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RECENT ACTIVITIES

The Secretary General paid courtesy call on H.E. the Minister of Agriculture, Government of the Republic of Angola, 31st May 2016

His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO paid a courtesy call on H.E. Eng. Afonso Pedro Canga, Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Angola, during his visit to India in New Delhi on 31st May 2016. H.E. Mr. Manuel Eduardo Dos Santos E. Silva Bravo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Angola to India was also present in the meeting.

During the meeting, the Secretary General apprised H.E. the Hon’ble Minister and H.E. the Ambassador of the programmes and activities of AARDO for the benefit of AARDO member countries. He also explained the various benefits the Republic of Angola could derive by becoming a distinguished member of AARDO.

The Hon’ble Minister thanked the Secretary General for his visit and lauded the work of AARDO towards the cause of rural development. He briefed the Secretary General about the agricultural challenges faced by Angola as it is in the process of reconstruction of its economy.

The Secretary General Attends
CIRDAP Meeting during 23 – 27 May 2016

At the kind invitation of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), the Secretary General, AARDO accompanied by one senior officer attended the 31st Technical Committee Meeting (TC-31) of CIRDAP and International Knowledge Exchange on Rural Development: Best Practices of Malaysian Experience held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 23 – 27 May 2016 as an observer. The Secretary General has had the opportunity to meet H.E. Dato` Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, Minister of Rural and Regional Development, Government of Malaysia on 23 May 2016 after inauguration of the programme.

During the course of participation in the meeting, the Secretary General interacted with many of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of CIRDAP Linked Institutions (CLI) as well as observers and discussed with them about matters of mutual interest. He also met representatives of some of the eligible member countries of AARDO from Asia and explained them about the objective, mandate and activities of AARDO and urged them to impress upon their respective governments to join AARDO as distinguished members.

The meeting was relevant and useful for AARDO in terms of learning and sharing of CIRDAP members’ experiences in best practices and their possible adaptation in AARDO member countries particularly from Africa. Some of best practices of CIRDAP member countries like One House One Farm (Bangladesh), Bank Sakhi (India), 21st Century Village (Malaysia) and Akhuwat Bank (Pakistan) are found to be useful for AARDO member countries of Africa. Similarly, presentations by the representatives of CIRDAP member countries on the status of SDGs in their countries was very interesting in view of new national strategies and programmes to achieve the Goals.

In order to expose the participants about Malaysia’s achievements in rural development programmes, they visited Kuala Medang (Pahang) to study and observe homestay programme, trigona bee farm and FELDA museum on 26 May 2016. The participants visited Rural Transformation Centre (RTC) and FELCRA project in Meleka on 27 May 2016 and interacted with the beneficiaries.

International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on “Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation”, Mulungushi University, Kabwe, Zambia, 9-13 May 2016

AARDO in collaboration with the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development, Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Mulungushi University, Kabwe, Zambia organised an International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on “Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation” at the Mulungushi University on 9-13 May 2016. Thirty-one government officials, resource persons and special invitee from 17 countries, namely, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Republic of China (Taiwan), Ghana, India, Iraq, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Zambia and the Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) attended the programme.

The international workshop-cum-training programme focused on climate change impact and initiatives required for disaster risk reduction. The purpose of the training was to provide an overview and basic skills necessary of Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) with the objectives to :

  1. Define Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation/Concepts and methodology;
  2. Identify roles of various stakeholders in DRR/CCA activities; and
  3. Share experiences in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change.
The participants discussed the initiatives taken by various countries on the disaster risk reduction and climate change impact.

Secretary General Visited Egypt

On the kind invitation from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), New Delhi, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited Egypt during 26– 30 April 2016 to attend the 4th African Regional Conference on Irrigation and Drainage (ARCID) on the theme “Agricultural Land and Water Management for Sustainability under Climate Variability”, held at Aswan City, Egypt during 26-28 April 2016. The Conference was organised by the Egyptian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (ENCID) and focused on boosting agricultural productivity in Africa, based on irrigation and drainage. The Conference had technical sessions, an exhibition, a book fair and two-day post-conference study tour.

The Secretary General delivered address during the Inaugural Session on 26 April 2016 and presented Keynote Speech on “Water Management and Sustainable Development in the Context of Africa” on 27 April 2016.

While in Aswan, the Secretary General called on Dr. Mohamed Hassan Amer, the Hon’ble Chairman, ENCID and discussed matters of mutual interest. He also met Mr. Mohamed Hassan Rashwan, Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for North and Eastern Africa, Cairo, and Eng. Yahia Sayed Mohamad, Director General, Egyptian International Centre for Agriculture (EICA) and discussed matters of mutual interest.

Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy (APAP) Roundtable Meeting on “Sustainable Management of Water Resources for Agriculture and Food Security” at Beijing, China during 20-22 April 2016

The Far East Regional Office of AARDO (FERO) in collaboration with Korea FAO Association, Global Agricultural Policy Institute and Renmin University of China hosted the 2016 Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy (APAP) Roundtable Meeting on “Sustainable Management of Water Resources for Agriculture and Food Security” at Beijing, China during 20-22 April 2016. A total of forty-seven (47) experts from 15 countries and 10 international organizations such as FAO and UNCCD participated in the Roundtable meeting and exchanged cross-sectoral knowledge and experiences.

The presentations on sustainable water resource management for climate change in agriculture were delivered from global, regional, and country perspectives followed by interactive discussions. Dr. J. S. Samra, Former CEO of National Rainfed Area Authority, India deputed by AARDO, presented his paper on the current status of water resource management in India and its efforts in water governance through pricing policies of water and energy and highlighted the importance of smallholder irrigation based on groundwater and small surface water storage structures to ensure sustainability in water resource management in India.

The Participants agreed upon the necessity of establishing an integrated mid-long term water resource management framework at the national and international level enabling collaborative efforts for dealing with multi-dynamic water issues. The benefits of water pricing policies and water trade mechanisms were stressed upon. The participants also emphasized on Public Private Partnership and recommended it as an effective tool for achieving sustainable comprehensive water management.

The outcomes and suggestions of the Roundtable will be further developed in the forthcoming 15th APAP Forum scheduled to be held on 8-9 September 2016 at Seoul, R O Korea under the theme of “Sustainable Water and Land Resource for Agriculture and Food Security".

International Workshop-cum-Exposure Visit on “Potential of Sericulture and Silk Industry for Employment and Income Generation in AARDO Member Countries”

The International Workshop-cum-Exposure Visit on “Potential of Sericulture and Silk Industry for Employment and Income Generation in AARDO Member Countries” was jointly organised by AARDO and the International Sericultural Commission (ISC), Bangaluru, India, in Mysore from 11-16 April 2016. That was the first activity after AARDO and ISC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 1st September 2015 for carrying out collaborative activities and organising training programmes in the field of sericulture and other areas of mutual interests. The Programme was attended by eighteen (18) participants from twelve (12) countries, namely, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Palestine, Republic of China (Taiwan), Sudan, Turkey, Vietnam and Uzbekistan.

The main objectives of the Programme were introduction of sericulture, including different kinds of silk cultivation and allied activities; sharing of cross countries’ knowledge and experience; enlightening the participants about the role of ISC, AARDO and the Central Silk Board (CSB), Government of India in promoting sericulture in African-Asian countries; etc.

The International Workshop-cum-Exposure Visit was inaugurated by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO in the morning of 12 April 2016 in the august presence of Dr. H. Nagesh Prabhu, I.F.S., Secretary General, ISC, Mr. K K Shetty, Executive Director, ISC, learned resource persons from the CSB; Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute (CSR&TI), Central Silk Technological and Research Institute (CST&RI), distinguished participants, and senior officials from ISC and other organizations.

Dr. H. Nagesh Prabhu, I.F.S., Secretary General, ISC in his welcoming remarks, shared his vision to introduce sericulture in new countries in the African-Asian region and to develop it further in countries where it already exists. H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO, in his inaugural address spoke about the important role of sericulture In providing gainful employment, decent income and improving the quality of life of the people in rural areas. Mr. K.K. Shetty, Executive Director, ISC delivered the Keynote Address. Dr. V. Sivaprasad, Director, (CSR&TI), Mysore, proposed a vote of thanks to all.

There were seven presentations by renowned resource persons which succinctly focused on strategies for adoption of appropriate innovations and technologies for the development of sericulture in African-Asian countries, strategic approach for establishing market linkages in African-Asian countries, need for establishing post-cocoon facilities for the introduction of sericulture industries in African-Asian countries, etc. Besides, country reports were presented by all the participants. These presentations were very informative and highlighted the prevailing sericultural scenarios in all participating countries.

In order to arrive at appropriate recommendations of the Programme, the participants were divided into three groups with each group assigned a specific topic to deliberate upon and give its recommendations. The topics assigned were (i) Policy, (ii) Research, Extension and Capacity Building, and (iii) Sericulture Developmental Projects. The groups had extensive discussions and gave their recommendations, which were presented and adopted at the Closing Session of the Programme on 14 April 2016. This was followed by presentation of certificates and mementoes to all the participants by the Secretary Generals of AARDO and ISC who also delivered their valedictory addresses. At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Dileep Kumar R., Progamme Coordinator, ISC proposed a Vote of Thanks to H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General for evincing keen interest in forging collaboration with ISC, Dr. H. Nagesh Prabhu initiating developmental activities in Africa and Asia, participants and resource persons for their presentations, and all those who worked in making the Programme a success.

As a part of the Exposure Visit, the participants visited the laboratories of CSR&TI, Ramanagara Cocoon Market (Asia’s largest cocoon market), Central Silk Board, Silkworm Seed Production Centre, CST&RI and other relevant institutions during 14- 16 April 2016 and observed at close quarters the various activities from soil to silk, including weaving, dyeing, designing, testing, packaging, etc. In fact, they were very impressed with the rich strides made by India in the development and production of sericulture. At the last leg of their Exposure Visit on 16 April 2016, the participants had a meeting with the Hon’ble Secretary General, ISC, officers of Central Silk Board and ISC, where they expressed their views on the efficacy of the Programme and made suggestions to further improve its organisation. They also visited the historical Mysuru Palace and Brindavan Gardens in Mysore

Liaison Committee Meeting: 67th Session
New Delhi, India, 22 March 2016

The 67th Session of the AARDO Liaison Committee was held on 22nd March 2016 at the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Jagdishwar Guburdhun, High Commissioner for the Republic of Mauritius to India, and Honorable Chairperson of the Liaison Committee. Twenty-one (21) delegates from sixteen (16) member countries, namely, Republic of China (Taiwan), Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Gambia, Republic of India, Republic of Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Republic of Kenya, State of Libya, Malaysia, Republic of Mauritius, Sultanate of Oman, State of Palestine, Republic of the Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Republic of Yemen and Republic of Zambia of the Liaison Committee attended the Session. In addition, delegates from diplomatic missions of Republic of Botswana and the Republic of Turkey, and a senior official from International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) attended the Session as Observers. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee.

After the Opening Remarks by the Honorable Chairman, the Secretary General, AARDO welcomed the distinguished delegates to the 67th Session of the Liaison Committee. The Session commenced with adoption of the Provisional Agenda. The Liaison Committee adopted the summary report of its previous (66th) session that was held on 26th August 2015.

