An eight-member delegation from the Association of African Students in India (AASI), New Delhi, headed by Mr. Merveil Ngongo, President, AASI and native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), paid a visit to the AARDO Secretariat on 4 February 2019 for a meeting with H.E. the Secretary General. The delegation comprised students from Cameroon, DR Congo, Nigeria and Zambia who are presently studying in universities in India. Senior officers of AARDO Secretariat were present in the meeting. A warm welcome was extended to the delegation and pleasantries exchanged.
Terming the delegation members as the ambassadors of their countries, the Secretary General remarked that the delegation’s visit would provide an opportunity to both AARDO and AASI to know more about each other’s activities. AASI has some implicit relationship with AARDO as some of its countries are also members of AARDO. Mr. Ezeugo Nnamdi Lawrence, Secretary General & Coordinator, AASI and hailing from Nigeria, thanked the Secretary General and his colleagues for positively responding to their request to visit AARDO Secretariat and according them a hearty welcome. He informed that AASI, formed in 1963, aims at uniting all African students in India and promoting their collective interests. AASI works for the welfare of the students and encourages, stimulates and creates opportunities for interaction, exchange of ideas and active participation in society. Their objective to visit AARDO Secretariat was to know about the activities of the Organization and how international Organizations function. The remarks were followed by a presentation by the Head, IEC Divisions about AARDO.
The delegation members also showed interest in AARDO publications.
A two-member delegation comprising Ms. Kristy (Sung-hee) Seo, Manager and Ms. Lena Kim, Assistant Manager, Regional Office of AARDO for the Far East, Republic of Korea, called on the Secretary General on 24 December 2018 for discussions on various important matters. The meeting was also attended by Assistant Secretary General and senior officers of the AARDO Secretariat. The delegation was extended a warm welcome and pleasantries exchanged.
The meeting had a wide range of discussions on further strengthening the existing cordial relationship between AARDO and the FERO, including organisation of training programmes in Republic of Korea for the benefit of AARDO-sponsored nominees, how AARDO and the Government of the Republic of Korea could assist some member countries of AARDO through the organisation of need-based capacity building programmes and development projects.
A 25-members delegation of Youth Ambassadors from the Republic of China (Taiwan), led by Mr. Wang, Chih-Fa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Republic of China, visited the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi on 05 September 2018. Mr. Richard Y.S. Chiu, Deputy Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC) in India, New Delhi accompanied the delegation. The delegation was accorded a hearty welcome by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General and senior officers from the Secretariat on arrival.
Welcoming the delegation, the Secretary General mentioned that he was indeed fascinated with Taiwan’s International Youth Ambassadors Exchange Programme run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China, with the aim to promote public diplomacy as well as help Taiwanese youth to participate in international affairs. Making a brief mention about AARDO, he stated that the Organization, since its establishment in 1962, has been playing a significant role in rural and agricultural development and poverty alleviation in the African-Asian countries. He succinctly touched upon AARDO’s strategies for rural development in its member countries. He stated that Republic of China has been very generous in supporting AARDO’s technical and organizational activities since it joined the Organization in 1968. Referring to visits undertaken by the Youth Ambassadors to different government agencies in India as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) since their arrival in New Delhi on 1st September 2018, he expressed the hope that the visits and interaction with concerned authorities would have enriched and broadened their knowledge on international perspective.
Mr. Richard Y.S. Chiu thanked the Secretary General and Secretariat officers for extending them a warm welcome. He mentioned that Taiwan’s International Youth Ambassadors Exchange Programme was launched in 2009 and is an important part of his Government’s efforts to promote public diplomacy and help Taiwanese youth to participate in international affairs. Under the Programme, outstanding college students are selected each year to travel to Republic of China’s diplomatic allies and other friendly countries. Referring to his country’s membership in AARDO since 1968, he mentioned that their association completes fifty years in 2018.
Mr. Wang, Chih-Fa remarked that it was really a special opportunity for the Youth Ambassadors to visit the esteemed Organization. The Republic of China has been an active member of AARDO It has deputed many technical missions to different countries in Asia and Africa to assist local people in developing their skills. There are more than 65,000 NGOs and Non Profit Organizations in the country which are engaged in humanitarian efforts. He stated that his Ministry, under Taiwan’s International Youth Ambassadors Exchange Programme, has selected 75 international youth ambassadors for this year’s programme. They have been divided into three delegations for undertaking visits to some countries in Asia.
These remarks were followed by a presentation by the Head, Administration and IEC Divisions about AARDO, its objectives, technical and organizational activities, collaboration with international/regional organizations, dissemination of information and networking, website, significant role of Republic of China in AARDO’s activities, etc. After the presentation, a question and answer session was held. Some youth ambassadors gave performances showing their talent in aerobics and dance.
The Assistant Secretary General, in his remarks, stated that Youth Ambassadors are the future leaders and extended them his best wishes. He advised them to be good leaders and that the best leaders are those who create more leaders. He invited them to visit AARDO website and come up with suggestions for AARDO. AARDO operates in the continents of Africa and Asia and these two continents are the future of the world.
The leader of the delegation thanked the Secretary General and his colleagues for extending his delegation a warm hospitality. It was a good opportunity for the youth ambassadors to visit AARDO Secretariat. The Secretary General appreciated the delegation’s visit to AARDO Secretariat. He expressed the hope that the Youth Ambassadors would become good leaders in future. The Government of Republic of China, through the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, as well as the TECC, New Delhi, has been extending invaluable assistance to AARDO. He concluded his brief remarks by wishing the delegation members a safe journey back home.
At the end of the meeting, the leader of the delegation presented a gift from Taiwan to the Secretary General. On behalf of AARDO, the Secretary General also presented mementos to the leader of delegation, Deputy Representative, (TECC) and all other delegation members. The meeting ended with a group photograph.
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.