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RECENT NEWS

The Secretary General Visited Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Cooperative Research and Development (LINAC)

10 May 2019

On the kind invitation from Chief Director, Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Cooperative Research and Development (LINAC), Gurugram, Haryana, the Secretary General, AARDO graced, as Chief Guest, the valedictory function of the Foundation Course for 23 newly recruited young officials by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). The programme was organized by LINAC at its Campus on 10 May 2019. The Assistant Secretary General also accompanied the Secretary General.

The Secretary General delivered an address in the valedictory function and highlighted the role of AARDO in promoting cooperatives in African-Asian countries. He also presented medals and certificates to the graduates.



Visit of High Commissioner of Uganda to AARDO

09 May 2019

Her Excellency Ms Akello Dinah Grace, High Commissioner of Uganda to India paid a courtesy call on H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO on 9 May 2019. Ms. Sophie Birungi, Second Secretary in the High Commission accompanied Her Excellency.

The delegation was received by the Secretary General and Senior Officials of AARDO. During the meeting, the Secretary General apprised the delegation about the programmes and activities of AARDO for the benefit of AARDO member countries. The Secretary General also explained the various benefits the Government of Uganda could derive by becoming a distinguished member of AARDO.

A presentation of AARDO’s history, organizational structure and technical activities in detailed was also shared with the delegation.

Her Excellency was highly impressed with the activities of AARDO and shown keen interest to join AARDO. She mentioned that a strong recommendation will be made to the capital for joining AARDO.





The Secretary General Visits Malawi

08-10 April 2019

At the kind invitation of the Honourable Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Government of the Republic of Malawi, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO paid a visit to Republic of Malawi on 8-10 April 2019.

During the visit, the Secretary General called on H.E. Mr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, MP, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Government of Republic of Malawi on 9 April 2019 and had constructive and fruitful discussions on matters of mutual interest. The Secretary General also apprised the Hon'ble Minister of the activities and programmes of AARDO and invited the esteemed Government to derive more benefits from AARDO's different programmes such as Human Resource Development, development projects, study visits, deputation of experts, etc.

Prior to his meeting with the Hon’ble Minister, the Secretary General had a meeting with the Permanent Secretary and senior officials of the esteemed Ministry on 8th April 2019. It was followed by a meeting, attended by senior officers and representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture and Education and Lilongwe University for Agriculture and Natural Resources, the discussions were led by the Permanent Secretary. During these meetings, the Secretary General elaborated on the activities of AARDO and explored, among others, the possibilities of indentifying AARDO’s Centre of Excellence in Malawi for training with a view to improving livelihood conditions in rural areas.




Liaison Committee | 73rd Session

14 March 2019

The 73rd Session of the Liaison Committee of AARDO was held on 14th March 2019 at hotel ‘The Leela Palace’, New Delhi, India and was chaired by H. E. Mr. Nor'azam Mohd. Idrus, Chargé d' Affaires a.i., on behalf of H.E. the High Commissioner of Malaysia to India, and Hon’ble Chairman of the Liaison Committee of AARDO. The Session was attended by twenty-nine (29) delegates from twenty one (21) member countries, namely, People's Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of the Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Republic of India, Republic of Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Republic of Korea, Republic of Lebanon, State of Libya, Malaysia, Republic of Mauritius, Kingdom of Morocco, Sultanate of Oman, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, State of Palestine, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Republic of the Sudan, Republic of Tunisia, Republic of Yemen and Republic of Zambia. In addition, delegates from the Embassy of Republic of the Gabon, and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) attended the meeting as Observers. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee.

After the welcome address by the Secretary General, AARDO, the Committee commenced its business session. It took note of the follow -up action taken/proposed to be taken by the AARDO Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of the 72nd Session of the Liaison Committee. The Committee reviewed the activities of the Organization, Membership Contribution and Member Relations for the period, July - December 2018. The Committee also took note of the projected programmes of AARDO to be organized from January to June 2019. It decided to hold its next (74th) Session on 13th August 2019 and approved the list of special invitees to attend the meeting as Observers.



International Training Programme on “Recent Advances in Agricultural Surveys: Remote Sensing and GIS Applications”

11 - 31 March 2019

The above titled training programme was organized by AARDO in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, at Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, (IASRI), New Delhi, from 11 to 31 March 2019, under additional technical contribution provided by the Governement of India to AARDO. Eight (08) participants from AARDO member countries, namely: Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Palestine and Tunisia, attended the programme.

The Inaugural Function of the programme, held on 11 March 2019, was graced by Dr. N.S. Rathore, Deputy Director General, Education, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO and Dr. Lal Mohar Bhar, Director, IASRI who delivered their addresses. At the function, Dr. Tauqueer Ahmad, Head, Division of Sample Surveys, IASRI and Dr. Prachi Misra Sahoo, Principal Scientist and Course Director, IASRI also briefed about the background, course contents and field visits of the programme.

During the course of deliberations, the pertinent issues such as Planning and Organizational Aspects of Sample Surveys; Overview of Sampling Schemes; National Agricultural Statistics System; Remote Sensing Application in Agriculture; Geographic Information System (GIS) & Data Models in GIS; Land Recording System and Crop Production Estimation; Global Positioning System (GPS) and Indian Navigation System; Applications of Microwave Remote Sensing in Agriculture; Drone Remote Sensing for Precision Agriculture; etc. have been addressed by eminent resource persons and faculty of IASRI.