The Committee took note of the follow -up action taken/proposed to be taken by the AARDO Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of the 66th session of the Liaison Committee. The Committee considered the Review of AARDO Activities, Membership Contribution and Member Relations for the period July – December 2015. The Committee took note of the projected programmes of AARDO activities scheduled to be organized during January – June 2016. It decided to hold its next (68th) Session on 24th August 2016.

Secretary General Visited Malaysia

On an invitation from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited Malaysia from 8 to 11 March 2016 to attend the Thirty-third FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, held there at the kind invitation of the esteemed Government of Malaysia. AARDO has been accorded the status of an Observer by FAO and has been regularly attending its meetings.

While in Malaysia, the Secretary General paid a visit to H.E. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Bin Yaakob, Minister of Rural and Regional Development, Government of Malaysia, and discussed matters of mutual interest. He also paid a courtesy call on H.E. Y.B. Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Bin Cheek, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry.

The Secretary General also met Dr. Mohd Desa Haji Hassim, Chief Executive Officer, International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), Serdang, and explored the possibility of organising some collaborative activities in the near future.

AARDO Day, 5th March 2016

African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) completed its 54th year of formation on 5th March 2016. To commemorate the occasion, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO hosted a reception and welcomed the distinguished guests in New Delhi on 7th March 2016. A large number of dignitaries that, among others, included Ambassadors/High Commissioners and Liaison Officers of AARDO member and eligible member countries, representatives of esteemed Government of India, international/regional organizations, Professors/Experts from Universities/Institutes, etc., attended the reception. On this occasion, AARDO Secretariat also felicitated six of its employees who completed twenty five or more years of service with full dedication and commitment in the Organization. His Excellency Mr J Goburdhun, High Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius to India and Chairman of the AARDO Liaison Committee along with the Secretary General, AARDO bestowed the six employees with memento. A presentation, highlighting AARDO’s activities and achievements was also screened in the august gathering.

Executive Committee: 67th Session
Khartoum, Sudan 21 - 23 February 2016

The 67th Session of AARDO Executive Committee was held at Al-Salam Rotana Hotel, Khartoum on 21-23 February 2016 at the kind invitation of the esteemed Government of Republic of the Sudan. The session was chaired by the Hon’ble President of the Executive Committee, Ms. Asha Burrenchobay, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office (National Development Unit), Government of the Republic of Mauritius. Ten, out of thirteen members of the Executive Committee attended the session. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as the Member Secretary to the Committee. The meeting was inaugurated by H.E. Prof. Ibrahim Adam Ahmad El-Dukheiri, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Government of the Republic of the Sudan and the Chief Guest.

After adoption of the Provisional Agenda, the major approvals accorded by the Executive Committee, among others, included Review of Activities, Member Relations, Membership Contribution and Income and Expenditure. The Committee ratified three (3) Memoranda of Understanding that AARDO signed with other organizations. It ratified the service contract of Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin who had assumed the charge of office of the Secretary General on 3 September 2015 for second tenure of four years and also took oath of office of secrecy. The Executive Committee also approved the revision of salary and allowances of the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General, AARDO.

The Committee approved follow-up actions taken by the AARDO Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of the 18th General Session of AARDO Conference, 65th, 66th and Special Sessions of the Executive Committee and 64th, 65th, 66th and Special Sessions of the Liaison Committee. It approved and adopted the final reports of the 64th, 65th and Special sessions of the Liaison Committee. The Committee decided to hold its next (68th) Session in Bangladesh in November/December 2016. H.E. Prof. Ibrahim Adam Ahmad El-Dukheiri, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Government of the Republic of the Sudan and His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO felicitated Dr. Abdalla Yahia Adam, former Secretary General, AARDO by presenting him with mementos during the Inaugural Session of the meeting.

International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on “Governance in Micro Credit Delivery System for Rural Development", Bangladesh, 23 February -05 March 2016

The International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on “Governance in Micro Credit Delivery System for Rural Development” was organised by AARDO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), during 23 February – 5 March 2016.

The programme was attended by twenty nine (29) participants from fourteen (14) AARDO member countries, namely, Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt, Ghana, India, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and the host country, Bangladesh. Besides, two AARDO officials attended the programme.

The programme was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Mr. Sarder Abul Kalam, Additional Secretary, Rural Development and Cooperative Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on 23 February 2016, Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head, Research Division, who represented the Secretary General, AARDO, was the Guest of Honour in the inaugural function. Besides, it was attended by Dr. A. K. Sharifullah, Director (Project), Dr. Kamrul Ahsan, Director (Training) and Mr. Md. Abdullah Al Mamun, Associate Workshop Director, BARD.

The programme was beset to help the participants in widening their knowledge about the role of governance and micro credit operation for poverty alleviation and rural development. The board objective of the programme was to enhance the knowledge of the participants on the concepts and cross cutting issues of micro-credit delivery system, poverty reduction, rural development and governance through presentation, discussion and exposures visits.

During the various technical sessions, expert papers and country reports were presented by the resource persons and participants. The themes of expert papers, among others, were on Governance in Micro Credit Delivery System for Rural Development; Comilla Approach to Rural Development; Micro-Credit: Concepts, Approaches and Evolution; Experiences of BRAC in Micro Credit Delivery in Asia and Africa; Micro Credit Delivery System for Poverty Reduction: GOs and NGOs Experiences in Bangladesh; Micro Credit; Commercial Vs. Non-Profit Operations and their Governance Issues; Rural Development: Concepts and its Different Dimensions in Asian Countries; micro-savings Experiences of Ekti Bari Ekti Khamar Programme; Grameen Bank Model of Micro-credit Delivery System in Bangladesh; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Implications and Challenges; Women’s Empowerment through Micro-Credit: Some Experiences of Developing Countries; Micro Credit Regulations with Special Emphasis on Bangladesh Micro Credit Regulatory Authority; Meso/Micro-Finance Institutions: Experiences of Developing Countries; Stakeholders Analysis at Local Level; etc.

For field visits, the participants were taken to Bijoypur Pottery Cooperative Society, BRAC Learning Centre and Chandpur District headquarters, Institute of Microfinance (InM), Dhaka, Office of the Project Director-One House One Farm Project, Dhaka in order to get first hand information about the functioning of these institutions.

The Valedictory Session of the programme was held on 5th March 2016 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Salahuddin Mahmud, Director General, BARD. Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head, Research Division, AARDO was the Special Guest in the session. The Chairperson and the Special Guest addressed the participants and jointly gave away the certificates of participation and mementoes to the participants. On behalf of the participants, a vote of thank was extended by the participants from Oman and Ghana.

SECRETARY GENERAL VISITED SUDAN

H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited Sudan during 30 January – 3 February 2016 to hold discussion and finalize arrangements for the forthcoming 67th Session of the Executive Committee scheduled to be held at Khartoum on 21-23 February 2016 at the kind invitation of the esteemed Government of the Republic of the Sudan.

While in Sudan, the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on H.E. Prof. Ibrahim Adam Ahmed Eldukheri, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Government of the Republic of Sudan to personally thank the Government of the Republic of Sudan for hosting the 67th Session of Executive Committee in Khartoum. He also called on H.E. Eng. Ali Gadoom El Ghali Osman, Undersecretary and briefed him about AARDO and its activities. The Hon’ble Undersecretary apprised the Secretary General of the functioning and various activities of the Ministry, including New Sudan Strategy. The Secretary General had a meeting with Dr. Adil Yousif Eltaib, Director General of International Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Hon’ble Director General explained about the agriculture situation in Sudan, new strategies being followed to improve agriculture, etc.   

The Secretary General utilized his presence in Khartoum to call on Prof. Gasim Badri, President of Ahfad University for Women (AUW), and discussed matters of mutual interest. He, also, paid a courtesy call on H.E. Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, Secretary General, The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and explored the possibility of collaboration with the Bank. The Secretary General also called at the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) and had discussions with Dr Ahmed Abdulwali Al-Samawi, Assistant Secretary General and other officials on matters of mutual interest.

The Secretary General also met Dr. Abdalla Yahia Adam, former Secretary General of AARDO.

Training and Study Visits on Desertification Programme, Desert Research Center (DRC), Matruh, Egypt 22-29 November 2015

Desertification is known as a process of environmental degradation or depletion of natural resources which entails a reduction in biological activity and plant bio-mass, in livestock carrying potential of land, in agricultural yields and a decline or degradation in human’s living conditions due to human-made practices and climatic changes such as drought and changing pattern of rainfall. It is a multi-sectoral problem governed by the bio-physical, social and economic aspects of land degradation. AARDO has always recognized the significance of combating desertification and, therefore, has accorded top priority in tackling this menace in its programmes. AARDO in collaboration with Desert Research Centre (DRC), Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Government of Arab Republic of Egypt organized a specialized programme, tenth (10) in the series, on "Training and Study Visits on Desertification" at Matruh, Egypt, during 22-29 November 2015. The Programme was inaugurated by H.E. Major General Alaa Abu Zeid, Hon’ble Governor of Matruh. Other dignities present on the dais included Prof. Dr. Naiim Moselhy Mohamed Mosely, President, DRC, Prof. Mohamed A. Mabrouk, Programme Coordinator from DRC and Mr. Kamal Dhameja, Technical Officer, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Division, who represented the Secretary General, AARDO. The Programme was attended by fourteen (14) participants from eleven (11) AARDO member countries, namely, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, R O Korea, Lebanon, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Sri Lanka and Sudan.

The programme was divided in two parts, viz., plenary meeting and field visits. The plenary meeting included presentation by renowned experts from Egypt on various aspects of desertification such as ‘DRC Research Programs in Northwestern Coastal Zone, Egypt’, ‘Ecosystem Approach To Combat Desertification’, ‘Sustainable Development Center for Matrouh Resources (SDCMR)’, ‘Contribution of Remote Sensing and GIS on Monitoring Desertification (Land Degradation)', ‘Water Desalination’, 'Contribution of Biotechnology for Combating Desertification with special Emphasis on Plant Biodiversity Protection, Soil Indicators of Desertification', 'Socio-Economic Aspects Relevant to Desertification in Egypt', etc. As a part of the filed visits, participants visited Alexandria Bibliotheca Library. The library has the unique distinction of having the first printing press in the world as well as some really good art, artifacts and in addition to a wide variety of books and ancient texts. The participants also visited Kharoba Valley to observe at close quarters various activities relating to soil conservation and erosion, desertification and water resource management, functioning of dykes, catchment/watershed areas, etc.

The Valedictory Session of the programme was held on 26th November 2015 wherein concluding remarks were delivered by representative of the participants, Programme Coordinator and Representative of AARDO. The session concluded with award of certificates to the participants.



Study Visit for Experts on “Role of ICTs in Agriculture/Rural Development and Governance” in the Republic of China (Taiwan), 15- 21 November 2015

The convergence of Information Technology with Communication Technology, including Internet, as “Information & Communication Technology (ICT)”, has brought a paradigm shift in the approach for management of data & information for value-added services. Hence various ICT methods/systems are giving impetus to agricultural and rural development wherever applied. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an increasingly powerful tool for almost all aspects of development, including global markets, political stability, social welfare, and environmental sustainability. With technological development in this field, “Geographical Information System (GIS)” has emerged as powerful tool which has potential to organize complex spatial environment with tabular relationships. The power and potential of GIS is unlimited.

