Reshaping Agriculture and Development in Southeast Asia

Reshaping Agriculture and Development in Southeast Asia

Quick Facts:

Background and Rationale

By 2050, the global population is projected to reach ten billion, up from eight billion today. Large numbers of people entering the middle class, in countries like China and India, the Southeast Asian region included, and adopting middle-class eating habits - like consuming more meat, which requires more grain - only adds to the burden.

To close the food gap, worldwide farm productivity will have to increase by 60 percent in 2050. But increasing climate risks and uncertainties exacerbate Southeast Asia's reduced ability to increase food production for its own growing population, given the degraded condition of its natural resource base, among other challenges such as its ageing farm population and urbanizing food habits.

Against this backdrop of challenges, various stakeholders in 2014 asserted their analyses and solutions in the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture's (SEARCA) 2nd International Conference on Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia (ARD2014). From this conference, SEARCA harvested Farms, Food, & Futures: Toward Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia, published in 2016, its 50th year. In the book, high-level ARD experts have mapped, along the parameters of resilience, equity, and integration, their syntheses of the answers in the areas of productivity improvement, inclusive value chains, sustainability and poverty reduction, food security and food safety, institutions and governance, and regional cooperation and integration.

But the rapidly changing environment of agriculture and development (AD) calls for constantly keeping our ears close to the ground to stay in tune with AD's shifting landscape. Among the changes to contend with are technologies in agriculture internet of things (IoT) and their potentials in sustainable agricultural intensification; China's Belt and Road Initiative that physically links China with ASEAN countries across national boundaries giving way to regional/cross-border value chains; and emergence of a new breed of educated family farmers including farm tourism operators who are rediscovering agriculture as a venture or better lifestyle. Yet the uncertainties of climate change, and of challenges to the inclusion and integration of smallholder farmers in the current movement toward agricultural transformation, remain as important challenges

A one-day experts consultation forum on Reshaping Agriculture and Development in Southeast Asia is thus proposed to draw out high-level analyses and scenarios in order to distill emerging opportunities and challenges that would bear upon collaborative arrangements for agriculture and development in the Southeast Asian region.


In general, the experts consultation forum on Reshaping Agriculture and Development in Southeast Asia aims to distill from current developments and emerging scenarios the opportunities and challenges for direction-setting and strategizing towards an integrated agenda in agriculture and development in Southeast Asia so as to be able to proactively address these rapid changes.

Specifically, the regional experts consultation forum will:

  1. Analyze opportunities and challenges for agriculture and development in the Southeast Asian region in the next five to ten years;
  2. Calibrate the thrusts and themes where regional and national institutions and networks in Southeast Asia may collaborate and complement one another along the current and projected gaps/needs of the region in AD; and
  3. Recommend directions and innovative approaches in the pursuit of shared regional mandates / goals and programs.

Panel of Experts

Click the panelist's name to see their profile and the knowledge resources they shared.

Dr. Paul P.S. Teng Managing Director, NIE International Pte. Ltd., Adjunct Senior Fellow, Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, RSIS Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and SEARCA Senior Fellow
Dr. Cielito F. Habito Professor, Ateneo de Manila University and SEARCA Senior Fellow
Dr. Doris Capistrano Senior Advisor, ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change and SEARCA Senior Fellow
Dr. Bui Tan Yen Postdoctoral Fellow / Science Officer IRRI-Vietnam / CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security in Southeast Asia
Dr. Julian Gonsalves Senior Advisor, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction
Engr. Samuel M. Contreras Chief Agriculturist, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Department of Agriculture, Philippines
Dr. Sudhir Yadav Outcome Theme Leader, Environmental Sustainability / Scientist, Water Management International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Dr. Maria Victoria O . Espaldon Professor, University of the Philippines Los Baños
Dr. Karen Eloisa T. Barroga Acting Deputy Executive Director for Development, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)
Mr. John Garrity Senior Connectivity Advisor, USAID
Mr. Roger F. Barroga Head, Information Systems Development Division, PhilRice
Mr. Vinci N. Roxas Social Entrepreneur, Roxas Kalaw Foundation for the Eradication of Poverty
Dr. Wei Fang Professor of Bio-Industrial Mechatronics Engineering, National Taiwan University
Mr. Sven Yeo Co-founder, Business Development, Archisen Pte. Ltd., Singapore
Mr. Grahame Dixie Executive Director, Grow Asia
Dr. Nerlita M. Manalili Managing Director, NEXUS Agribusiness Solutions
Dr. Larry Chee-Yoong Wong Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), Myanmar, and Visiting Fellow, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia
Dr. Rolando T. Dy Professor and Executive Director, Center for Food and Agri Business, University of Asia and the Pacific, Philippines
Dr. Larry N. Digal Dean, School of Management, University of the Philippines Mindanao
Dr. Bessie M. Burgos Program Head for Research and Development, SEARCA
Mr. Tomas A. Cabuenos, Jr. Senior Advisor / National Project Manager, Development Partnership Project (AGRI-DPP), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Philippines
Dr. Mina T. Gabor President, International School of Sustainable Tourism
Ms. Gigi Pontejos-Morris Farm School Director, MoCA Family Farm RLearning Center, Philippines
Ms. Tan Thi Shu Founder and Director, Sapa O'Chao, Vietnam
Mr. Jonjon Sarmiento Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA)

The Forum at a Glance

8:00 Registration
8:30 Opening and Context-setting
9:30 Session 1: Managing Climate Uncertainties and Water Scarcity
11:00 Session 2: The Promise of Information Technology
13:30 Session 3: Agro-industrial Value Chains and Integration of Smallholders
15:30 Session 4: Farm Tourism and Family Farming
16:45 Session 5: Towards an Integrated Agenda for Agriculture and Development in Southeast Asia
18:00 Appreciation and Closing

Presentations in the forum and other useful resources

Forum keynote by Dr. Paul P.S. Teng

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Resources we endorsed or were shared by panelists prior to the forum are linked under their respective profiles (click panelist's name to access).

For details, please contact:

Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz
Technical Advisor
Knowledge Management Department
Tel.: (+63 49) 554-9330 to 9336; (+63 2) 657 1300 to 1302 (local 3500)

Ms. Rosario B. Bantayan
Program Specialist
Knowledge Management Department
Tel.: (+63 49) 554-9330 to 9336; (+63 2) 657 1300 to 1302 (local 3502)