The field visits to various institutions and projects such as Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, Demonstration of Crop Cutting Experiment Station; Plant Phenomics Centre; Satellite Data Receiving Station; National Agricultural Science Museum; Advanced Supercomputing Hub for OMICS Knowledge in Agriculture (ASHOKA), etc., provided an opportunity to the participants to study and learn from the rich and varied Indian experiences.

The Valedictory function of the training, held on 30 March 2019, was graced by the Chief Guest, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agriculture Research & Extension (DARE) & Director General, ICAR, and Guests of Honour Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO and Dr. Prakash Chauhan, Director, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun who addressed the participants. Accordingly, dignitaries distributed the certificates of participation, CD’s and Momentos to the participants. Earlier, the participants had shared their experiences and gave positive feedback on the programme.




AARDO Signs MoU with CCS National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM)

27 February 2019

African Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) and CCS National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 27 February 2019 for cooperation in the areas of agri-marketing, agri-market infrastructure & agri-market value chain and agri-preneurship for promotion of farmers’ interests and inclusive growth in the AARDO member countries including India.

H E Eng Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO and Dr. P. Chandra Shekara, Director General, CCS NIAM signed the MoU in the gracious presence of Mr. P. K. Swain, Joint Secretary (Marketing), and Mr. H. Suanthang, Director (International Cooperation), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India in a ceremony held at the AARDO Secretariat. The MoU would provide a strong basis for concerted endeavors by AARDO and CCS NIAM to serve their common mandate and objective for African-Asian solidarity and South – South cooperation in the areas of agricultural and rural development.



AARDO Signs MoU with AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center

19 February 2019

African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, Tainan, Taiwan on 19 Feb 2019 to jointly strengthen the existing collaboration between the two organizations in areas of common interest and by capitalizing on their comparative advantages, complementarities and synergies towards the shared goals of agricultural sector transformation, food and nutrition security and poverty reduction. The main objective of this collaboration is to contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), in particular SDG1 and SDG2, i.e. reducing rural and urban poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and increasing employment opportunities, in particular for women and youth.

The MoU was signed by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General for and on behalf of AARDO and by Dr. Marco C.S. Wopereis, Director General for and on behalf of AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center.

Under this MoU, AVRDC will continue allocating ten (10) slots under the fellowship provided by the esteemed Government of Republic of China (Taiwan) to AARDO sponsored candidates in the field of vegetables production and sustainable development.


International Training Workshop on “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Financial Inclusion and Rural Transformation”

16 - 27 February 2019

The above titled programme was organized by AARDO, in collaboration with Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, at Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), Comilla, Bangladesh, during 16-27 February 2019.

The broad objective of the training workshop was to enhance the knowledge of the participants on the concepts and cross cutting issues of financial inclusion, poverty reduction, rural transformation and delivery mechanism, through presentation, discussion and exposure visits. The specific objectives of the programme were to discuss the concept and relationship between sustainable development goals, financial inclusion and rural transformation to identify suitable methods and develop mechanism for financial inclusion of the rural poor, to describe importance and process of financial inclusion system and to share experiences of financial inclusion and development efforts in different AARDO member countries for attaining SDGs.

The Inaugural session, held on 16 February 2019, was chaired by Dr. M. Mizanur Rahman, Director General, BARD and Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head (Research Division), AARDO graced the occasion as Guest of Honor. Mr. Milan Kanti Bhattacharjee, Director (Training) and Mr. Mohammad Abdul Quadar, Workshop Director also graced the occasion by their presence on the dais. Accordingly, dignitaries delivered their addresses. During the session, Dr. M. Mizanur Rahman, presented a keynote paper and Dr. Jahangir Alam, Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Village acted as a discussant on the paper. Dr. Abdul Karim, Associate Workshop Director offered a vote of thanks to the dignitaries, participants and organizers.

The training workshop was attended by twenty three (23) participants from eleven (11) countries, namely, Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Zambia and Bhutan. Besides, one senior officer of AARDO attended the programme.

During the various technical sessions, the pertinent issues related to Rural Transformation through Financial Inclusion addressed by the resource persons and faculty of BARD, provided the participants not only an opportunity to study and learn from the rich and varied Bangladesh experience, but to cross fertilize their respective experiences in tackling the issues and challenges of financial inclusion.

The field visits to BRAC Village Activities, Ektee Bari Ektee Khamar Project Village, Cooperative Society under Comprehensive Village Development Programme (CVDP), study tour to Cox’s Bazar, and other NGOs and institutions provided an opportunity to the participants to observe practical implementation of the concepts in Bangladesh.

The valedictory session of the programme was held on 27 February 2019. The session was chaired by Dr. M. Mizanur Rahman, Director General, BARD. Prof. Dr. Emran Kabir Chowdhury, Vice Chancellor of Comilla University, and Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head (Research Division), AARDO graced the occasion as Chief Guest and Guest of Honor, respectively. Director (Training), Mr. Milan Kanti Bhattacharjee, Course Director Mr. Abdul Quader, Associate Workshop Director, Dr. Abdul Karim, and other Faculty Members were also present in the concluding session.

