His Excellency Dr. Rusman Heriawan, Vice Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia, visited CAPSA on 8 March 2013. He met with CAPSA staff to learn about the organization and its activities, explore how to improve collaboration between CAPSA and the Government of Indonesia, and how the Government can better provide support to the Centre.
Dr. Katinka Weinberger, Director of CAPSA, presented a brief history of the organization, its focus operational areas and key issues that require support to better deliver its programme of work. Dr. Weinberger shared some recent activities stressing the organization’s comparative advantage in promoting networking to successfully disseminate research findings in the area of sustainable agriculture.
Dr. Heriawan emphasized that it is important to promote the good work that CAPSA is doing in the region to win support of other countries in maintaining CAPSA’s core activities. “CAPSA should also further strengthen its networking in Indonesia,” stressed Dr. Heriawan as he highlighted the need to reach out to various Indonesian institutions that can benefit from CAPSA’s capacity-building programmes.
“Indonesia has many best practices that can be shared within the region,” according to Dr. Upali Wickramasinghe, CAPSA’s Regional Adviser on Poverty Reduction and Food Security. By facilitating South-South dialogue, CAPSA can help the Government of Indonesia to disseminate best practices that have implications for policy design and implementation. As such, SATNET Asia, an EU funded project that CAPSA is implementing in collaboration with a number of research and civil society organizations in Asia, including in Indonesia, is facilitating the identification and dissemination of technologies that are sustainable, productivity enhancing and suitable for the poorest people.
Best practices in policy development are another area of possible CAPSA support to assist the member countries of the ESCAP region to learn about existing poverty reduction strategies in rural areas of Asia and the Pacific. Capitalizing on its rich network of policymakers and scientific community, and its established communication tools, CAPSA can provide policymakers in the region with information about best policy practices.
Accompanied by CAPSA staff, as well as Dr. Kasdi Subagyono, Executive Secretary of the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD), Dr Handewi Purwati Salim, Director, ICASEPS, Dr. Zulkifli Zaini, Senior Researcher and IRRI Liaison Scientist for ICFORD, and other staff working under the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Heriawan took a short tour around CAPSA’s premises.