During the Bangkok workshop on Agriculture Research for Development (ARD) last April 2008, one of the Technical Sessions focused on NGO experiences in ARD in Asia-Pacific. The session was chaired by Dr. Roel Ravanera, Dean of the Xavier University College of Agriculture in the Philippines and co-chaired by Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director of BRAC in Bangladesh.
In all, the following five presentations were made:
I. Southeast Asia - Nathaniel Don Marquez, ANGOC/ Asia
II. South Asia - Suman Sahai, Gene Campaign/ India
III. PNG Women in Agriculture - Maria Linibi, Intoap Village/ Papua New Guinea
IV. Alternative Pathways to Sustainable Agriculture - Hiva Levi, PIANGO/ Fiji
V. China Association of NGOs - Huang Haoming, CANGO/ China
Don Marquez of ANGOC reiterated the need for concerted efforts to build linkages among NGOs, FO, Government, NARS and IARC to empower the farming communities. He also highlighted the areas needing priority attention as:
a) Inclusiveness and community empowerment involving area of land reforms, rights, policy research, etc.
b) Sustainable livelihoods that include microfinance and linking farmers to markets.
c) National resource management, including disaster management, responding to and mitigate climate change effects; and enhance farmer – scientist – NARS collaboration in research.