On behalf of the participants, the participants from Egypt, Zambia and Bangladesh shared their experiences and presented votes of thanks to the organizers for the successful organization of the programme. In fact, the programme schedule was well designed and included extensive and lively deliberations and discussions. The participants were highly appreciative of the contents of the programme and field visits, as well as for all the courtesies and kind hospitality extended to them during their stay in Bangladesh. The field visit to Cox’s Bazar was very useful and fascinating.

Executive Committee - 71st Session

12 - 14 February 2019

The 71st Session of AARDO Executive Committee was held in New Delhi on 12–14 February 2019 under the chairmanship of H.E. Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Jailani Bin Muhamed Yunus, Secretary General, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of Malaysia, and Hon’ble President of the Executive Committee of AARDO. Twelve (12), out of thirteen (13) members of the Executive Committee, namely, Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt, Ghana, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, State of Palestine, Oman, the Sudan and Tunisia, attended the Session. Besides, High Commissioners/Ambassadors and senior diplomats of member countries attended the Inaugural Session held on 12th February 2019. H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO, attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Committee.

While the Secretary General, AARDO, warmly welcomed the Hon’ble President and two Vice-Presidents of AARDO Executive Committee, distinguished delegates and invited guests, the Hon’ble President of AARDO Executive Committee expressed his pleasure to be with all dignitaries and invitees in his opening remarks.

After adoption of the Provisional Agenda, the Executive Committee approved the decisions taken by the 70th and 71st sessions of the Liaison Committee and also adopted their final reports. The Committee also adopted the Review of Activities, Membership Contribution, Member Relations for the period Oct’2017-Sep’2018 and audited Income and Expenditure for 2017 and unaudited for Jan-Sep’2018.

The Executive Committee approved, among other items, the terms and conditions of service for the next Secretary General, for which the Special Session will be held on 11 June 2019 to elect new incumbent and recommendations of the Ad hoc Committee (held on 10-11 July 2018), for revised membership contribution effective from 2020. The Committee also endorsed the MoU signed by AARDO with Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) on 01 March 2018 for cooperation on research and development in the field of agriculture.

International Training Programme on “Seed Production and Quality Evaluation”

12 - 25 February 2019

AARDO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India organized capacity building programme on above titled theme at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, during 12-25 February, 2019 under the additional technical contribution provided by the Government of India to AARDO.

The programme was attended by ten (10) participants from eight (08) AARDO member countries, namely: R.O. China (Taiwan), Egypt, Gambia, R O Korea, Oman, Palestine, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. The field of specialization of the participants varied from seed improvement and propagation, seed production, seed certification, quality assurance, agricultural engineering to agriculture extension activities.

The inaugural programme began with welcome of the participants and brief introduction, followed by lecture of Dr. K. V. Prabhu, Chairperson, Protection of Pant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority at Division of Seed Science and Technology (DSST), ICAR-IARI, New Delhi on 12 February 2019.

A comprehensive schedule, covering 40 lectures, 7 hands-on practical sessions and 12 visits, was prepared covering all aspects of quality seed production, processing, storage and quality assurance at IARI, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources Regional Station (NBPGR), New Delhi and Regional Station (RS), Karnal. Besides, other related areas such as GM detection and testing procedures, system of variety release, plant variety protection and seed legislation etc. were also dealt in-depth. Visits were arranged to seed production plots of field and vegetable crops, National Agricultural Science Museum, IARI Museum, Centre for Protected Cultivation Technology (CPCT), National Gene Bank (NBPGR), Nanaji Deshmukh Plant Phenomics Centre, National Phytotron Facility, National Seeds Corporation, New Delhi and vegetable seed processing facility at NSC, Agra. The trainees also visited historical places in Delhi and Taj Mahal (Agra). The participants were provided with a complete set of soft copy of all lectures and a comprehensive training manual covering lectures and practical exercises.

The valedictory function-cum-interactive Dinner was organized on 24 February 2019 at NASC Complex after the successful completion of training programme and distribution of certificates to the participants. The occasion was graced by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO, Dr. A .K. Singh, Director, ICAR-IARI, Dr Ashok. K. Singh, Jt. Dir. (Res.), ICAR-IARI and Dr. D. K. Yadav, Head, DSST, ICAR-IARI. On behalf of the participants, a vote of thanks was extended by the participant from Palestine.

International Training Programme on “Use of Poor Quality Waters in Agriculture”

07 - 20 February 2019

AARDO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, organized the above specialized training course at Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Karnal, Haryana, India, during 07 - 20 February 2019, under the Additional Technical Contribution provided by the Government of India to AARDO for the lager benefits of AARDO member countries. The programme was attended by 10 participants from following AARDO member countries, Republic of China (Taiwan), Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. Besides, one resource person from Tunisia presented expert paper on the subject of the programme. This programme coincided with the CSSRI Golden Jubilee celebrations.

