SEARCA supports inclusive agribusiness initiatives in Southeast Asia

  • 30 September 2015

Panel Discussion on [i]Inclusive Business in Asia[/i] – (from left to right) Ganesan Ampalayanar of Nestle Vietnam, Tim Bishop of CARE International, H.E. Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Vietnam, Paul Teng of Nanyang Technological University and Ms. Kavita Prakash–Manil (far-right), Executive Director of Grow Asia.

HO CHI MINH, Vietnam – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) joined the Roundtable on Inclusive Agribusiness in Southeast Asia that took place in Pullman Hotel, Ho Chi Minh on 23-25 September 2015. The Roundtable is an initiative of Grow Asia, Food Systems Innovation, Seas of Change, Global Platform for Rural Development, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). It aimed to provide a venue for sharing and exploring approaches and solutions to challenges of inclusive agribusiness in Southeast Asia. The Roundtable brought together more than 100 key practitioners in the community of practice on inclusive agribusiness — half from the private sector and the rest from farmers’ group, government, academe, civil society/NGOs, and international/regional development organizations.

Nerlie Manalili presenting the results of the scoping study on inclusive agribusiness in Southeast AsiaSEARCA, through Dr. Nerlie Manalili, presented the results of the scoping study on the landscape of inclusive agribusiness in Southeast Asia with emphasis on the status, trends, functions, shape and factors supporting success of inclusive agribusiness in the region focusing on Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar and Vietnam. SEARCA shared the session on “Comparing Country Context” with Dr. Paul Teng of the Nanyang Technological University who introduced a framework for analyzing the enablers of inclusive agribusiness which come in multiple dimensions and at different scales. These two presentations set the stage for the subsequent concurrent country sessions.

The discussions and sharing of successes, lessons learned, challenges and opportunities for sustainable agricultural growth revolved around the following themes: viable inclusive business Bessie Burgos discussing the overview of the session on “comparing country context of inclusive agribusiness” and background about SEARCA.models, delivering impact at scale, integrating women in inclusive business, financing smallholders and inclusive agribusiness in the region, and policy innovation for inclusive agribusiness at scale. Towards the end of the Roundtable, priority action points were identified in terms of (1) making farmers’ voices be heard; (2) collecting evidences, monitoring and evaluation; (3) SME enterprise engagement; (4) public-private partnership models; (5) inclusiveness metrics; (6) value chain financing; (7) trade implications; (8) case studies; (9) policy research; and (10) community of practice.

Inclusive agribusiness is one of the strategic thrusts of SEARCA under its 10th Five-Year Plan with the focal theme Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD). (Bessie M. Burgos)