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Officials discuss agriculture in Asia-Pacific

Update: June, 20/2014 - 08:44
"The role of the private sector and private investment can be greatly strengthened by mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture.". — File Photo

HA NOI — Representatives from governments, private sectors and farmers' unions in Asia Pacific have been discussing complex and interlinked challenges that require major shifts in agriculture and rural development in the region at a three-day consultative meeting that kicked off in Ha Noi on Wednesday.

Hiroyuki Konuma, assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific for the Food Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), said: "This conference gives Asia a unique opportunity to identify common needs and objectives and create co-ordinated actions as has been done in other continents."

The role of the private sector and private investment can be greatly strengthened by mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture.

Hans Hoogeveen, the Dutch vice minister for agriculture, said that investing in agriculture was the most effective way of reducing poverty and hunger.

Strengthening the environment for agriculture would be the key to supporting such investments, he said.

The key message and conclusions of the meeting will be included at the Global Consultative Meeting in Hagua in July, and the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture in New York at the United Nations Secretary General's Climate Summit in September.

Harry Palmier, a senior partnerships adviser at the Global Forum on Agricultural Research, said that the launch of the alliance next September was not the objective, but would be a major step forward towards an action-oriented, inclusive and effective allience entrusted to develop a responsive Action plan for Climate Smart Agriculture composed of coherent initiatives at national, regional and international levels.

The meeting, which will wrap up today, was co-organised by the governments of Viet Nam, South Africa and the Netherlands with support from several organisations including the FAO, the Asian Development Bank and the government of Italy, to establish the Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture. — VNS

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