The Republic of China has been in the forefront of agricultural and rural development and has vast experience in ICTs. Considering the advancement and work done by the Republic of China, the Study Visit on “Role of ICTs in Agriculture/Rural Development and Governance” was organized in collaboration with the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of the Republic of China during 15-21 November 2015. The study visit programme was attended by sixteen (16) delegates from twelve (12) AARDO members, namely, Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Zambia and Korea Rural Community Cooperation (KRC), Korea. Besides, two senior officials of AARDO attended the programme.

The inaugural function of the programme, held on 16 November, was addressed by His Excellency Dr. Bao-ji Chen, the Hon’ble Minister of Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of the Republic of China and H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO. The inaugural function was also attended by Dr. Jen-pin Chen, Director General of Department International Affairs, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of the Republic of China and resource persons/senior officials of the Council.

During the study visit, delegates visited various centres of excellence i. e; National Taiwan University, Taipei; Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Taichung; Mushroom Farm, Puxin Township, Changhua County; Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB), TaoMi Community, Puli Township, Nantou County; Han Kuan Fruit & Vegetable Cooperatives, Siluo Town, Yunlin County; Kinpo Plant Factory, Shenkeng Dist., New Taipei City; Taipei Flower Auction Company, Neihu Dist., etc. Participants were exposed to various ICT based project networks, including pests ecological monitoring, crops production control, wireless sensor network system, farmland cover map, data browsing, querying system, application of ICT on debris flow and soil conservation, flower auction connecting with internet and price inquiry system and use of ICTs in agricultural marketing. The participants have acquainted themselves with up-to-date technologies on ICTs being used in agriculture and rural development in the Republic of China. In fact, participants were very impressed of the advancement and work done by the esteemed country in the field of ICTs and agriculture.

In the forenoon of 20th November, the concluding session of the programme was held. It was attended by H.E. Mr. Wen-Deh Chen, Deputy Minister of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of the Republic of China. After the remarks of the Deputy Minister, a panel discussion, chaired by Director General of Department International Affairs, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of the Republic of China, was conducted where delegates expressed their views and shared experiences.

While in Republic of China, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited various centres of excellence and had discussion with the dignitaries on matters of mutual interest. Details of Excellency’s visit are available on the website.

AARDO extends its profound thanks to the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of the Republic of China, National Taiwan University, Taipei; Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Taichung; Mushroom Farm, Puxin Township, Changhua County; Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB), TaoMi Community, Puli Township, Nantou County; Han Kuan Fruits & Vegetables Cooperatives, Siluo Town, Yunlin County; Kinpo Plant Factory, Shenkeng Dist., New Taipei City; Taipei Flower Auction Company, Neihu Dist., Taipei for their kind contribution and hospitality so extended to the delegates during their visits.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the esteemed Government of the Republic of China has always been in the forefront in AARDO’s endeavours to increase the number of inter-governmental collaborations in the sphere of rural development-not only in terms of HRD such as this one, but also in development projects on the ground. Since its joining in1968, the esteemed Government of the Republic of China has always been very kind and generous in supporting AARDO’s technical as well as organizational activities.

Secretary General visited Republic of China

H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited Republic of China (Taiwan) during 16-19 November 2015 in connection with the Study Visit for Experts on “Role of ICTs in Agriculture/Rural Development and Governance”, organised by the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Government of the Republic of China in collaboration with AARDO.

While in Republic of China, the Secretary General discussed with H.E. Mr. Chih I Sha, Deputy Minister, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan and his officials, ways and means of further strengthening the existing cooperation and collaboration between AARDO and the esteemed Council. The Secretary General also had discussions with Dr. Jen-Pin Chen, Director General, Department of International Affairs, Council of Agriculture and it was decided to have an International Workshop in Taiwan during 2016.

In order to explore the possibility of organising some programmes on fisheries, the Secretary General visited the Fisheries Research Institute (FRI). Dr. June-Ru Chen, Director General of the Institute briefed the Secretary General on the activities of the Institute like marine fisheries, aquaculture, deep sea fishing, seafood processing and allied products, etc. He along with Dr. June-Ru also visited the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology.

Accompanied by H.E. the Deputy Minister, Council of Agriculture and the Director General, FRI, the Secretary General visited the Taipei Fishery Market Corporation and Addiction Aquatic Development and closely observed its various activities. He utilized his presence and met Dr. Pai-po Lee, Deputy Director General, Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and discussed matters of mutual concerns, including the possibility of more financial and technical assistance to AARDO from the Fund. After discussions, it was agreed that TaiwanICDF and AARDO will organise an International workshop on “Fisheries in Taiwan”. The Secretary General also visited the Xinshe Flowersea Festival.

Accompanied by H.E. Mr. Chih I Sha, Deputy Minister, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, the Secretary General participated in the Inaugural Function of the “2015 Taiwan International Fisheries & Seafood Show” and visited all the stalls. This was Taiwan's first-ever dedicated show on commercial fishing, equipment and technology. Fourteen countries were participating in the Show. The event showcased Taiwan's leading role in fish production and exports and laid stress on aquaculture, fishery services, processing equipment, etc

International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on
"Irrigation System and Water Management", Pakistan,
3-12 November 2015

African-Asian Rural Development Organization in collaboration with Akhtar Hameed Khan National Centre for Rural Development (AHK-NCRD), the Establishment Division, Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan organised the fourth in series of the International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on "Irrigation System and Water Management", at Islamabad, Pakistan during 3-12 November 2015. Main objectives of the programme were: to familiarize and refresh the participants with the present situation of water resources in the Afro-Asian Region; to identify major issues in Management of Water; discuss use of different Methods/Technologies for efficient use of water; to discuss government policies and strategies with regard to Water Resource Management; and to enable the participants coming from different regions to share their experience and suggest measures for rectification of the shortcomings in Water Resource Management.

Inaugural function of the programme held on 4th November 2015 at the auditorium of AHK-NCRD was attended by Ms. Marvi Memon, Chairperson, Benazeer Income Support Programme (BISP), Pakistan, as Chief Guest, Mr. Moed ul Hassan, Special Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan and diplomats from the embassies of three AARDO member countries situated in Islamabad, namely, Iraq, Nigeria and Palestine. As well as, it was attended by number of high level officers from the Government of Pakistan including NCRD. The function was addressed by Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir, Director General, AHKNCRD, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General AARDO (through e-learning platform of NCRD), Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO, Mr. Moed ul Hassan, Spl. Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan and Ms. Marvi Memon, Chairperson, Benazeer Income Support Programme (BISP), Pakistan and the Chief Guest.

The programme was attended by fifteen (15) international participants from 10 member countries, namely, Bangladesh, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Mauritius, Nigeria, Palestine, Sri Lanka and Sudan and one official from AARDO Secretariat. Besides, twenty (20) participants from Pakistan representing irrigation department of various provinces and institutions/universities participated in the programme.

The programme had two components, namely, plenary meetings and field visits. In the plenary meetings, nine eminent resource persons of Pakistan gave their presentation on various facets of irrigation system & water management and shared their rich and varied experiences and deep knowledge with the participants. Besides, the participants presented their country reports on the irrigation practices followed in their respective countries. The participants were divided into three groups and assigned specific topics for discussion. At the end of the programme, the participants, after due deliberations, gave a set of recommendations, that may be found useful by the member countries in their policies and programmes on irrigation and water management.

As part of field visit, on 8th November 2015, the participants visited Research and Development Farm at Darkali Kalan to observe at close quarters activities of Management of Land and Water Resources on the ground. This is a project implemented under the auspices of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR). On 9th November 2015, they paid a visit to the Bio-remediation Project to witness the process of bio-remediation of contaminated waste water through natural process. This project is being implemented by the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Pakistan.

The Valedictory Session of the Workshop was held in the evening of 11th November 2015, where concluding remarks were made by representative of the participants, representative of AARDO and the Director (Training) & Course Director of NCRD. The session concluded with award of certificates to the participants.

Ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic to India
called on the Secretary General, AARDO

His Excellency Dr. Riad Kamel Abbas, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Syrian Arab Republic to India paid a courtesy call on H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO on 10 November 2015. Mr. Wael Deirki, Minister Counsellor in the Embassy accompanied His Excellency on the visit. Ways and means to further strengthen the existing relationship between the esteemed Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and AARDO were discussed during the meeting.

Secretary General paid courtesy call on the
Hon’ble Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia

His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO paid a courtesy call on Her Excellency Mrs. Inonge Wina, the Hon’ble Vice President of the Republic of Zambia in New Delhi on 30 October 2015. The Hon’ble Vice-President was in India to attend the India-Africa Forum Summit, organised by the Government of India in New Delhi from 26 to 29 October 2015. H.E. Mr. Given S. Lubinda, MP, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Zambia was present in the meeting. During the meeting, the Secretary General apprised H.E. the Hon’ble Vice-President and H.E. the Minister of Agriculture of the functions and programmes of AARDO as well as of the participation of Zambia in AARDO’s organizational and technical activities.

Study Visit Programme of the Honourable Minister and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Government of the Republic of Mauritius to India, 19-26 September 2015

The organization of the study visits programme, on specific requests from the member countries, to study the achievements of other member countries in pertinent fields is one of the important activities of AARDO. Under the programme, the visiting delegates from the concerned member countries get exposure to the policies/programmes/models undertaken by other member countries.

On the request of the Prime Minister’s Office (National Development Unit), Government of the Republic of Mauritius, a study visit on “Poverty Alleviation Policies and Programmes” for a two member high level delegation from Mauritius to India was arranged, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, for a period of one week during 19-26 September 2015.This is one of the highest level of study visit organised by AARDO in the recent years involving Hon. Minister and Permanent Secretary.

The delegation was headed by H.E. Mr. Prithvirajsing Roopun (MP), Honourable Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Government of Mauritius. Excellency was accompanied by Permanent Secretary of his ministry, Mr. Boyramboli Bojrazsingh.

The main objective of the visit was to gain general insight of and study the institutional architecture that has underpinned the remarkable socio-economic development strides made in India in the fight against poverty, especially with regard to the following:-

• Policies and strategies to combat poverty and social exclusion;
• Initiatives taken in respect of social integration and sustainable development of
  vulnerable groups and enhancement of social progress;
• Income earning activities and opportunities for empowerment for vulnerable groups;
• Measures aimed at improving the living conditions of the absolute poor;
• Role and contribution of the private sector in poverty alleviation; and
• Role and contribution of the civil society and Non Government Organizations (NGOs)
  in poverty alleviation.

During the visit, delegates visited various centres of excellence in Delhi and Hyderabad i.e., the Regional Office of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the Council for Social Development (CSD) in Delhi. In Hyderabad, delegates visited the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), TATA Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME), Koyyala Gudem Village, Pochampally-(Interaction with Members of Self-Help Groups and Members of Village Panchayat and Handloom Wavers Cooperative Society); and DDU-GKY Skill Development Centre, Kompally, etc.

The delegation called on H.E. Shri. Chaudhary Birender Singh, Minister of Rural Development, Government of India on 21 September where a presentation and discussion session was held with the high level officials of the Ministry. The delegation also visited AARDO headquarters and had fruitful discussion with H.E. the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General, AARDO.

The outcome of the study tour has enabled the delegates to learn from approaches, strategies and policies effectively addressing poverty alleviation, social inclusion and empowerment of the vulnerable groups which could be adapted for replication in the Mauritian context. The delegates have acquainted themselves with up-to-date strategies, techniques on poverty alleviation policies and programmes in India. A detailed report on the visit will be submitted by the delegates and same may equally benefit other member countries.

