High-ranking officials from the Greater Mekong Subregion convened last week to discuss regional cooperation in food safety, agricultural trade and the implementation of the GMS Strategy and the Siem Reap Action Plan.
The 15th Annual Meeting of GMS’s Working Group on Agriculture took place on May 29-30 in the Chinese city of Pu’er, in Yunnan province, bringing together officials from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Participants discussed the second phase of the GMS Core Agriculture Support Programme (CASPII) – including in-country pilot programmes that involve the participatory guarantee system, green water management and nitrogen-use efficiency activities – and the completion of the development phase of the Agriculture Information Network Service v2.0.
The meeting also delved into the linkages of the GMS Agriculture Programme with the GMS Economic Cooperation Programme and the directives from the sixth GMS Leaders’ Summit held in Hanoi in March.
The agreements reached at this meeting will shape the preparation of a new regional technical assistance strategy that will be funded by the Asian Development Bank and its partners.
During the meeting, officials commended the collaboration of CASPII with the private sector, which has trained government scientists on how to analyse food hazards in the laboratory, improve product traceability, and promote technology and innovation.
Jiangfeng Zhang – director of ADB’s Southeast Asia Division for Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture – said the meeting has been a success.
“The event has been very insightful and productive, as it addressed the key issues and challenges needed to jumpstart the next phase of agriculture regional cooperation.”