Background and Rationale
The global agricultural landscape is undergoing changes and challenges, driven by a multitude of factors both anthropogenic and natural – climate change, food security, the financialization of commodities, biofuels – to name a few. In the face of these challenges, leaders in the agriculture development community in ASEAN need to level up their skills and knowledge, and be familiar with the nuances associated with managing a changing landscape. Moreover, leaders also face the multidisciplinary nature of the issues, even their connectedness – all of which require the capacity of leaders to take more holistic views and make multilateral decisions on complex matters.
One of the changes seen in the latter half of the first decade of the 21st century has been the renewed interest in agriculture and in how global, regional and national institutions for agricultural policy and research could have greater development impact for the poor. In ASEAN, a major challenge is how to achieve sustained economic growth and rural poverty alleviation through sustainable agricultural development within a shifting environment characterized by global trade and geopolitics, threats to food safety and security and the natural resource base. Sustained economic growth that is also equitable and environmentally sensitive/sound is a pre-condition for enhancing the welfare and quality of life of people in the ASEAN region.
Against this backdrop, agriculture remains an important driver of economic development in the ASEAN region, especially from the cash crop plantation sector with examples like oil palm, rubber and cacao. Even with food crops, ASEAN concurrently has two of the top exporters of rice but also two of the top importers of rice, and has its own group of large agrifood enterprises that export worldwide.
In the long run, global competitiveness is inextricably linked to sustainability and global effectiveness. In the ASEAN region, agricultural development plays strategic roles in economic development. To maximize its potential for growth, sustainable agricultural development needs bold and deliberate actions in trade and investment, which could gain the best advantage in the international market.
Considering the serious and determined efforts of ASEAN to form an ASEAN community, this executive forum will be grounded not only on the principles of sustainable agricultural development, global cooperation and competitiveness, and global effectiveness; but more so on deep knowledge and understanding of ASEAN and its primordial concerns and dynamic processes.
Goal and Objectives
The goal of the forum is to build a community of ASEAN leaders in agriculture who are empowered with knowledge on key contemporary issues in agriculture and food security, with a focus on new knowledge, high impact technologies, and innovative approaches, so that the challenges arising from a dynamic agri-food landscape may be met.
Specifically, the forum aims to:
- Provide current knowledge on important topics which influence the global agriculture landscape, with respect to sustainable development, trade, and livelihoods.
- Provide a comprehensive and deep understanding of factors driving the agriculture landscape in the ASEAN region, contextualized within the global and milieu of factors; and
- Introduce to participants a change management paradigm of leadership beyond the best practice based on complexity theory.
Technical Coordinator of the forum is Dr. Paul S. Teng, Principal Officer at the National Institute of Education, Senior Fellow and Adviser to the Food Security Programme, Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and SEARCA Senior Fellow. Professor Teng was formerly Deputy Director-General (Research) of the World Fish Center based in Malaysia. He also worked for Monsanto Company (1999-2002) as Asia Pacific Director of Science and Technology, and then Asia Vice-President for Public Affairs. Prior to this, he was with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines, as its Program Leader for Cross-ecosystems Research (1991-1998) and its Integrated Pest Management Coordinator (1987-1990).
The forum focuses on the role of agriculture (crops and animals), together with aquaculture, in relation to four commonly expressed government goals:
- Sustainable rural development
- Conserving natural resources in the environment
- Achieving competitive agricultural exports
- Ensuring food security for rural and urban populations
This five-day forum will cover the following modules:
Module 1: New Elements in the Agriculture-Development Landscape
- Globalized Environment
- Scientific Advancements and Technological Innovations
- Core Issues
- Systematic Impact Issues
Module 2: The ASEAN Landscape for Agriculture vis-à-vis the Global Agriculture Landscape
- The ASEAN Community: Dynamics and Processes
- Food Security: The Global Picture in an ASEAN Context
- Global and Regional Knowledge Management
Module 3: New Leadership Modes under Complexity
- Management of Change and Coping with Complexity
- Essential Leadership Skills in Complex Situations
- A “Futures” Scenario in Planning for Change
Approaches and Methods
The forum will integrate the three modules into a learning framework and will use three “learning vehicles:” knowledge triggers, knowledge generators, and knowledge applications.
- Middle managers to senior leaders in national agriculture, fisheries, and rural development agencies, such as Heads of Departments, with responsibility to advise the Minister or equivalent government authority on matters related to agriculture, food security, and sustainable development
- Officials in related government agencies, with responsibility for aspects on food security
- Leaders from private entities, statutory bodies, and civil society organizations
- Staff from international and regional bodies located in ASEAN
Executive Forum Duration and Venue
1-5 June 2015 | SEARCA, College, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
Executive Forum Fee
- The forum fee is USD 660.00 per participant, which covers forum materials, meals during the duration of the forum, accommodation (twin-sharing), and airport transfers. Live-out rate is USD 432.00. Subsidized rates are available upon request.
- All other expenses associated with the forum (international air travel, visa, airport terminal fees, travel/health insurance, and other personal expenses) are at the participants’ own expense.
NOTE: Limited training support is open only to qualified nationals of SEAMEO member countries (i.e., Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam).
The deadline for filing of application with limited training support is 30 March 2015. Once awarded, grantees will have until 30 April 2015 to officially register for the forum. Deadline for filing of application for fee-paying participants is 30 April 2015. Course fees must be received by SEARCA before the forum commences. Deadline for registration of fee-paying participants is 5 May 2015.