It is worth mentioning that, during the Delhi visits, the delegates were accompanied by H.E. Mr. J. Goburdhun, High Commissioner, Deputy High Commissioner, Second Secretary, Mauritius High Commission; and from AARDO H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El Sreihin, Secretary General, Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General and Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head, Research Division & Programme Coordinator accompanied the delegates.

AARDO extends its profound thanks to the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, the Regional Office of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the Council for Social Development (CSD), the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), TATA Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME), Panchayat, Self Help Groups and Cooperatives Societies for their kind contribution and hospitality extended to the delegates during their visits. It is worthwhile to mention here that the esteemed Government of India has always been very kind and generous in supporting AARDO’s technical as well as organizational activities.

Secretary General attended Asia Pacific
Agricultural Policy (APAP) Forum

At the kind invitation of the Hon’ble Chairman, Korea FAO Association & Global Agriculture Policy Institute, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the 14th Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy (APAP) Forum on “Regional Integration and Public Private Partnership”, held at Seoul from 31st August to 1st September 2015. In his congratulatory remarks, the Secretary General emphasized the importance of inclusive growth approach for the development of agricultural sector and rural areas, for better access to facilities like credit, technology, health care, sanitation, education etc., besides opening up new opportunities for different stake holders such as public sector enterprises, private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations, Farmers’ Organizations, civil society, etc.

While in Korea, the Secretary General met the Hon’ble Chairman of Rural Community-International Education Exchange Centre (RC-IEEC) of Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) and his colleagues and explored the possibility of cooperation between AARDO and RC-IEEC.

Liaison Committee Meeting: 66th Session
New Delhi, India, 26 August 2015

The 66th Session of the AARDO Liaison Committee was held on 26th August 2015 at the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Joyker Nayeck, Acting High Commissioner for the Republic of Mauritius to India, and Honorable Chairperson of the Liaison Committee. Twenty-one (21) delegates from sixteen (16) member countries, namely, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of India, Republic of Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, State of Libya, Republic of Mauritius, Malaysia, Republic of Malawi, Federal Republic of Nigeria, State of Palestine, Republic of the Sudan and Republic of Yemen of the Liaison Committee attended the Session. In addition, three delegates, one each from Republic of Benin, Tunisian Republic and International Cooperative Alliance – Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) attended the Session as Observers. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee.

After the Opening Remarks by the Honorable Chairman, the Secretary General, AARDO welcomed the distinguished delegates to the 66th Session of the Liaison Committee. The Session commenced with adoption of the Provisional Agenda. The Liaison Committee adopted the summary reports of its previous two sessions, namely, 65th Session and Special Session held on 25th February 2015 and 27th May 2015 respectively.

The Committee took note of the follow -up action taken/proposed to be taken by the AARDO Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of the 18th General Session of AARDO Conference, 65th, 66th and Special sessions of the Executive Committee and 65th and Special sessions of the Liaison Committee. The Committee considered the Review of AARDO Activities, Membership Contribution and Member Relations for the period January – June 2015. The Committee took note and adopted the projected programmes of AARDO activities scheduled to be organised during July – December 2015. The Committee also considered the agenda item on the revision of salary and allowances of the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General and the Secretariat Staff and gave its recommendations to be placed before the 67th Session of Executive Committee. It also approved the list of invitees for its next (67th) Session to be held on 24th February 2016.

Global Forum for Farmers (GFF) Delegation
called on the Secretary General

A four member delegation from the Global Forum for Farmers (GFF), Gurgaon, Haryana State of India, led by Mr. JNL Srivastava, IAS (Retd.), Managing Trustee, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) Foundation & Vice-President, GFF called on the Secretary General on 12 August 2015 for discussions on forging possible cooperation between the two organizations. The other members of the delegation were Mr. A.K. Dixit, IFFCO Foundation & Treasurer, GFF, Dr. Umesh Srivastava, GFF and Mr. S.K. Mahajan, IFFCO Foundation. The delegation briefed the Secretary General about the salient features of Global Forum for Farmers (GFF) established by the Foundation in the year 2014.

The GFF aims at deliberating on the problems and needs of farmers of developing countries, namely, India as well as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean region.

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
Delegation called on Secretary General

A 3-member delegation headed by Er. Avinash C. Tyagi, Secretary General, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), New Delhi, met the Secretary General, AARDO on 13 August 2015 to explore the possibility of having cooperation and collaboration between ICID and AARDO. Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO was also present in the meeting. The Secretary General, ICID apprised the Secretary General, AARDO of the activities of ICID. The Secretary General, AARDO briefed the delegation about the programmes and activities of AARDO for the benefit of rural population of AARDO member countries. It was decided that both the Organizations will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

ICID, established in 1950, is the leading scientific, technical and not-for-profit Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and through its network of professionals spread across more than a hundred countries, it facilitates sharing of experiences and transfer of water management technology. The Commission supports capacity development, stimulates research and innovation and strives to promote policies and programmes to enhance sustainable development of irrigated agriculture through a comprehensive water management framework.

Secretary General, AARDO attended TFNet Symposium

At the kind invitation of International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), Selangor, Malaysia, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited Sri Lanka to attend TFNet’s Symposium on “Sustainable Production and Marketing of Tropical and Sub-tropical Fruits with Focus on Potential Superfruits” during 3-4 August 2015. The Secretary General also attended, as an Observer, the 6th Session of TFNet General Assembly, held in Colombo, 5-6 August 2015. The Secretary General was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees of TFNet.

While in Sri Lanka, the Secretary General met the Chief Executive Officer, TFNet and discussed matters of mutual interest. He also met the Secretary, Ministry of Irrigation and Agriculture, Government of Sri Lanka and discussed matters of common concerns.

Special Session of the Executive Committee of AARDO,
India, 1 July 2015

The Special Session of the Executive Committee was held on 1st July 2015 at New Delhi. The Session was chaired by Ms. Asha Burrenchobay, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister's Office (National Development Unit), Republic of Mauritius, and Hon'ble President of Executive Committee. All the thirteen members of the Executive Committee attended the Meeting.

The Executive Committee re-elected H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan N. El-Sreihin, the current Secretary General, AARDO for the second term.

Special Session of the Liaison Committee Meeting,
India, 27th May 2015

A Special Session of the Liaison Committee meeting was held on 27th May 2015 at the AARDO Secretariat. The Session began under the Chairmanship of Mr. Sherif Kamel, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Hon’ble Chairperson of the Special Session of Liaison Committee. The Session was attended by twenty-three (23) delegates from eighteen (18) member countries, namely, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, R O China, Egypt, Gambia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, State of Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Sultanate of Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Yemen and Zambia. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as the Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee.

After the Opening Remarks by the Chairman and the Secretary General, the Special Session of the Liaison Committee adopted and discussed the agenda items, including handing over and taking over of the Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of Liaison Committee, review of the salary and other allowances of Secretary General, Assistant Secretary General and staff members of the Organization as well as constituting a Sub-Committee of the Liaison Committee to open and scrutinize nominations for the post of Secretary General, AARDO. Accordingly, the report of the Special Session of the Liaison Committee will be submitted to the Special Session of the Executive Committee for consideration.

As the esteemed Government of Republic of Mauritius has assumed the Presidentship of AARDO during the 18th General Session of AARDO Conference, the Chairmanship of Liaison Committee has accordingly been assumed by H. E. Mr. Joyker Nayeck, Acting High Commissioner for the Republic of Mauritius to India, in the Special Session. In the said Session, H.E. the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt assumed the Vice- Chairmanship of the Liaison Committee from Africa and H.E. the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman assumed the Vice-Chairmanship of the Liaison Committee from Asia. The Secretary General and other distinguished delegates extended a warm welcome to the new Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen of the Liaison Committee.

International Workshop-Cum-Training Programme on
“Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation”,
Mulungushi University, Kabwe, Zambia, 18- 22 May 2015

Disaster is a very common phenomenon to the human society. It has been experienced by them since time immemorial. Though its form may be varied, it has been a challenge for society across castes, creeds, communities and countries. Disaster management and mitigation mean taking actions before, during and after a disaster has happened in order to reduce the negative effects of disasters. The latest development which has been discovered in the World Disaster Reports is that the disasters have increased in frequency and intensity.

The intensity, and possibly the frequency, of natural disasters are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Poorer developing nations are especially vulnerable to climate change because of their geographic exposure, low incomes and greater reliance on climate sensitive sectors, particularly agriculture. It is these poor countries who are often least able to cope with the associated impacts, due to their limited adaptive capacity. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change Report (2014), changes in climates have caused negative impacts on natural and human systems the world over. This is acknowledged by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 which notes that climate change has increased the exposure of people and assets in all countries to disasters.

Recent earthquake in Nepal and last year’s flood in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) in India killed thousands of people. J&K flood was unprecedented and associated with the negative impact of climate change.

There is now international acknowledgement that efforts to reduce disaster risks must be systematically integrated into policies, plans and programmes for sustainable development and poverty reduction, and supported through bilateral, regional and international cooperation, including partnerships. To handle the situation efficiently, we need to be well-equipped with latest technologies. It cannot avert the situation, but can mitigate its impacts.

Considering the importance of the subject, the International Workshop cum Training Programme on “Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation” was organized by AARDO in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Government of the Republic of Zambia and AARDO at Mulungushi University, Kabwe during 18- 22 May 2015. So far, three programmes on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management have been organized. This was the fourth programme in series organized there.

The main objective of the programme was to enhance the knowledge of the participants on the concepts and critical issues of the disaster management and mitigation through presentation, discussion and exposures visits. The specific objectives of the programme were to: i) define disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation concepts and methodology; ii) identify roles of various stakeholders in DRR/CCA activities; and iii) share experiences in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

The programme consisted of two parts, viz., the plenary meeting and field visit. During the various technical sessions, pertinent issues such as Disaster Risk Management as a Global Agenda: The Sendai Frame 2015-2030; Disaster Risk Reduction: Aims and Practices; Institutional Arrangements and Organizational Structures; Climate Change and Environmental Disasters & Video on Climate Change; Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation in Zambia; Climate Change in Zambia & The REDD+ Programme; Climate Change Adaptation & DRR: Experiences from the Field were addressed by the eminent resource persons and the participants. The field visits to Makululu Township, Agricultural Income Generating Projects (Livestock and Poultry), Kabwe and Victoria Falls, Livingstone, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, provided an excellent opportunity to the participants to study and learn from the rich and varied Zambian experiences and heritage.

The programme was attended by twenty one (21) participants from fourteen (14) AARDO member countries, namely, Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, R.O. Korea, Mauritius, Nigeria, Oman, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Zambia; and Korea Rural Community Cooperation (KRC), the associate member of AARDO.

His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the inauguration function of the programme as a Chief Guest on 18 May 2015 at the Conference Hall of the University. The inaugural function was also attended by Mr. Collins Mulonda, Director of Youth, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Government of the Republic of Zambia, and Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for Southern Africa, Dr. (Ms.) Judith Ngalande Lungu, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Mulungushi University, Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head, Research Division, AARDO, and Dr. Mitulo Silengo, Director & Programme Coordinator, Disaster Management Training Centre, Mulungushi University.

During the visit, H.E. the Secretary General availed this opportunity to pay a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Vincent Mwale, MP, the Minister of Youth and Sport, Government of the Republic of Zambia and discussed matters of mutual interest. The meeting was also attended by Hon. Ronald Chitotela, MP, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, Ms. Agnes Musunga, Permanent Secretary, Mr. Charles Mweshi, Chief Planner, Mr. Collins Mulunda, Director, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Government of the Republic of Zambia and Dr. Khushnood Ali, Head Research Division, AARDO.