H.E. Eng. Wassafi Hassan El-Sreihin, the Secretary General, AARDO was the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Function of the ICAR-CSSRI Golden Jubilee International Salinity Conference (GJICS) and also of the International Training programme. Dr. Masa Iwanaga, President, Japan International Research centre for Agriculture Sciences (JIRCAS), Japan, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, Internal Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai and Mr Tomio Shichiri, FAO Representative to India, were the Guests of Honour. Dignitaries delivered their respective addresses. Dr. P.C Sharma, Director, CSSRI, and Dr. R.K Yadav, Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Soil and Crop Management, CSSRI, were also present on the occasion and extended their welcome addresses and briefed about the programme.

During the initial three days, the participants attended the International Salinity Conference in which they were made aware about the global extent and distribution of salinization and poor quality water status, issues, technological solutions and possible future directions. After completion of the GJISC, the structured theoretical tutorials with simultaneous hands on practice sessions were conducted on identification, characterization and defining poor quality water and soil salinization. The training also included tutorials, as well as practical, on technological information for soil salinization mitigation, water quality improvement, and agronomic practices for sustainable management of poor quality water for irrigation, crop improvement approaches, agro-forestry, horticulture, sub-surface drainage, ground water recharge, GIS and remote sensing, water management, including use of sewage and industrial water and bioremediation. Besides, different field visits were also conducted to improve participants’ skills and knowledge on management of poor quality water.

The concluding session of AARDO programme was held on 20th February 2019 where participants shared their experiences. The participants feedback showed that there was 80-90% improvement in their skills and knowledge on use of poor quality water for irrigation.



International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on “Water Resource Management for Sustainable Development”

04 – 17 February 2019

AARDO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India organized the above titled Programme at National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Hyderabad, India, during 04–17 February 2019, under the additional technical contribution provided by the Government of India to AARDO for the capacity building programme.

The main objectives of the programme were to acquaint the participants with policies, strategies and programmes for conservation and development of water resource, provide better understanding of socio-economic environment and technological options for efficient management of water resource for sustainable development, appreciate the linkages between poverty and environmental degradation in the light of historical experience of the modern and traditional practices of water resource management, impart knowledge on local institutional mechanisms for efficient utilization of water resource for optimum results through case analysis and exposure visits.

The Inaugural Function of the programme was held on 04 February 2019, with a welcome address by Mrs. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, Deputy Director General, NIRD&PR and inaugural address by Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO.

The programme was attended by twenty (20) participants from thirteen (13) AARDO member countries namely: Bangladesh, R.O. China (Taiwan), Egypt, Jordan, Malawi, Mauritius, Malaysia, Namibia, Oman, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia and Zambia. Besides, one resource person from Tunisia presented an expert paper on the subject of the programme.

The eminent speakers from different organizations shared their knowledge with the participants. Apart from lecture sessions, the participants had visited various institutions viz., Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Centre for Good Governance (CGG), Rural Technology Park (RTP) and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to understand and experience their functions in governance and water resource management. The Programme addressed the different issues of sustainable water resource management under various sessions viz. water resource management, GIS application for water resource management, traditional water harvesting system, enhancing water use efficiency in water scarce region, impact of land use practices on water resources, community mobilization in natural resource management, watershed planning, impact of climate change on water resource management, water management for sustainable agriculture and participatory irrigation management .

A four days study tour was organized to Karnataka State. During the field visit, the participants visited watershed project and sustainable livelihoods created under watersheds in Chikkaballapur District to study the watershed development activities. In a visit to Vishweshwaraiah Canal (VC) Farm Mandya, University of Agriculture Science, Bangalore, the participants interacted with scientists and witnessed different agricultural activities of the college. The participants have had practical exposure to natural ecosystem at Biligiriranga (BR) hills which is at the confluence of Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. Natural farming under five layer principles was also shown and explained to the participants during their field visit to ‘Amruthabhumi’ (Public Charitable Trust).

The concluding session of the programme was held on 16 February 2019. The participants shared their experiences on training and expressed their thanks to the organizers, especially to AARDO and NIRDPR for successfully organizing the programme. They also expressed that getting to know geographical and social framework of Southern India and relishing local cuisine had been a memorable experience for them.



Delegation from the Association of African Students (AASI) in India, New Delhi, visited AARDO Secretariat

4 February 2019

An eight-member delegation from the Association of African Students in India (AASI), New Delhi, headed by Mr. Merveil Ngongo, President, AASI and native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), paid a visit to the AARDO Secretariat on 4 February 2019 for a meeting with H.E. the Secretary General. The delegation comprised students from Cameroon, DR Congo, Nigeria and Zambia who are presently studying in universities in India. Senior officers of AARDO Secretariat were present in the meeting. A warm welcome was extended to the delegation and pleasantries exchanged.

Terming the delegation members as the ambassadors of their countries, the Secretary General remarked that the delegation’s visit would provide an opportunity to both AARDO and AASI to know more about each other’s activities. AASI has some implicit relationship with AARDO as some of its countries are also members of AARDO. Mr. Ezeugo Nnamdi Lawrence, Secretary General & Coordinator, AASI and hailing from Nigeria, thanked the Secretary General and his colleagues for positively responding to their request to visit AARDO Secretariat and according them a hearty welcome. He informed that AASI, formed in 1963, aims at uniting all African students in India and promoting their collective interests. AASI works for the welfare of the students and encourages, stimulates and creates opportunities for interaction, exchange of ideas and active participation in society. Their objective to visit AARDO Secretariat was to know about the activities of the Organization and how international Organizations function. The remarks were followed by a presentation by the Head, IEC Division about AARDO.

