Shaping Development Strategies during 24th AWGATE Meeting

Delegates from the ASEAN Member States attend the 24th AWGATE meeting in Thailand.

KANCHANABURI, Thailand – Poverty and hunger are long-term global problems severely experienced in the developing countries. As the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Agriculture and Training Extension (AWGATE) recently held its 24th meeting, improved policies and actions plans on agriculture extension have been formulated to address these worldwide challenges.

The agenda of the meeting included updates on the implementation of collaborative trainings on agriculture and extensions programs of the ASEAN member states (AMS). OIC-Director Luz Taposok of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) represented the Philippine government and presented the outcome of the Regional Training on Agro Forestry Practices held last October 23-29, 2016 in Manila and the Tropical Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability (TREES) in Los Baños, Laguna.

Dr. Taposok explained that the training aimed to promote regional cooperation among the AMS in the fields of agriculture and forestry through exchange of information. It was participated by 19 delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. She pointed out that at the end of the training, participants were required to prepare an action plan to apply the knowledge and skills that they have gained from the training course, and served as their start-up activity in implementing appropriate agroforestry-related projects in their respective communities.

She further noted the importance of such trainings for the AMS to convene and exchange technological practices and information significant to the agro-forestry and extension training. The OIC-Director presented the 2016 Annual Report of the Institute which focused on how it has successfully provided extension support, education and training services through its national office and network of training centers nationwide. She emphasized the results of various trainings and activities that the agency conducted.

Matters on the policy framework of the ASEAN cooperation, calendar of activities under the AWGATE, coordination on ASEAN Farm Youth and young farmers’ promotion, establishment of AWGATE website to consolidate documents pertaining to the results of various training and activities, as well as the progress of Module on Sustainable Agriculture (MOSA) and Capacity Development in ASEAN regions were discussed.

Kanchanaburi, Thailand Vice Governor Narong Rakroi cited the significance of having productive dialogue among the AMS which will therefore guarantee the success of the ASEAN agriculture sector. Mrs. Watchreeporn Orankanok, Advisory Expert in Agricultural Commodity System Development, Department of Agricultural Extension in Thailand and the Chairman of the 24th AWGATE meeting similarly expressed her strong belief to the cooperative spirit of the AMS to secure the bright future of the global agriculture landscape.

Participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines attended the meeting last June 8-9, 2017. It was agreed that the 25th AWGATE meeting will be held in Vietnam and is tentatively scheduled on May 2018.