On 19th May, H.E. the Secretary General, AARDO met with H.E. Mr. Sindiso Ndema Ngwenya, Secretary General, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Lusaka and explored the possibilities for cooperation and collaboration on issues of common interest especially transformation of agriculture for sustainable livelihood and development of rural people. Besides, H.E. the Secretary General visited King George VI National College, Kabwe and Kalingalinga Youth Resource Centre, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Government of the Republic of Zambia, Lusaka on 19 and 20 May and had fruitful discussions with College Principal-Mr. Peter and Centre Manager-Ms. Bridget Mulenga Mumba respectively.

Executive Committee: 66th Session
Mauritius, 9 April 2015

The 66th Session of the Executive Committee of AARDO (1st session of the newly elected eighteenth (18th) Executive Committee) was held at Le Meridien Hotel, Mauritius on 09 April 2015. The session was chaired by Ms. Asha Burrenchobay, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, (National Development Unit), Government of the Republic of Mauritius and Hon’ble President of the Executive Committee. Twelve (12), out of thirteen (13) members of the Executive Committee attended the session. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as the Member Secretary to the Executive Committee.

This session of the Executive Committee approved the terms and conditions for the post of AARDO Secretary General and directed the Secretariat to invite nominations for the said post and place the matter before the Special Session of the Executive Committee to be held on 1st July 2015 at the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi. The Committee also approved the appointment of M/s Kumar Chopra & Associates as the Auditor of the Organization for the triennium 2015-2017.

AARDO Conference: 18th General Session
Mauritius, 6 - 9 April 2015

The Eighteenth (18th) General Session of AARDO Conference was held at Le Meridien Hotel, Mauritius on 6-9 April 2015 at the kind invitation of the esteemed Government of Republic of Mauritius. A total of sixteen (16) AARDO member countries attended the Conference besides, three (3) observers. The Conference was inaugurated on 6 April 2015 by The Right Hon. Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH, GCSK, KCMG, QC, Prime Minister of Republic of Mauritius who was the Chief Guest.

The Conference began its proceedings with Her Excellency Ms. Ghada Fathy Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity, Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Hon’ble President of AARDO on the chair. After the election of the Government of Republic of Mauritius as the President of AARDO; the Arab Republic of Egypt as the Vice-President of AARDO from Africa; and the Sultanate of Oman as the Vice-President of AARDO from Asia, the handing over and taking over the charge of the respective offices took place. The business session of the Conference was, thereafter, presided over by H.E. Mr. P. Roopun, Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Government of Mauritius who was delegated by the Honourable Prime Minister to replace him and act as the President for the Conference.

The Conference unanimously approved the following composition of the Eighteenth (18th) Executive Committee:

President
Republic of Mauritius

Vice President from Africa
Arab Republic of Egypt

Vice-President from Asia
Sultanate of Oman

Members: From Africa :Republic of Ghana, State of Libya, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of the Sudan and Republic of Zambia; From Asia : People's Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of India, Republic of Lebanon and Malaysia

The Conference approved the review of AARDO’s technical and organizational activities including Member Relations; Income and Expenditure. It adopted the reports and follow-up actions on the decisions of the Executive Committee: 61st - 64th sessions and 17th AARDO Conference. The Conference approved the Work Programme and Budget Estimates for the triennium 2015-2017 and report on the status of implementation of ‘AARDO Declaration on Rural Development’. It accepted the recommendation of the 65th session of Executive Committee on the revision of the Membership Contribution for AARDO for the years 2016 and 2017.

The Conference confirmed admission of three new members in AARDO, namely, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and State of Palestine as full members and Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) of R O Korea as an associate member. It also accepted the recommendation of the 65th Session of Executive Committee to ask the Institute for Rural Development (IRD), Kenya to leave the membership of AARDO. Further, it approved tag line of AARDO as “Cooperation for Sustainable Development”.

The Conference unanimously accepted the offer of the Government of Malaysia to host its next (19th) General Session in Malaysia during 2017 with Arab Republic of Egypt as alternate venue.

Executive Committee: 65th Session
Mauritius, 2 - 4 April 2015

The 65th Session of the AARDO Executive Committee was held at Le Meridien Hotel, Mauritius on 2-4 April 2015 at the kind invitation of the esteemed Government of Republic of Mauritius. The session was chaired by the Hon’ble President of the Executive Committee Mr. Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Rashwan, Director General, Ministry of Social Solidarity, Government of Arab Republic of Egypt. Twelve, out of thirteen members of the Executive Committee attended the session. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as the Member Secretary to the Committee.

After adoption of the Provisional Agenda, the major approval accorded by the Executive Committee, among others, included Review of Activities, Member Relations, Membership Contribution, Income and Expenditure. The Committee also ratified four (4) MoUs that AARDO signed with other organizations as well as the service contract of Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh who had assumed the charge of office of the Assistant Secretary General on 14 February 2014 and also took oath of office of secrecy. The Committee also approved follow-up actions taken by the Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of its previous (64th) Session. It also approved and adopted final reports of the 62nd and 63rd sessions of the Liaison Committee and follow-up actions on their decisions.

Apart from the above decisions, the 65th Session of the Executive Committee unanimously recommended the followings to the 18th AARDO Conference for considerations:

i) election of the Honourable Prime Minister of Republic of Mauritius as the President of
   AARDO; the Honourable Minister of Social Solidarity, Government of Arab Republic of
   Egypt and Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Government of Sultanate
   of Oman as the Vice Presidents of AARDO from Africa and Asia respectively for the
   triennium 2015-2017.

ii) to revise the membership contribution for the years 2016 and 2017.

iii) to accept the State of Palestine as a full member and Korea Rural Community
    Corporation (KRC) of R O Korea as an associate member in AARDO with effect from
    1st January 2015.

iv) writing off the 30% of the arrears of the Philippines in order to pave the way for
     the country to rejoin AARDO.

v) Work Programme and Budget Estimates for the triennium 2015-2017.

vi) tag line as “Cooperation for Sustainable Development” for AARDO to propagate it
     on its website, publications, logo, letterheads and other documents.

International Training Programme on
“Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in Agricultural Surveys”, India, 12 February – 4 March 2015

AARDO in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India organised above titled theme international training at ICAR-Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi during 12 February – 4 March 2015. The programme - fifth in the series - was attended by ten (10) participants, that is, one each from R O China (Taiwan), Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Oman, Sri Lanka and Sudan. Dr. Prachi Misra Sahoo, Senior Scientist and Dr. Tauqueer Ahmad, Principal Scientist, Division of Sample Survey were the Course Director and Course Coordinator respectively.

The inaugural function of the programme was held on 12 February 2015. Prof. D.R.M. Samudraiah, Former Deputy Director (Sensors), Prof. Satish Dhawan Chair, Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organization, Government of India, Ahmedabad was the Chief Guest. He also gave his lead lecture on “Overview of Remote Sensing Technology- Indian Scenario”.

The training programme aimed at familiarizing the participants with the basic concepts of remote sensing and GIS, advances in the field of remote sensing and GIS, exposure to applications of remote sensing and GIS in agricultural surveys and acquainting them with the use of GIS and remote sensing software packages. The programme was divided into four modules covering Sampling Techniques and Sample Surveys, Basics of Remote Sensing, Introduction and basics of GIS and GPS, Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in Agricultural Surveys and Recent Advances.

The training programme constituted of class room lectures/ practical demonstrations/hands on exercises on ARCGIS and ERDAS Imagine - GIS and RS software and data collection using GPS, visits to important institutions in India in the relevant field. The participants were exposed to field demonstration on Land Record Survey and Crop Cutting Experiment. They made visit to advance Facilities at IARI like Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Laboratory, Satellite Data Receiving Station, Plant Phenomics Facility etc. They also visited Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, Derhadun.

The valedictory function of the programme was held on 4th March 2015 at IASRI campus, New Delhi. Dr. A. K. Sikka, Deputy Director General, NRM-ICAR was the Chief Guest and Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General was the Guest of Honor in the function.

International Training Programme on
“Seed Production and Quality Evaluation”,
India, 18-28 February 2015

African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) in collaboration with the esteemed Ministry Rural Development, Government of India organised the above themed international capacity building programme at the Division of Seed Science and Technology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi during 18-28 February 2015. The programme - fifth in series- was attended nine (9) participants from Republic of China (Taiwan), Ghana, Iraq, Jordon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Sudan. Dr S K Jain, Professor at Division of Seed Science and Technology, IARI was the course Director.

The programme was conducted through classroom lectures, hands-on-training, practical, demonstrations, interactive sessions and field visits. There were 34 lectures coupled with 10 practical. The faculty of total 59 resource persons, consisting of the faculty members/scientists/experts, was drawn pre-dominantly from Division of Seed Science & Technology, other divisions of IARI and its regional stations as well as four other Institutes. The course contents covered all aspects of seed production like seed quality evaluation principles, procedures, methodology and reporting of the results. Policy issues related to crop variety development, release and notification, Seeds Act and new Seed Bill, PPV&FR were some other parts of the curriculum covered under the training.

Further, visits were arranged for the participants to quality seed production plots, progressive farmer’s plots, maintenance breeding plots, state-of-art facilities of seed processing, seed storage, CPCT, National Gene Bank, high value-low volume seed crops for spot demonstrations and interactive session with concerned scientists. Visits were also arranged to museums of IARI and ICAR at NASC Complex.

During the course of training, H. E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO accompanied by senior officers from the AARDO Secretariat had visited the training institute and interacted with the participants. Similarly, during the valedictory function of the programme, Dr Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO was present.

International Training Programme on
“Use of Poor Quality Water in Agriculture”,
India, 11-24 February, 2015

A short - term international capacity building programme on above titled theme was organized by AARDO in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India at ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Karnal, India during 11-24 February 2015. The programme – fifth in the series - was attended by ten (10) participants, that is, two each from Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt and Ghana and one each from Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Sudan. The programme was inaugurated on 11 February 2015 by Dr Suresh Kumar Chaudhari, Assistant Director General (NRM), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

The programme was divided into plenary sessions, hands on practical trainings and field visits. Plenary sessions included presentation of expert papers and country reports. The major themes covered, among others, were: categorization of poor quality water, use of modern tools for enhancing crop productivity, physiological mechanisms of salt tolerance in plants, bio-saline agro-forestry, sub-surface drainage and bio-drainage, sewage and industrial wastewater management, techniques for recharging and utilization of poor quality groundwater, etc.

The hands on practical trainings focused on: in situ examination of salt affected soil profile for reclamation and management, assessment of poor quality parameters as EC, TDS, RSC, SAR and specifications in irrigation water and bioremediation of poor quality water, etc. Under the field visits, the participants visited high RSC water use experiments at HAU, RRS, Bawal, Haryana and AICRP Centre, Agra (Uttar Pradesh), CSSRI Experimental Farm at Nain, Panipat, CSSRI/HOPP subsurface drainage project at Siwana Maal, Jind (Haryana) and STP/wastewater disposal site at Karnal.

The valedictory session was held on 24 February 2015 under the chairmanship of Dr S. K. Sharma, Ex-Director IIFASR, Modipuram. Dr Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO was the Chief Guest. In his address, Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh highlighted the relevance and benefits of capacity building in AARDO member countries. He thanked the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India for providing additional financial contribution for specialized training courses at the premier agricultural/rural management institutions in India. Dr. D. K. Sharma, Director, CSSRI described the achievements of CSSRI, its expertise and vast experience in organizing such training programmes.