The delegation members also showed interest in AARDO publications.

International Workshop- cum- Training Programme on “Fisheries and Aquaculture”

15 - 28 January 2019

AARDO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India has organized the above titled Programme at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Cochin, Kerala, during 15-28 January 2019, under the additional technical contribution provided by the Government of India to AARDO for the capacity building programme.

The inaugural function of the programme, held on 15 January 2019, was graced by: Sri K. S. Srinivas, IAS, Chairman, Marine Product Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Kochi, Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO and Dr. T. V. Sathianandan, Director in Charge, CMFRI. Dr. Imelda Joseph, Head, Mariculture Division & Course Director, CMFRI, was also present on the occasion.

The programme was attended by thirteen (13) participants from eleven (11) AARDO member countries, namely: Bangladesh, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia and Zambia.

The objective of the programme was to strengthen the rural sector in their respective countries through organized fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The programme was conducted at Cochin with a visit to Mandapam Regional Research Centre of CMFRI. Resource persons from CMFRI and National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), Cochin had conducted the sessions at Kochi and Mandapam on various aspects of fisheries and aquaculture. The participants visited MPEDA Fish Hatchery at Vallarpadam, Kochi, National Referral Museum Library, Marine Aquarium and Agriculture Technology Information Centre of CMFRI at Cochin. Moreover, a series of field visits to cage farms, net factory, and fishing harbours at Kochi, marine finfish and ornamental fish hatchery at Mandapam etc. were also included in the programme.

The Valedictory Function, held on 28 January 2019, was graced by Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI. On the occasion, Dr. Somy Kuriakose, Programme Coordinator delivered the welcome address. Dr. Imelda Joseph, Course Director briefed on the entire programme and Mr. Rajesh N. the co-coordinator proposed a vote of thanks. An evaluation of training as well as trainees was carried out towards the end of the programme. A Course Manual was also released on the occasion. The participants shared their experiences and gave feedback on the programme and subsequently received the certificates of participation.



The Far East Regional Office of AARDO (FERO) Delegation visited AARDO Secretariat

24 December 2018

A two-member delegation comprising Ms. Kristy (Sung-hee) Seo, Manager and Ms. Lena Kim, Assistant Manager, Regional Office of AARDO for the Far East, Republic of Korea, called on the Secretary General on 24 December 2018 for discussions on various important matters. The meeting was also attended by Assistant Secretary General and senior officers of the AARDO Secretariat. The delegation was extended a warm welcome and pleasantries exchanged.

The meeting had a wide range of discussions on further strengthening the existing cordial relationship between AARDO and the FERO, including organisation of training programmes in Republic of Korea for the benefit of AARDO-sponsored nominees, how AARDO and the Government of the Republic of Korea could assist some member countries of AARDO through the organisation of need-based capacity building programmes and development projects.

The Secretary General visited Bangladesh

18 - 19 December 2018

At the kind invitation from the esteemed University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO paid a visit to Bangladesh to attend the "5th International Integrative Research Conference on Governance and Modernization", held at Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), Comilla on 18 - 19 December 2018. He presented a Keynote Paper on "Agriculture and Rural Development in African - Asian Countries with Special Reference to Governance and Modernization in Changing Environment: AARDO's Experiences".

The Conference was jointly organized by the Netinsearch International Network for Integrative Research, University of Dhaka, Stamford University Bangladesh, Asian Conference on Population and Development (ACPD) China, GAIN International and BARD. The Conference primarily laid focus on issues like governance, public policy, leadership, innovation and change, environment, energy, climate change, disaster management, women empowerment, information technology, tourism, eco-tourism, etc.

While at BARD, the Secretary General met with the Director General and faculty of BARD and discussed matters of common concern with them. In Dhaka, the Secretary Genera visited the Headquarters of Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) and met with its Director General. A meeting was arranged in the Conference Hall with the Directors, and other senior officials of BRDB, and also heads of prominent associations & cooperatives in the country.

International Training Programme on “Agricultural Engineering Technologies for Enhancing Productivity & Profitability in Agricultural Sector”

27 November - 11 December 2018

The above titled training programme was organized by AARDO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, at Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, during 27 November - 11 December 2018.

The Inaugural Session of the programme was held on 27 November 2018 under the chairmanship of Dr. K.K. Singh, Director, CIAE. It was attended by 09 participants from AARDO member/ countries, namely, Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt, Oman, Sri Lanka, Sudan (Agriculture Bank of Sudan) and Syria.

The closing ceremony of the programme was held on 10th December 2018 and graced by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO and Dr. K.K. Singh, Director, CIAE. The dignitaries delivered their closing addresses and distributed the certificates of participation to the participants. Earlier, the participants shared their experiences on training and expressed that they could gather a lot of new information which would prove very important for rural development in their respective countries. They also expressed that getting to know geographical and social framework of central India and relishing local cuisine has been a memorable experience for them. On this occasion, the Course Coordinator, Dr. Nachiket Kotwaliwale presented a detailed report on the proceedings of 14-days training and Dr. KP Singh and Dr. SK Chakraborty presented vote of thanks to the sponsors, participants, training faculty and all the dignitaries.



