His Excellency Mr. Sohail Mahmood, High Commissioner, Islamic Republic of Pakistan to India, New Delhi, called on the Secretary General on 30 July 2018 to discuss matters of mutual interest. Mr. Aftab Hassan Khan, Counsellor in the esteemed High Commission accompanied His Excellency on the visit. The Secretary General felt extremely delighted in extending a warm welcome to the high dignitaries.
During discussions, the Secretary General briefed the guests about the different activities of the Organization. He touched upon the invaluable contribution of the esteemed Government of Pakistan in the activities of AARDO. He mentioned that Akhtar Hameed Khan National Centre for Rural Development (AHK NCRD), Islamabad, is one of the important centres of excellence of AARDO in Central Asia and has been regularly organising international/regional level training programmes, workshops on topical and emerging themes for the benefit of AARDO member countries. AARDO and the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for carrying out joint activities The Secretary General also informed the visiting high dignitaries that Pakistan is host to the Regional Office of AARDO for South and Central Asia. The Regional Office is located at AHK NCRD, Islamabad since 2013.
A high level delegation from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), South Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, headed by Dr. Javed Rizvi, Regional Director, South Asia Regional Programme, called on H.E. the Secretary General on 22 May 2018 to hold discussions on matters of common interest, including exploring potential areas of collaboration between the two Organizations. Dr. Atul Dogra, Socio- Economist, ICRAF, Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO and senior officers from the AARDO Secretariat attended the meeting.
On behalf of AARDO, on behalf of his colleagues and on his own behalf, H.E. the Secretary General extended a hearty welcome to the delegation.
The delegation explained in details the activities of ICRAF South Asia Programme in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The Secretary General appraised the delegation of the activities and programmes of AARDO.
During the course of discussions, it was felt that there were many similarities and commonalities in the domains of AARDO and ICRAF. Therefore, there was a great scope for collaboration between them, especially taking into consideration the fact that they have organised a number of programmes on modernization of agriculture.
At the end of the meeting, the Secretary General handed a set of AARDO publications to the delegation. The Hon’ble Regional Director also handed some ICRAF’s publications to the Secretary General.
The World Agroforestry Centre is an international institute headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Its mission is to harness the multiple benefits trees provide for agriculture, livelihoods, resilience and the future of the planet, from farmers’ fields through to continental scales.
A delegation from the Agrinnovate India Limited (Agin), New Delhi, comprising the following members paid a visit to the AARDO Secretariat on 06 December 2017 to hold discussions with H.E the Secretary General on matters of common interest, including exploring potential areas of collaboration between the two Organizations:
- Mr. Ravinderjit Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO);
- Mr. Sivakumar, Business Manager; and
- Mr. Amit Kalkal, Business Manager
The meeting was also attended by Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, AARDO and senior officers from the Secretariat.
On behalf of AARDO, on behalf of his colleagues and on his own behalf, H.E. the Secretary General extended a hearty welcome to the delegation. He remarked that there were many similarities and commonalities in the domains of both the Organizations. He looked forward to the discussions with the delegation in order to arrive at some tangible results for mutual benefits. He also briefly explained the collaborative arrangements between AARDO and its member countries/centres of excellence in the organisation of capacity building programmes.
Thanking the Secretary General for according his delegation a warm welcome, the CEO, Agrinnovate India Limited informed that his Organization offers various types of programmes such as technology transfer, capacity building, including customised programmes for the clients, consultancy, turnkey projects, etc. The delegation also explained the salient features of some available technologies for commercialization like detection of adulteration in milk, preparation of various products from tomatoes, incubation, etc.
The Assistant Secretary General mentioned that there was a need to arouse the interest of AARDO member countries in Agin technologies which have been tested and well appreciated by higher authorities at various levels.
At the end of the meeting, the Secretary General handed a set of AARDO publications to the delegation. The Head of delegation also handed some Agin’s publications to the Secretary General.
Agrinnovate India Limited is a public sector undertaking under the administrative control of Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India.
H.E. Mr. Nejmeddine LAKHAL, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tunisia to India called on the Secretary General on 28 November 2017 to personally hand over his country’s Membership Application Form for full membership of African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) with effect from 1st January 2018. On behalf of AARDO and on his own behalf, the Secretary General extended a warm welcome to His Excellency. The Assistant Secretary General and the senior officers of AARDO also extended a warm reception to the high dignitary.
Expressing his happiness at Tunisia becoming a full member of AARDO with effect from 1st January 2018, H.E. the Ambassador believed that the membership would be beneficial not only to Tunisia but also to AARDO and its member countries. The Government of Tunisia is very willing to be an active member of the Organization and looks forward to its association with AARDO to boost and expand cooperation in varied fields pertaining to agriculture and rural development. Further, the Embassy of Tunisia in New Delhi would be very glad to closely work with AARDO. His Excellency laid stress on integrating innovation and research in AARDO’s centres of excellence for the benefit of farmers in African-Asian member countries.
The Secretary General, welcoming the Honourable Ambassador mentioned that it was a proud moment for AARDO to receive His Excellency Mr. Nejmeddine LAKHAL at the AARDO Secretariat and to receive Tunisia’s membership application form. He remarked that AARDO is privileged to have Tunisia as its member and would supplement esteemed Government of Tunisia’s endeavours in facing rural development challenges. He vividly reminisced his visit to Tunisia in May 2017 and mentioned that the visit provided him a unique opportunity to observe at close quarters the huge strides made by Tunisia in agricultural and rural development. He further mentioned that while in Tunisia, he had visited the governorate of Zaghouan, some renowned institutes, cooperatives/ Women NGO, integrated farm and a water harvesting project. Referring to His Excellency’s remarks on the crucial importance of research, innovation and organic farming, the Secretary General mentioned that besides incorporating these issues in its technical activities, AARDO is presently laying emphasis on three areas, viz. promotion of fisheries sector, development of sericulture and low cost rural housing for the benefit of rural communities in its member countries. The Secretary General also mentioned that AARDO will explore the possibility of identifying one or two centres of excellence in Tunisia.