International Training Programme on
“Equipment and Technologies for Processing and Value-Addition to Agricultural Product at Small Scale/Rural Level”, India, 10-24 February 2015

AARDO, in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India organised above titled programme at Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE), Bhopal during 10-24 February 2015. The programme - 6th in the series - was attended by nine (9) participants from eight (8) member countries, namely, R O China (Taiwan), Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Jordon, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Yemen. The programme started on 10 February 2015 with welcome address by Dr. K. K. Singh, Director, CIAE, followed by inaugural address by Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO in the august presence of large number of dignitaries including participants, resource persons and other invited guests.

Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, in his address, highlighted the importance of such collaborative training programmes for development of African-Asian countries. He also appreciated the role of CIAE in promoting mechanization in these countries through conduct of regular capacity building programmes for AARDO member countries. Dr. K. K. Singh, Director, CIAE stressed on the need for more such programmes on agricultural engineering technologies for the mutual benefit of African-Asian countries. Dr Khushnood Ali, Head, Research Division presented the role and activities of AARDO whereas Dr. PC Bargale, Head, Technology Transfer Division and Course Director highlighted the feedback of last five programmes conducted by CIAE in the past.

The training programme primarily focused on processing and value addition technologies developed in India and their possible adoption by African–Asian countries. In addition, technologies related to farm mechanization, agricultural energy and power, irrigation and drainage engineering and entrepreneurship opportunities in agriculture sector were covered. The training was imparted through lectures, interaction sessions, hands-on-practical sessions, demonstrations, industrial and field visits.

Training -cum-Study Visit Programme on “Unlocking the Potential of Agriculture and Rural Sectors through Innovative Enterprise Development”, India, 02-11 February 2015

AARDO, in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India organised the above programme at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIML) during 02-11 February 2015 under the Additional Technical Contribution of the Government of India, with the following major objectives:

• to orient the participants on existing institutions and governance systems for
  promoting agricultural and rural enterprises;

• to disseminate knowledge about successful and innovative enterprises in agriculture,
  rural and social sectors; and

• to share practical knowledge and experience with the participants

The inaugural session of the programme was held on 2 February 2015. It commenced with welcome address by Prof. Sushil Kumar, Programme Director, followed by inaugural address by H. E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO. While highlighting the role, activities and achievements of AARDO in the field of rural and agricultural development, the Secretary General stressed upon the need for innovative enterprises to attain sustainable agricultural development and eradication of rural poverty in the member countries.

The programme was attended by 17 participants from ten (10) member countries, namely, Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Yemen and one senior official from the AARDO Secretariat. The programme consisted of two parts, viz., plenary session and field visit. The plenary session included presentation of resource papers, country reports and discussions. In the session, eminent speakers delivered their presentation on various aspects of theme of the workshop including Rural Development & Agricultural Administration in India; Stakeholder Identification and Analysis; Smallholders and Identification of Agribusiness Opportunities; Project Management for Agriculture and Rural Enterprises; Developing Micro-enterprise in Rural Areas; An Innovative Approach and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants for Enterprise Development and so on. The field visits to Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow; Central Goatry Research Institute (CGRI), Mathura; and Hi-Tech Agriculture Innovative Farm, Barabanki provided an opportunity to the participants to study and learn from the rich and varied Indian experiences.

The Secretary General, AARDO Visits Mauritius in
connection with the 18th General Session of
AARDO Conference, 8 - 12 February 2015

H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited Mauritius from 8 to 12 February 2015 at the kind invitation of the esteemed Government of Republic of Mauritius in connection with the organization of the 18th General Session of African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) Conference and the 65th and 66th sessions of the Executive Committee in Mauritius from 2 to 10 April 2015. The Secretary General paid a courtesy call on The Right Hon. Anerood JUGNAUTH, GCSK, KCMG, QC, Prime Minister of Republic of Mauritius on 11 February 2015 and formally invited Excellency to inaugurate the AARDO Conference. While profusely thanking the Honorable Prime Minister for his country hosting the AARDO Conference, the Secretary General explained the significance of the AARDO Conference. The Honorable Prime Minister very kindly consented to inaugurate the Conference on 6th April 2015.

The Secretary General was also interviewed by the MBC-TV-Mauritius and Le Maurician Newspaper in which he highlighted significance of the 18th General Session of AARDO Conference in Mauritius besides objectives, membership strength, organizational structure, technical activities, etc., of AARDO.

On 9 February 2015, the Secretary General met Ms. Asha Burrenchobay, Honorable Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, National Development Unit (NDU) and had detailed discussions on wide range of subjects, including arrangements for the AARDO Conference. The Secretary General also paid courtesy calls on Ms. U. Dwarka-Canabady, Honorable Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Mr. V. Goondea, Honorable Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security; Mr. B. Boyramboli, Honorable Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Government of Mauritius and discussed with them issues of mutual interest. He briefed them about the vision, mission, strategies to achieve the objectives, membership strength, organizational structure, etc., of AARDO. He also urged the esteemed Government to derive benefits from AARDO’s programmes such as study visits, ministerial level visits, deputation of experts, etc.

The Secretary General met the Hon’ble Jean Francisco FRANCOIS, MP, Member of the National Assembly, Rodrigues and briefed him about AARDO and its activities. He underlined the areas where AARDO could provide assistance to Rodrigues.

On the last day of his stay in the country, the Secretary General and Hon’ble Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, National Development Unit (NDU), co-chaired the meeting of the Coordination Committee on the AARDO Conference. The meeting discussed in details the various arrangements to be made for the smooth conduct of the Conference. After the meeting, they signed the MoU spelling out the respective responsibilities of the Government of Mauritius and AARDO for organising the Conference.

International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on
“Governance in Micro Credit Delivery System for Rural Development”, Bangladesh, 22 February - 5 March 2015

The above titled programme was organised by AARDO in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperat-ives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) during 22 February – 5 March 2015. The programme was attended by twenty three (23) participants from twelve (12) AARDO member countries, namely, Republic of China (Taiwan), Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Yemen and the host country, Bangladesh. Besides, two AARDO officials attended the programme. The programme was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Md. Moshiur Rahman Ranga, MP, State Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh on 22 February 2015 who was the Chief Guest. Besides, Prof. Nuzrul Islam Milon, MP was the Special Guest and Dr. Rajeshwar Dyal, Head, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Division, who represented the Secretary General, AARDO was the Guest of Honour in the inaugural function. The programme was divided into plenary sessions, field visit and Working Groups. The plenary sessions included presentation of expert papers and country reports. The themes of expert papers, among others, were Comilla Approach to Rural Development, Micro-finance for Expanding Rural Economy, Micro-credit and Market Linkages, Limitations of Micro-credit and Way Out, Grameen Bank Model of Micro-credit Delivery System in Bangladesh, etc. For field visits, the participants were taken to Bijoypur Pottery Cooperative Society, BRAC Learning Centre and Raicho Comprehensive Village Development Society Ltd in order to get first hand information about the functioning of these institutions.

The Valedictory Session of the programme was held on 5th March 2015 under the chairmanship of Mr. Salahuddin Mahmud, Director General, BARD. Mr. M. A. Quader Sarker, Honourable Secretary, Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest and H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO was the Special Guest in the session. The Chief Guest and the Special Guest addressed the participants and jointly gave away the certificates of participation (CoP) and mementoes to the participants.

The Secretary General, AARDO Visits
International Sericultural Commission (ISC),
Bengaluru, India, 26-28 February 2015

The Secretary General visited Bengaluru, India during 26-28 February 2015 to explore the possibility of some collaboration with the International Sericultural Commission (ISC), which is headquartered there. The Head, Programme, Policy & Planning Division, AARDO accompanied the Secretary General on the visit.

During his stay in Bengaluru, the Secretary General held meeting with Ms. Ishita Roy who is Secretary General of ISC and Member Secretary & Chief Executive Officer of Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and explored the possibility of collaboration between AARDO and ISC. He also visited Central Silk Technological Research Institute, Central Sericultural Research & Training Institute, Silkworm Seed Production Centre, Keeranagere Chawki Rearing Centre, Government Cocoon Market, Ramnagara and observed the processes for development and promotion of sericulture like rearing of mulberry, cocoon, reeling, weaving, dyeing and marketing of silk products. The Secretary General learnt about the research and development activities carried out by these premier institutes located in Bengaluru and Mysore.

Liaison Committee Meeting – 65th Session, New Delhi,
India, 25 February 2015

The 65th Session of the AARDO Liaison Committee was held on 25th February 2015 at the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Hatem Tageldin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to India, and Honorable Chairman of the Liaison Committee. Twenty-one (21) delegates from sixteen (16) member countries, namely, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of Burkina Faso, Republic of China, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of India, Republic of Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Lebanon, State of Libya, Republic of Mauritius, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of the Sudan, Republic of Yemen and Republic of Zambia of the Liaison Committee attended the Session. In addition, delegates from the Republic of Benin, State of Palestine and Democratic Republic of Congo attended the Session as Observers. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee.

In his opening remarks, the Honorable Chairman welcomed all the distinguished delegates to the 65th Session of the Liaison Committee. He congratulated the Government of Republic of Mauritius for hosting the 18th General Session of AARDO Conference in April 2015. The Honorable Chairman invited the Secretary General, AARDO to begin the proceedings. The Secretary General warmly welcomed the Honorable Chairman, two Vice Chairmen and the distinguished delegates for their august presence in the meeting. He also welcomed the observers and hoped that the proceedings of the meeting would enable them to know more about the activities and programmes of AARDO. The Secretary General informed that the esteemed Government of the State of Palestine has conveyed its decision to join AARDO as a full member. Similarly, the Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC), Republic of Korea has sent its membership application for Associate Membership of AARDO. During the course of his address, the Secretary General informed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the esteemed Government of Mauritius for the organization of the 18th General Session of AARDO Conference and 65th and 66th Sessions of Executive Committee there. Thereafter, the Secretary General invited the Honorable Chairman to officially launch French version of the AARDO website.

After adoption of the Provisional Agenda, the 65th Session of the Liaison Committee adopted the report of its previous (64th) Session held on 27th August 2014. The Committee took note of the follow -up action taken/proposed to be taken by the AARDO Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of the 64th Session of the Liaison Committee. The Committee reviewed the activities of the Organization, membership contribution and member relations for the period July – December 2014. The Committee also took note and adopted the projected programmes of AARDO activities for the period January – June 2015. It also approved the list of invitees, as contained in the agenda item, for its next (66th) Session to be held on 26th August 2015.

The Secretary General, AARDO Attends
IFAD Governing Council Meeting,
Rome, 16-17 February 2015

H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO accompanied by one senior officer, attended the 38th Session of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) at Rome during 16-17 February 2015. During the visit, His Excellency discussed the matter of mutual interest with several senior IFAD officials and sought their collaboration and cooperation in the activities of the Organization.