The Secretary General Visits The Gambia

26 to 28 November 2018

At the kind invitation of the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, Government of the Republic of the Gambia, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO has paid a visit to The Gambia from 26 to 28 November 2018 to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Accompanied by Her Excellency Ms. Jainaba Jagne, the High Commissioner of the Republic of the Gambia to India, New Delhi, the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Alh Musa Drammeh, Minister of Land & Regional Government, and had constructive discussions on issues of common interest between AARDO and The Gambia. The Hon'ble Permanent Secretary and senior officials of the esteemed Ministry were present in the meeting. The Secretary General apprised the Hon'ble Minister of the activities and programmes of AARDO and urged the esteemed Government to derive benefits from AARDO's different programmes such as capacity building, development pilot projects, study visits, ministerial level visits, deputation of experts, etc. At the end of the meeting, the Secretary General presented a set of AARDO publications to the Hon'ble Minister.

The Secretary General paid a courtesy call on H.E. Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation & Gambians Abroad and held discussions on matters of mutual interest. He also apprised Hon'ble Minister of the activities and programmes of AARDO, besides discussing matters of common concerns. The Secretary General has had the opportunity to meet His Excellency Mr.Lamin N. Dibba, Minister of Agriculture to apprise him about the AARDO's role in promoting agriculture and rural development among African-Asian member countries.

While in Banjul, the Secretary General also had a meeting with Mr. Ansumana K. Jarju, Director General, National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in the gracious presence of Her Excellency the High Commissioner of the Republic of the Gambia to India and the Deputy Director General and explored the possibility of collaboration between AARDO and the NARI in the future. He also met Dr. Bamba A. M. Banja, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters and discussed with him, among others, possibilities of further strengthening fisheries sector in the AARDO member countries.



Study Visit Programme of Experts to Republic of China (Taiwan)

28 October – 03 November 2018

The organization of the study visit in the field of agriculture and rural development is one of the important activities of AARDO. AARDO, in collaboration with the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of Republic of China (Taiwan), organized a specialized study visit on "Agribusiness and Value Chain Management" in Republic of China (Taiwan), on 28 October – 03 November 2018 with the objectives: i) to study the policies, best practices and application of new technologies used for sustainable agriculture and rural development; ii) to study the models of small and medium on Farm and off Farm agro-based enterprises; iii) to examine the marketing and value chain management system; and iv) to explore the possibilities to adapt and implement such policies and technologies, wherever possible.

Under the programme, six (06) participants from AARDO member countries, namely, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Sri Lanka and Sudan attended the programme. Besides, a senior AARDO official attended the programme. The study visit programme involved plenary sessions and field visits to research institutions, as well as enterprises, with successful processing and marketing strategies, in different areas of agriculture. This helped in acquainting the participants with various technologies used in food processing and marketing of agricultural products in R.O. China (Taiwan).

During their stay, the participants were visited the number of Institutions/ projects such as Council of Agriculture (COA), Executive Yuan; Baoshan Township Xincheng Community and Wind Sugar Company; Hsinpu Township Farmer's Association; Adan Fruit and Vegetable Production Cooperatives; Leadray Livestock Company; Mushroom Farm; Nantou County Puli Township Yihsin Community and Enterprises; and Huei-Shiang Organic Farm.

According to the feedback received from the delegates, the study visit was very enlightening and educative and its objectives were achieved fully. The programme was well balanced both in material content and course schedule. It provided an insight into the latest advances in Agribusiness and Value Chain Management of fresh horticultural produce, as well as processed products of Mushroom, Bamboo shoots, Oranges, along with Poultry and Sugarcane.

The Council of Agriculture, Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has started a Rural Regeneration Programme in order to retain rural youth in villages and transforming rural areas of the country. Taiwan has succeeded in establishing a well-organized food processing and marketing sector. The lessons learnt are very important pointers on how AARDO member countries can grow their food processing and value chain for agricultural produce of the small farmers.

The study visit ended by a closing ceremony at the Council of Agriculture (COA), Taipei during which participants shared their experiences from the study tour. It was graced by Hon'ble Deputy Director General Mr. Vincent Lin, Department of International Affairs, Council of Agriculture (COA), Executive Yuan. After the discussion and feedback, certificates were distributed to the participants by Hon'ble Deputy Director General and Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head, Research Division & Programme Coordinator, AARDO.

