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.
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.
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.
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:
- Water Crises in Pakistan: Issues and Way Forward;
- Climate Change: Impact and Way Forward;
- Food Security: Future Challenges; and
- 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.
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 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 in New Delhi, 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 and 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), India, 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 participants, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO), in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Government of the Republic of Korea, organised the 2nd AARDO-KOICA Joint Fellowship Programme on Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (SARD) at KOICA and International Education Exchange Centre (IEEC) of Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) at Seongnam and Ansan respectively during 29 April – 12 May 2018. The programme was exclusively organized for the senior officers of the Government of India with the following main objectives:
a) to enhance understanding on agricultural and rural development;
b) to share the success stories of rural development and economic growth in Korea;
c) to disseminate practical knowledge and transfer of technology concerning rural development;
d) to exchange views on income generation activities and improving living environment for better quality of life in rural areas; and
e) to strengthen future cooperation with India through capacity building in rural development.
The programe was inaugurated by Dr. Yo, Woon Shik, Chairman of KRC-IEEC at Ansan. Dr Manoj Nardeosingh Assistant Secretary General, AARDO and Mr. Yoo, Byung-Rin, Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for the Far East, R. O. Korea also graced the occasion and delivered their opening remarks. The programme was attended by thirteen (13) participants from Central and various states Governments of India and an officer from AARDO Secretariat.
The training programme consisted of plenary sessions and field visits. The plenary sessions included lectures by renowned experts, presentation by the participants, discussions and preparation of action plans. The lectures by experts were focused on Understanding of Agriculture and Rural Communites, Agriculture Production Infrastructure Development and Operation, Korean Strategies and Schemes for Agriculture and Rural Development, Agriculture Technology Extension Services, Rural Development by Using local Resources etc. In addition to the lectures by Korean experts, lectures were also delivered by Dr Manoj Nardeosingh on “Cooperative as a key player in value chain and SARD” and Dr. Ramesh Mittal, Deputy Director, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) of India on “Value Chain Marketing”.
During the field visits, participants were exposed to the successful Korean models. The participants paid visits to Saemangeum Comprehensive Development Project, High Income Strawberry Farming, Garak Agro Market, Wine Cooperative, Highland Farm, Smart Farm, Rural Development Administration (RDA) and Korea National College of Agriculture and Fisheries and were provided with first-hand experience on various aspects of sustainable agricultural and rural development in Korea.
The closing ceremony was held on 11th May 2018 and graced by Dr. Kim Tai Cheol, Professor Emirates, Dr. Yo, Woon Shik, Chairman, RC-IEEC, Dr Kwak Jae Sung, Professor, (Kyung Hee Overseas Dev & Consulting). Dr. Yo, Woon Shik delivered the valedictory address and distributed certificates to the participants. Finally, a vote of thank was presented on behalf of participants.