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. He paid a courtesy call on Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Member, Food Security, Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan 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 met with Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Executive Director/Founder, Akhuwat Foundation and explored the possibility of organising some programmes at the University for the benefit of AARDO member countries. While in the country, the Secretary General met with many high dignitaries of the Government of Pakistan and the Government of the State of the Punjab, Pakistan, 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.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, organised the First Jordan International Agricultural Forum and Exhibition under the auspices of His Majesty the King of Jordan. The Forum was held at Al-Hussain bin Talal Centre, for Conferences at the Dead Sea Region, Jordan during 25 - 27 April 2018. The main objectives of the Forum were to promote the agriculture sector, develop and modernise agriculture sector, and encourage investment, especially from the private sector, in agriculture sector in Jordan.
At the kind invitation from the Government of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Secretary General represented AARDO at the Forum and made a presentation on the theme “Rural Development and Cooperatives in AARDO Member Countries”. AARDO also deputed an expert from Egypt, its Honorary Regional Representative for North and Eastern Africa, Cairo, Egypt to present a success story of Families and Women Development in Egypt.
The Forum was attended by Hon’ble Ministers from various countries, especially from the Arab region, CEOs/ Representatives of international and regional organizations. It discussed various strategies and policies for the holistic development of agriculture in Jordan.
AARDO, in collaboration with Rural Development Academy (RDA), Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, organized a new training programme on above title theme at Rural Development Academy (RDA), Bogra, Bangladesh during 01-12 April 2018. The broad objective of the training programme was to enhance knowledge of the participants on the concepts and cross cutting issues of green innovation and sustainable agricultural and rural development through presentation, discussion and exposure visits.
The training programme was attended by twenty six (26) participants from twelve (12) AARDO member countries, namely: Burkina Faso, Republic of China (Taiwan), Lebanon, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia and the host country, Bangladesh. Besides, one AARDO official also attended the programme.
The Inaugural Session of the programme was held on 02 April 2018. It was graced by the dignitaries, Dr. Akram H. Chowdhury, Chairman, Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA), H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO, Prof. Dr. Hosne-Ara Begum, Founder Executive Director, Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS-A National Level Development Organization) and Eng. M.A. Matin, Director General, RDA. Besides, Ms. Nargis Jahan, Director, Training and Mr. Md. Ferdous Hossain Khan, Course Director, RDA were present on the dais.
During the course of deliberations, various issues such as Green Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Development: Concepts and Practice; Green Innovation in e-Inclusion; Green Innovation in Soil and Water Resource Management; Food Security and Safety; Green Innovation in Energy Sector; Climate Smart Green Innovation in Livelihood and Women in Development; Agricultural Marketing and Value Chain Management; Rural Finance, Micro Credit, Micro Saving, Ekti Bari Ekti Khamer (One House One Farm); Green Economy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and other related issues were addressed by eminent resource persons and faculty of RDA.
The field visits to RDA’s Action Research Projects, TMSS, Practical Action-Pumpkins-Against Poverty; RDA-Swiss Contact Projects at River Islands, Rangpur District; Maria Village, Gram Unnayan Karma (GUK); and other NGOs and Institutions provided an opportunity to the participants to study and learn from the rich and varied Bangladeshi experiences.
The Valedictory Session of the programme was held on 10 April 2018 under the chairmanship of Eng. M.A. Matin, Director General, RDA. Mrs. O.N. Siddika Khanam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head, Research Division, AARDO graced the occasion as Chief Guest and Special Guest respectively. Ms. Nargis Jahan, Director, Training and Mr. Md. Ferdous Hossain Khan, Course Director, RDA were also present on the dais. The dignitaries addressed the delegates and accordingly distributed the certificates and souvenirs to the participants. All the participants were given an opportunity to share their experiences and give feedback on the training programme.
Dr. Khushnood Ali, while in Dhaka on 11 April, availed of this opportunity to have discussion with Dr. Kamrul Ahsan, Director (Research), Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), Comilla for organization of AARDO-BARD collaborative International Workshop on “Ekti Bari Ekti Khamer (One House One Farm)”, proposed to be organized at BARD, Comilla, Bangladesh, in August or October 2018.