Follow-up Workshop on AARDO-KOICA Joint Training Programme on "Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (SARD)

29-30 October 2018

AARDO and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) jointly organised a country specific training programme on "Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (SARD) for exclusive participation of senior officials of the Government of India at Rural Community - International Education and Exchange Centre (RC-IEEC), R O Korea consecutively in 2017 and 2018

Following the successful completion of these two programmes, AARDO, KOICA and RC-IEEC jointly organized a "Follow-up Workshop" at New Delhi during 29-30 October 2018 for the participants who attended the training in R.O. Korea, with a view to evaluate the impact of the programmes, and identify the potential areas for interventions in the fields of agriculture and rural development and strengthening cooperation.The inaugural session of the Follow-up Workshop held on 29th October 2018, was graced by Hon'ble Mr. Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India as Chief Guest, Mr. LEE Hai-kwang, Minister, Embassy of the Republic of Korea and Guest of Honour, and His Excellency Eng Wassfi Hassan Elsreihin, Secretary General, AARDO. The Secretary General extended a warm welcome to the guests and thanked the distinguished delegates from R O Korea, resource persons and participants who had specially come to evaluate the impact of the SARD training programmes in the follow-up workshop and explore areas of cooperation and intervention in the fields of agriculture and rural development. He further extended his sincere gratitude and profound thanks to both the esteemed Governments of India and R O Korea for their unstinted support to AARDO in achieving its noble objectives over the years.

Following the welcome address, Mr. LEE Hai-kwang, Minister, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, and Guest of Honour, in his remarks, mentioned that, being part of the official assistance programme of the Government of Korea through KOICA, the follow-up workshop was conducive and significant to further strengthen Korean relationship with India. He appreciated AARDO and KOICA for organizing the follow-up workshop and sincerely hoped that it would be very productive for sustainable development in rural areas.

The Hon'ble Secretary and Chief Guest, in his inaugural address, mentioned that AARDO provides a platform for learning experiences and skills across nations, especially the developing world, which otherwise may not have been possible. He extended a warm welcome to the Korean delegation for their partnership with developing nations thus promoting sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth. The Hon'ble Secretary briefly touched upon some of the schemes launched by the Government of India to alleviate poverty. He also hailed the role of women in accelerating economic growth of India with their greater economic participation. The Hon'ble Secretary thanked AARDO for inviting him to grace the follow-up workshop as its Chief Guest. He also thanked KOICA and the AARDO Secretariat for organizing the workshop.

The inaugural session was attended by a delegation of distinguished experts from Yeungnam University, National Seoul University, and Kyung Hee University, officials from KRC-IEEC and International Exchange Promotion Association (INEPA), R O Korea; experts from National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM), distinguished participants of the SARD programmes, invitees and officials from AARDO Secretariat and the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.

It was followed by business sessions, which consisted of presentations by RC-IEEC and AARDO on brief introductions of their respective organizations, the SARD training programme and its evaluation. The session also consisted of the presentations by distinguished participants on action plans implemented in their respective states. The evaluation report presented by AARDO, based on feedback of the participant, highlighted their learning from the training programmes and respective experiences through implementation of action plans.

The second day of the workshop, 30th October 2018, was dedicated to the lectures by the distinguished experts from R O Korea and India. The workshop provided a forum for fruitful deliberations and successfully concluded with a set of recommendations for interventions in some specific areas through capacity building, transfer of technology, project implementations, research and institutional networking in the areas of agricultural and rural development.

The Secretary General Visits Pakistan

10-13 October 2018

At the kind invitation of Mr. Israr Mohammad Khan, Director General, AHK National Centre for Rural Development (AHK NCRD), & Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for South and Central Asia, Islamabad, Pakistan, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO paid a visit to Pakistan from 10 to 13 October 2018 to grace the inaugural session of the Regional Workshop on "Disaster Risk Reduction and Management", held at AHKNCRD from 10 to 17 October 2018. The Regional Workshop was inaugurated by Lt. General Omar Mahmood Hayat, Hon'ble Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Islamabad, on 11 October 2018.

During the visit, the Secretary General had a meeting with Director General, AHK NCRD and discussed matters of mutual interest, including further strengthening of the regional office. He called on Dr. Ijaz Munir, Hon'ble Secretary, Establishment Division, Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and discussed issues of common concern. Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Member, Food Security, Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan called on the Secretary General at the AHK-NCRD office and discussed matters of mutual interest.

The Secretary General utilized his presence in Pakistan to meet with Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad and held discussions on issues of common interest. He also visited Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Executive Director/Founder, Akhuwat Foundation, in his office and explained about AARDO, its objectives and activities. Dr. Saqib also explained about the Foundation and its activities for the benefit of the poor in the country and possibility of cooperation between the two organizations. While in the country, the Secretary General met with many high dignitaries of the Government of Pakistan and diplomats and held discussions on matters of common interest.

TFNet International Conference on Tropical Fruit Pests and Diseases (TROPED 2018)

24 to 27 September 2018

At the kind invitation of the International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), Selangor, Malaysia, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO paid a visit to Malaysia to attend TFNet's 12th Board of Trustees Meeting, and International Conference on Tropical Fruit Pests and Diseases (TROPED 2018), held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from 24 to 27 September 2018.

As a Member of the TFNet Board of Trustees, he attended the 12th Session of TFNet Board of Trustees Meeting held on 24th September 2018. AARDO was re-elected second time as a member to the Board of Trustees for the term 2018-2021. The Secretary General chaired the first Session of the International Conference on 25 September, where two keynote papers were presented.

While in Malaysia, the Secretary General called on H.E. Mr. Sivarasa Rasiah, Deputy Minister of Rural Development, Government of Malaysia, and discussed issues of common concerns, including training programmes offered by the esteemed Government of Malaysia to AARDO under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP). The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Rural Development, Malaysia.

