Bangkok (CAPSA) – Government representatives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand met here to review and endorse the 2014 work plan of the United Nations regional body working to reduce poverty through sustainable agricultural development.
The tenth session of the Governing Council of the Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA), a subsidiary of the Bangkok-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), held on 13 December was hosted by the Government of Thailand. Representatives of India and several international organizations working on sustainable agriculture and poverty issues also participated in the meeting as Observers.
Speaking on behalf of the ninth CAPSA Governing Council, Chair Thailand, Mr. Surasak Pannop, Deputy Secretary General, Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand, stressed that slow diffusion of new technologies and unsustainable practices are the major cause of slow agricultural productivity growth in the region.
Opening the session, Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Mr. Shun-ichi Murata, highlighted the need for renewed emphasis on appropriate policymaking to promote the role of agriculture in development as a prerequisite to end hunger and malnutrition in our lifetime.
He emphasized that sustainable growth in agriculture is a highly knowledge-intensive undertaking and, therefore, agricultural research and extension needs more funding and support than before. He accordingly called on Member States to collaborate with CAPSA for South-South dialogue and intraregional learning in the areas of poverty reduction, food security and sustainable agriculture.
The tenth Governing Council emphasized the general importance of sustainable agriculture for socioeconomic development in the Asia-Pacific region and recommended that CAPSA continue its work in policy advocacy and networking in the area of sustainable agriculture in order to give due importance to agriculture in the regional development agenda.