While in Rome, the Secretary General utilised the opportunity to hold discussions with the Honourable Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Government of Turkey and explained to him about the activities of AARDO and the benefits that Turkey could derive should it decide to join AARDO as a distinguished member. The Secretary General has had meetings with the representatives of many other international organizations like ‘The OPEC Fund for International Development’, ‘Arab Bank for Economic Development of Africa’, ‘The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf’, ‘International centre for Arid and Dry Areas’ who were attending the meeting as observers too. They were apprised about the mandate and activities of AARDO

The Secretary General also held discussions there with H.E. Eng. Abdullah Q, Lahlouh, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, State of Palestine and apprised him about the 18th General Session of the AARDO Conference scheduled to be held in Republic of Mauritius during 6-9 April 2015.

Training and Study Visit on "Desertification in Egypt", 4-12 January 2015

AARDO in collaboration with Desert Research Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Government of Arab Republic of Egypt organized a specialized programme on above titled theme in Egypt during 4-12 January 2015. The programme - 9th in the series - was attended by sixteen (16) participants, that is, three from Jordan, two each from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Sudan and one each from Morocco, Lebanon and Oman and four from Egypt. The programme commenced on 5th January 2015 with the Welcoming Address by Prof. Mohamed Eisa, President of Desert Research Centre, followed by Inaugural Address by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El Streihin, Secretary General, AARDO in the presence of large number of dignitaries, scientists and participants.

The programme consisted of two parts, viz., plenary meeting and field visits. The plenary meeting included presentation by renowned experts from Egypt on various aspects of desertification such as ‘Introduction to Desertification Control and Climate Change Adaptation’, ‘Water Resources Deterioration’, ‘Desertification Indicators’, ‘Soil Indicators’, ‘Socio-Economic Indicators’, ‘Watershed Management Techniques’, etc. During the field visits, the participants were exposed to various projects under implementation to combat desertification in the Matrouh Governorate of Egypt. The participants also visited Tissue Culture Laboratory at Maryoot and Matrouh Resource Management Centre, Biological Control Laboratory and Wool Manufacturing unit, etc.

DRC is a specialized institution for the development of desert and land reclamation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Centre has been promoting and efficiently implementing various projects and activities relating to agricultural and rural development in the country. As per the understanding between AARDO and DRC reached in 2006, the programme is organized annually for AARDO sponsored candidates from member countries. Fifteen (15) training slots have been made available for AARDO sponsored candidates for this programme annually.

International Training on
"Sustainable Agricultural Development",
Republic of Korea, 10–31 October 2014

African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Government of the Republic of Korea organised the above titled training at the Kyungpook National University (KNU), Daegu on 10-31 October 2014 with the following main objectives:

• To learn cultivation technology and management for environment friendly agriculture
   in order to conserve environment and produce safe agricultural products; and

• To provide the benchmark of Korea’s cultivation technology and agricultural policy for
   environment friendly agriculture.

The Programme started on 13 October 2014 with Opening Ceremony at Hotel Inter Burgo EXCO, Daegu that was addressed by the Dean, Department of Agriculture and Life Science and Director, International Agriculture Training Centre of Kyungpook National University and the official from the AARDO Secretariat. It was attended, among others, by seventeen (17) participants from eleven (11) AARDO member countries, namely, Egypt, Ghana, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Zambia and one official from the AARDO Secretariat.

The training consisted of two parts: i) class room session, and ii) field /study visits. The class room session included lectures by experts from the University, the country reports, discussions and preparation of action plan by the participants. The lectures delivered by faculty members of the University covered weed management & pest control, water management, post harvest technology, good agriculture practices, extension services, agricultural mechanization, green house technology, etc. Besides, two experts deputed by AARDO, one each from R O China and India presented their respective expert paper on “Eco-Friendly Crop for Good Agriculture Practices” and “Post Harvest Management and Marketing of Horticultural Crops”. Study visits to different centres provided the participants with an opportunity to observe and learn from the rich Korean experiences in sustainable agriculture.

During the course of training, the participants also had the opportunity to attend the “Global Saemaul Leaders’ Forum 2014” that was jointly organised by the Saemaul Undong (New Community Movement) Headquarters and KOICA at the Saemaul Undong Central Training Institute (SUCTI), Seoul on 21-22 October 2014. The Forum highlighted the spirit and mandate of the Movement and success stories of Saemaul Projects being implemented in many countries.

International Workshop on
“Climate Change and Agriculture: Adaptation and Mitigation”,
Sri Lanka, 22-26 September 2014

The above titled International Workshop was organised by African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the Democratic Socialistic Republic of Sri Lanka in Colombo during 22-26 September 2014. This was the first activity of AARDO in Sri Lanka after the country joined the Organization in 2013.

The workshop was inaugurated by Hon’ble Mr. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Sri Lanka in the morning of 22 September 2014 in the august presence of Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO, resource persons, participants, senior officials from the Government of Sri Lanka and other guests. The function began with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the dignitaries.

The workshop was attended by 14 participants from 13 member countries, namely, Bangladesh, R.O. China, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malawi, Oman, Pakistan, Sudan, Zambia and Sri Lanka. In addition, five resource persons – three from the host country and one each from India and Zambia – participated and presented their expert papers.

Dr. D.B.T. Wijeratne, Additional Secretary (Agri. Tech.), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Sri Lanka, in his welcoming remarks, extended a warm welcome to all on behalf of his Ministry. H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO, in his address, profusely expressed his sincere gratitude to the Government of Sri Lanka for its kind support and cooperation in organizing the workshop. He mentioned that AARDO looks forward to have more such activities in the country in the future. Mr. R.M.D.B. Meegasmulla, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Sri Lanka delivered the Keynote Address which was followed by two video presentations, one each on cultural heritage and national attractions of Sri Lanka and the other on AARDO. Hon’ble Mr. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene in his inaugural address, remarked that awareness around the globe about the adverse impact of climate change is rising. Regarding Sri Lanka, the Hon’ble Minister informed that for quite a long time, the country has very been relatively lesser rains. He expressed his happiness that AARDO was laying stress on this important subject. Mr. P.N.N. Jayanetti, Deputy Director, Ministry of Agriculture proposed a vote of thanks to all.

There were in all six presentations by resource persons from host country, India and Zambia. The papers concisely focused on the causes and impact of climate change on food security, climate change and sustainable development, and repercussions of the climate change phenomenon as well as other facets of climate change. The presentations were followed by lively discussions. Besides, the country papers were presented by all the participants of member countries. The presentations were very informative and threw light on the programmes initiated by respective country to mitigate the impact of climate change.

As a part of the field visit, the participants visited the Horticultural Crops Research & Development Institute, Kandy on 24 September 2014. Besides observing different facilities of the Institute and some agricultural crops, they also visited the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy.

In order to arrive at appropriate recommendations of the Workshop, the participants were divided into three groups with each group assigned a topic to deliberate upon and give their recommendations. The groups had extensive discussions spread over about two days and gave their recommendations, which were presented during the concluding session held on the last day.

The closing ceremony was held on 26 September 2014 and graced by Mr. A.L.A. Asoka Siriwardene, Additional Secretary (Admn.), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Sri Lanka and H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO. Both the dignitaries delivered their valedictory addresses. The addresses were followed by award of certificates to the participants. At the end of the ceremony, on behalf of the participants, Dr. Adarsh Singh, the participant from India proposed a Vote of Thanks to the host Ministry for organising the Workshop; to the Ministry’s officers and staff for making stay of participants comfortable; to H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO for his guidance; and to the AARDO officials for their untiring efforts.

Delegation of Youth Ambassadors of R O China (Taiwan)
Visits AARDO Secretariat, 19 September 2014

A 17-members delegation of Youth Ambassador of Republic of China headed by Prof Lee, Chuan-Tung, Director, Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Republic of China visited the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi on 19 September 2014. H.E. Mr. Chung- Kwang Tein, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India led the delegation.

Welcoming the delegation, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO stated that he felt pleased to receive the delegation and extended his best wishes for their sojourn in India. After brief self-introduction by the delegation members and the officers of the AARDO Secretariat, a film on AARDO and its achievements during the last fifty years was screened. It was followed by a presentation on AARDO and its organizational structure, history, objectives, goal, vision and mission, technical activities, etc. After the presentations, the delegation members raised many curious questions about AARDO that were duly addressed by the Secretary General.

On behalf of the delegation, H.E. Mr. Chung- Kwang Tein, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India thanked the AARDO Secretariat for arranging wonderful gathering for the Young Ambassador. On behalf of AARDO, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General presented mementos to the leader and other members of the delegation.

The meeting concluded with a group photograph of the delegation with the Secretary General and his senior officers.

Study Visit Programme from Mauritius to India, 8-17 September 2014

The AARDO Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India arranged study visit for two senior police officers of Mauritius for visit to India on 8-17 September 2014. The members of the study visit led by Mr. Khemraj Servansing, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Director General of National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre, Government of the Republic of Mauritius visited India with the objective to learn more about disaster prevention and preparedness set-up in the country. In New Delhi, the delegation visited National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM); National Disaster Response Force and Civil Defense (NDRF); and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) whereas in Tamil Nadu State, the delegation visited District Emergency Operation Centre, Cuddalore; Multipurpose Evacuation Shelters, Kancheepuram; Tsunami Relief Programme, Mahabalipuram; National Disaster Response Force headquarters, Arakkonam; and State Disaster Response Force and State Emergency Operation Centre, Chennai.

The visit provided the delegation with an opportunity to get first hand information and learn more about disaster prevention and management infrastructure in the country. During their sojourn in New Delhi, the study visit members also called on H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO and the Honourable Joint Secretary (IC), Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. The AARDO Secretariat hopes to receive detailed report of the study visit for sharing with the member countries.

Liaison Committee: 64th Session, New Delhi, 27th August 2014

The 64th Session of the AARDO Liaison Committee was held on Wednesday, the 27th August 2014 in the Conference Hall of the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi. The session commenced under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Khaled Ali El Bakly, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to India, and Hon’ble Chairman of the Liaison Committee. Since His Excellency had to leave to attend other urgent commitment after the Inaugural session was over, the session was, thereafter, chaired by Mr. Sherif Kamel, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Arab Republic of Egypt.

Since H.E. Mr. Khaled Ali El Bakly, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt will be leaving India after completing his tenure, on behalf of the Liaison Committee and on his own behalf, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO presented him a memento and gift in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the work of the Liaison Committee. The Secretary General also presented a gift to H.E. Mrs. Khadija Radman mohammed Ghanem, Ambassador of Republic of Yemen as she too will be leaving India after completing her tenure.

The Liaison Committee meeting was attended by twenty-four (24) delegates from eighteen (18) member countries, namely, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, R.O. China, Egypt, Gambia, India, Iraq, Kenya, R O Korea, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Yemen and Zambia. In addition, H.E. the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Niger to India and delegates from the office of the Country Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank, New Delhi attended the session as observers. H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee.

In his opening remarks, the Hon’ble Chairman welcomed all the distinguished delegates to the 64th Session of the Liaison Committee and invited the Secretary General, AARDO to begin the proceedings. While warmly welcoming the Hon’ble Chairperson, two Vice Chairpersons and all the distinguished delegates to the 64th Session of the Liaison Committee, the Secretary General, AARDO expressed his profound thanks and gratitude for their august presence. He also welcomed the observers to the meeting and hoped that the proceedings of the meeting would enable them to know more about the activities and programmes of AARDO.

After adoption of the Provisional Agenda as well as report of the 63rd Session of the Liaison Committee, the 64th Session of 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 63rd Session of the Liaison Committee that was held on 26 February 2014. The Committee reviewed the Activities of the Organization, Membership Contribution and Member Relations for the period January – June 2014. It noted the prospective programmes of AARDO scheduled to be held during July – December 2014. The Committee also decided to adopt the modified Budget Estimates for the triennium 2015-2017 and recommended the same to the 65th Session of the Executive Committee for consideration. It approved the list of special invitees for its next (65th) Session that has been scheduled for 25 February 2015.

International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on
"Disaster Risk Reduction and Management", Zambia,
19- 23 May 2014

The above titled International Workshop-cum-Training Programme was organized by AARDO in collaboration with the Mulungushi University at Kabwe, Zambia during 19- 23 May 2014. The main objective of the programme was to enhance the knowledge of the participants on the concepts and critical issues of the disaster management and mitigation through presentation, discussion and exposures visits. The programme was attended by twenty (20) participants from thirteen (13) AARDO member countries, namely, Bangladesh, Republic of China (Taiwan), Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and host country-Zambia.

The programme consisted of two parts, viz., the plenary meeting and field visit. During various technical sessions, critical issues on disaster management such as Comprehensive Disaster Management Framework; Disaster Risk Management as a Global Agenda: The Hyogo Frame for Action; Institutional Arrangements and Organizational Structures; Climate Change and Environmental Disasters; Financing Strategies for Managing the Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters; Damage and Reconstruction Needs Assessment; Mainstreaming Gender & HIV/AIDS in DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction); Community Based DRR; Building Community Resilience, etc., were addressed by the eminent resource persons and the participants. The field visits to Disaster Management & Mitigation Unit, Lusaka, Makululu Township, Kabwe, Mambova, Living Stone and Victoria Falls provided an excellent opportunity to the participants to study and learn from the rich and varied Zambian experiences and heritage.

From the AARDO Secretariat, Dr Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General attended the inauguration and valedictory sessions of the programme on 19 and 23 May 2014 respectively as the Chief Guest. During his stay in Zambia, Dr. Singh availed of the opportunity to pay courtesy calls on H.E. the Minister of Youth and Sport, Government of the Republic of Zambia, and Honourable Vice-President of AARDO from Africa; Honourable Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Government of the Republic of Zambia; and Assistant Secretary General, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Lusaka, Zambia and discussed matters of mutual interest.

The specific objectives of the programme were to: i) define disaster risk reduction concepts and methodology; ii) identify roles of various stakeholders in DRR activities; share experiences to contribute to the paradigm shift from re-active to pro-active approaches in disaster risk management; iii) demonstrate a capacity to perform community risk assessment; iv) demonstrate planning skills for DRR; and v) form a base for dissemination of DRR practice.

Study Visit of Experts from Morocco-and-Oman to Malaysia,
22-27 June 2014

Under the ‘Study Visit of Experts’ programme, a two-member delegation, one each from Morocco and Oman visited Malaysia on 22-27 June 2014 to learn and get exposure on “Marketing Management System and Development of Small and Medium Agro-Based Enterprises”. During the visit, the delegation visited various dignitaries and institutions i.e., courtesy call on the Honourable Secretary General, Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, Government of Malaysia; Business Development Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries; Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (FAMA), Selayang; Food Technology and Processing Centre, Serdang; Incubator Programme, Department of Agriculture; SME Policies and Programmes of SME Corporation; Agricultural Banking and Investment, etc., where they got first hand information on pertinent issues of the subject.

According to the feedback received from both the delegates, the study visit programme was organized successfully and helped them in enhancing their professional knowledge and understanding on the subject. It is hoped that they will be able to share the experience and knowledge with farming community and other stakeholders in their respective country.

AARDO is very grateful to the esteemed Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, Government of Malaysia for providing this opportunity to the delegates and extending warm hospitality and courtesies during their visit.

The Secretary General, AARDO Visits Republic Of Korea,
8-12 June 2014

H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO visited Republic of Korea during 8-12 June 2014 in connection with the Inauguration of Study Visit-cum-Training Programme on “Capacity Building on Agricultural and Rural Development Policies” which was organized by Food and Agriculture Officers Training Institute (FATI) on 8-21 June 2014. During his stay in R O Korea, he called on H. E. Mr. Lee Junwon, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), Government of the Republic of Korea and briefly apprised him about AARDO’s activities and achievements. He also thanked the esteemed Government of R O Korea for continuing her generous support ever since joining AARDO in 1963.

The Secretary General also visited Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRCC) and held meeting with Dr Sang-Mu Lee, President of the Corporation and his team members on matters of mutual interest. During the course of discussion, Dr Sang-Mu Lee expressed willingness of his Organization to join AARDO as an Associate Member and enquired about the procedure for membership which were duly explained to him. The Secretary General also utilize the opportunity in Korea to visit the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and met Ambassador Doo Jungsoo, Vice President of the Organization and team members of the AARDO training programme on “Sustainable Agriculture Development. He expressed his heartfelt thanks to KOICA and explored the possibility of implementing region-based programmes under ODA projects of the Government of R O Korea.

The Secretary General paid visit to Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan and held meeting with Vice President Prof. Choi, Oe-Chool; Chair Professor Sam Gwan Cho; Dean of Park Cunng Hee School of Policy and Saemaul (PSPS) Prof. Park, Seung Woo and Prof. Dong Geun Han. He shared with them views on common interest and explored possibilities of cooperation between AARDO and the University.

The Secretary General also visited the Regional Office of AARDO for the Far East (FERO) and held meeting with Mr. Choi, Yong-Kyul who is Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for Far East and Chairman of Korea FAO Association. Appreciating the continuing cooperation and support rendered by FERO from time to time, the Secretary General thanked Mr. Choi and his team for making excellent arrangements for his visits to MAFRA, KRCC, KOICA, FATI and Yeungnam University and meetings with concerned authorities.

International Workshop on
“Organic Farming for Sustainable Agricultural Development”,
Muscat, Oman, 16 -20 March 2014


African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sultanate of Oman organized International Workshop on “Organic Farming for Sustainable Agricultural Development” at Muscat during 16-20 March 2014 with the objective to identify approaches and practices for organic farming; to establish mechanism for exchange of technology/innovations in sustainable farming; and to formulate strategies and action plan for organic farming and sustainable agricultural development for the AARDO member countries.

The workshop was attended by twenty (20) delegates including seven (07) resource persons from thirteen (13) member countries, namely, R.O. China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, R.O. Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Yemen. Besides, twenty five (25) participants from the host country-Oman attended the workshop.

The workshop provided an opportunity to policy makers, planners and programme implementers of AARDO member countries to deliberate and formulate an action plan to make farming a sustainable venture while ensuring food safety and environmental protection in Afro-Asian region. The workshop consisted of two parts, viz., the plenary meeting and field visit. The meeting included presentation of resource papers, country reports and discussions. The following critical issues were focus of discussion: Sustainable Farming in Afro-Asian Countries - Challenges and Opportunities; Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Development; Climate Change and Food Security; Certification and Marketing of Organic Products; Development of Agriculture Technology on Organic Farming; and Use of Eco-friendly Materials for Sustainable Agriculture. The field visits to agriculture farms provided an opportunity to the participants to study and learn from the rich and varied experiences of Oman.

International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on
“Governance in Micro Credit Delivery System for Rural Development”, Bangladesh, 23 February to 06 March 2014

The International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on “Governance in Micro Credit Delivery System for Rural Development”, was held at Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), Comilla, Bangladesh from 23 February to 06 March 2014. The programme was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD). The programme was attended by twenty five (25) participants from fourteen (14) AARDO member countries, namely, Republic of China, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Zambia and the host country, Bangladesh. Besides, two AARDO officials also attended the programme. The programme was inaugurated by Mr. Mohd. Mir Kashem, Additional Director General, BARD on 23rd February. Mr. A. W. Anwer, Head, Programme, Policy & Planning Division, who represented the Secretary General, AARDO was the Guest of Honour. During the training workshop, the participants had the opportunity to listen to the presentations from eminent resource persons from BARD, BRAC (earlier known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), BRAC University, Grameen Bank, Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Dhaka University, Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Micro Credit Regulatory Authority. The participants also had the opportunity to visit the Bijoypur Pottery Cooperative Society and Raicho Comprehensive Village Development Society Ltd to learn more about their functioning.

The Valedictory Session of the Workshop was held on 6th March 2014 and graced by H.E. Mr. Md. Moshiur Rahman Ranga, MP, State Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Government of Bangladesh as the Chief Guest. Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Mr. Nurul Islam Milon, MP; Mr. Amin Hussain, MP; Mr. Mashiur Rahman, Director General, BARD; Mr. M. A. Matin, Director General, Rural Development Academy (RDA) Bogra and Mr. A.W. Anwer, AARDO.

AARDO Day, 5th March 2014

African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) completed the 52nd year of its formation on 5th March 2014. To celebrate the occasion, a reception was hosted by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General in New Delhi. The reception was attended by a large number of dignitaries that, among others, included Ambassadors/High Commissioners and the Liaison Officers of AARDO member and eligible member countries, representatives of esteemed Government of India, international/regional organizations, Professors/Experts from Universities/Institutes, etc., located at New Delhi, India. A film on AARDO was also screened to apprise the guests of the activities and achievements of the Organization.

Liasion Committee: 63rd Session, 26th February 2014

The 63rd Session of the Liaison Committee of AARDO was held on 26th February 2014 at the Conference Hall of the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Khaled Ali El-Bakly, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to India, and Hon'ble Chairman of the Liaison Committee. Twenty (20) delegates from seventeen (17) member countries of the Liaison Committee attended the session. Besides, five (5) delegates from four (4) Embassies/High Commissions of eligible member countries attended the meeting as observers. H. E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee and delivered his Opening Remarks.

The Committee reviewed the Activities of the Organization, Membership Contribution and Member Relations held during July – December 2013. The Committee also went through the Technical Work Programme and Budget Estimates for the triennium 2015-2017. It took note of the projected programmes of AARDO proposed to be organized during January – June 2014. The Liaison Committee decided to hold its next (64th) Session on 27 August 2014.

International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on
"Irrigation System and Water Management", Pakistan,
21-30 January 2014

African-Asian Rural Development Organization in collaboration with the Establishment Division, Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Akhtar Hameed Khan National Centre for Rural Development, Pakistan organised the International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on "Irrigation System and Water Management", at Islamabad, Pakistan during 21-30 January 2014 with the objectives to familiarize participants with prevailing situation of water resources in Afro-Asian region; to identify major issues in management of water resources; to deliberate on the government policies and strategies; and share experiences and best practices in irrigation and water management and suggest suitable measures to overcome the challenges.

The programme was attended by ten (10) international participants from seven member countries, namely, Bangladesh, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Sudan. Besides, seventeen (17) participants from Pakistan representing irrigation department of various provinces and institutions/universities attended the programme. The programme was divided into two parts, namely, plenary meeting and field visit. In the plenary meeting, eleven eminent resource persons of Pakistan gave their presentation on various facets of irrigation system in the country. Besides, the participants presented their country reports on the irrigation practices followed in their respective country. The participants were also taken on a field visit to Satrameel Sub-watershed Project and High Efficiency Water Irrigation System at Attock District in order to have first hand information on the irrigation practices followed in Pakistan.At the end of the programme, the participants, after due deliberation, gave a set of recommendations, that may be found useful in helping the member countries in their policies and programmes on irrigation and water management. Summary Report of the programme, highlighting objectives, speeches, outlines of expert and country papers, field visit and list of participants, was prepared and circulated among the participants.