The Assistant Secretary General also welcomed the joining of Tunisia as a distinguished member of AARDO’s fraternity. He mentioned that the membership would be mutually beneficial to Tunisia and AARDO. Agreeing to His Excellency’s observations, the Assistant Secretary General stated that innovation is the best way of having progress in agriculture and rural development.
The Head, IEC and Administration Divisions thereafter made a presentation on AARDO, encompassing history of its establishment, vision, mission, areas of concern, organizational structure, technical activities, development pilot projects, website, collaboration with international and regional organizations, digitalization of documents, etc.
At the end of the meeting, the Secretary General handed a set of publications to His Excellency. The meeting ended with a group photograph.
With the joining of Tunisia, the membership of AARDO will rise to 33, 17 from Africa, 15 from Asia as full members and one associate member from Asia.
A three-member delegation from the State of Palestine, led by Dr. Naser Jaghoub, Head, Palestinian Agricultural Disaster Risk Reduction and Insurance Fund (PADRRIF), Ramallah, called on the Secretary General on 13 November 2017 for discussions on matters of mutual interest. The other members of the delegation were:
- i. Eng. Iyad Ahmad Ghanim, Compensation Department, PADRRIF
- ii. Eng. Qais A. Hantash, Director, Agricultural Insurance Department, PADRRIF
The visiting delegation was accorded a warm welcome on arrival at the AARDO Secretariat. The meeting was also attended by the Assistant Secretary General, AARDO and all Division Heads from the Secretariat.
Dr. R. Dyal, Head, Administration and IEC Divisions thereafter made a presentation on AARDO, its vision, mission, membership, activities, organizational structure, and latest news.
During discussions, the Head, PADRRIF thanked AARDO for providing opportunities to participants from Palestine to attend capacity building programmes in different member countries. He informed about establishing an agriculture insurance company and a project on early warning system on disasters in Palestine. He also requested AARDO for organising more workshops/training programmes on themes like disaster risk reduction and management, agriculture insurance, etc., for the benefit of member countries
At the end of the meeting, the Head, PADRRIF presented a memento to the Secretary General. The Secretary General presented a set of AARDO publications to each member of the delegation. The delegation members also visited the library and had a look at some of AARDO publications.
The delegation is visiting India under AARDO’s Study Visits Programme for Experts, Scientists and Senior Government Officials from Country to Country. The delegation would also pay visits to the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-operative (IFFCO)-Tokio, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), etc.
Mr. Muhammad Asghar Ch., a senior officer belonging to Secretariat Group, Government of Pakistan, has taken over as the new Director General, Akhtar Hameed Khan National Centre for Rural Development (AHK NCRD), and Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for South and Central Asia, Islamabad, with effect from 1st October 2017. Before joining AHK NCRD, Mr. Muhammad Asghar Ch. worked in senior positions in the Government of Pakistan.
The AARDO will immensely benefit from the wide and professional experiences and rich and varied knowledge of the new Honorary Regional Representative in the areas of management skills, disaster risk management, project management appraisal techniques, developing performance indicators, etc.
A 25-members delegation of Youth Ambassadors from the Republic of China (Taiwan) headed by H.E. Mr. Victor J. Chin, Seasoned Ambassador from the Government of the Republic of China, paid a visit to the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi on 31st August 2017. H.E. Dr. Joyce Juo-Yu Lin, Deputy Head of delegation and Specialist in South East Asian Political and Economic Issues, Professor and Head of ASEAN Studies Center at Tamkang University and Mr. Yu-Shan Chui, Deputy Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India, New Delhi accompanied the youth Ambassadors on the visit. Since H.E. the Secretary General was away on official tour abroad, the delegation was received by Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General and senior officers from the Secretariat.
In his opening remarks, the Assistant Secretary General mentioned that AARDO is a manifestation of solidarity among people of African and Asian countries, subscribing to the spirit and philosophy of south-south cooperation. AARDO is carrying out a very noble mandate of cooperation for sustainable agricultural and rural development and its missions and objectives are very much aligned with the international agenda 2030 and with most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On behalf of AARDO and on his behalf, he expressed profound thanks and gratitude to the esteemed Government of the Republic of China for its generous support and cooperation to AARDO ever since it joined the Organization in 1968.
H.E. Mr. Victor J. Chin, the head of the delegation, on behalf of his delegation and on his own behalf, expressed pleasure to be at the AARDO Secretariat, and thanked the Assistant Secretary General and Secretariat officers for extending them a warm welcome. He remarked that AARDO is a wonderful Organization which aims at poverty alleviation and rural development of its member countries. He mentioned that Taiwan is very fortunate to have high economic growth as well as being a member of international organization like AARDO. These remarks were followed by self-introductions by all the Youth Ambassadors and the AARDO Secretariat officers. Some youth ambassadors gave performances showing their talent in music, dance entertainment, calligraphy, yo-yo, etc. Head of PPP thereafter made a presentation about AARDO,
its objectives, vision, mission, organizational structure, technical activities,collaboration with international/regional organizations, dissemination of information and networking etc.After the presentations, a question and answer session was held wherein the delegation members raised some questions about AARDO.
At the end of the meeting, the Head of delegation, presented a memento to the Assistant Secretary General, On behalf of AARDO, the Assistant Secretary General presented mementos to the Head of delegation and all other delegation members. The meeting ended with a group photograph.