Liaison Committee : 72nd Session

16 August 2018

The 72nd Session of the Liaison Committee of AARDO was held on 16 August 2018 at Hotel Leela Palace, New Delhi, India. The Session was chaired by H. E. Mr. Nor'azam Mohd. Idrus, Chargé d' Affaires a.i., High Commission of Malaysia, New Delhi. It was attended by twenty seven (27) delegates from twenty (20) member countries, namely, People's Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Ghana, Republic of India, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Republic of Kenya, State of Libya, Malaysia, Republic of Mauritius, Kingdom of Morocco, Republic of Namibia, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sultanate of Oman, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, State of Palestine, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Republic of the Sudan, Republic of Tunisia and Republic of Yemen. In addition, delegates from the Embassies of Republic of Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hungary and Senegal and High Commission of United Republic of Tanzania attended the meeting as Observers. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the LiaisonCommittee.

The Liaison Committee took note of the follow -up action taken/proposed to be taken by the AARDO Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of the 19th General Session of AARDO Conference, 69th and 70th Sessions of the Executive Committee and the 71st Session of the Liaison Committee. The Committee reviewed the activities of the Organization, Membership Contribution and Member Relations for the period, January – June 2018. The Committee took note of the projected programmes of AARDO to be organized from July to December 2018. It decided to hold its next (73rd) Session on 14th February 2019 and accordingly approved the list of special invitees.

National Seminars on Current/Emerging Issues of Pakistan

From 16th August 2018 to 30th April 2019

The Regional Office of AARDO for South and Central Asia, Islamabad, Pakistan has submitted proposal for organization of four National Seminars on following emerging issues of Pakistan, in collaboration with the Establishment Division, Government of Pakistan at AHK National Centre for Rural Development, from 16th August 2018 to 30th April 2019:
  1. Water Crises in Pakistan: Issues and Way Forward;
  2. Climate Change: Impact and Way Forward;
  3. Food Security: Future Challenges; and
  4. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): Challenges and Opportunities.
Considering the importance of this activity, an amount of US$ 3000 has been approved by AARDO for organization of above four national level seminars at AHKNCRD.

The first two seminars have already been organized by the Regional Office on 16 August and 27 September 2018, respectively. As per the information received, these two seminars were attended by a total of number of 342 (163+179) delegates/participants, including representatives of various Embassies located in Islamabad. The detailed reports of the seminars from the Regional Office are awaited.

The Secretary General Visited Nigeria

16 to 19 July 2018

His Excellency the Secretary General, AARDO paid a visit to Nigeria from 16 to 19 July 2018 to call on the Hon'ble Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and other senior officials of the esteemed Government to discuss matters of mutual interest.

The Secretary General paid a courtesy call on Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Ph. D, Hon'ble Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria and apprised him of the activities of AARDO. The Secretary General solicited support of the Hon'ble Minister in designating one of the Specialized Nigerian Institutions as AARDO's Center of Excellence. At the end of the meeting, the Hon'ble Minister of State held a Press Conference with the Secretary General in presence of the Permanent Secretary and other senior officials of the Ministry. The Secretary General also called on Dr. Bukar Hassan, Permanent Secretary in the esteemed Ministry and held discussions on matters of mutual interest. He also held discussions with the senior officials of the Ministry and briefed them about the activities and programmes of AARDO; outcome of the 19th General Session of AARDO Conference, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 1st to 3rd March 2018; and the proceedings and recommendations of the meeting of the Ad hoc Committee for Scale of Membership Contribution held at AARDO Secretariat on 10-11 July 2018.

The Secretary General also visited the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Illorin and held extensive discussions with Dr. Olufemi Oladunni, Executive Director and the faculty on the implementation of the Mutual Collaboration and Assistance Agreement (MCAA) signed between AARDO and ARMTI. He took a round of various departments of the Institute and observed their operations. He also visited ARMTI's training centre in Abuja and witnessed its infrastructure and facilities. While in Illorin, the Secretary General paid a visit to the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) and observed its operations and different facilities.

One senior officer from AARDO Secretariat accompanied the Secretary General during his visit to Nigeria.

Ad-hoc Committee Meeting

10-11 July 2018

The Ad-hoc Committee Meeting for AARDO scale of Membership Contribution for the year 2018, 2019 and 2020 was held under the chairmanship of H. E. Datuk Borhan Bin Dolah, Secretary General, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of Malaysia on 10-11 July 2018 at the Conference Hall of AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi, India. Six, out of seven members, namely: (1) People's Republic of Bangladesh; (2) Arab Republic of Egypt; (3) Republic of India; (4) Malaysia; (5) Tunisia; and (6) Zambia attended the meeting. H.E. the Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as the Member Secretary.

The Ad-hoc Committee discussed the agenda as per Terms of Reference (ToR) approved by the 19th General Session of AARDO Conference held on 01-03 March 2018 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After detailed discussions on scale of membership contribution and recovery of outstanding arrears, the Committee finalized its recommendations on 11th July 2018, which will be placed before the 71st Session of the Executive Committee scheduled to be held in November/December 2018.