and research organizations, private sector, civil society, NGOs, farmers' organizations, and representatives from IFAD, IFPRI, and SEARCA. (Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel)