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FAO/PNASF Regional Workshop on Strengthening Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture towards Resilient Food Systems in Asia

Mr. Hiroyuki Konuma welcoming the participants
  Mr. Yukol Limlaemthong, addressing the participants

FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand in collaboration with Dr. P.N. Agricultural Science Foundation, Bangalore organized the Regional Workshop on Strengthening Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture towards resilient food systems in Asia held during January 28-30, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. During the three day workshop, technical discussion was held for two days and the third day was devoted to study tour/field trip. About 55 participants from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam attended. The discussion was enhanced by the active participation of nine resource persons invited from different countries.
Dr. Prem Nath delivering his Key Note Address

The objectives of the workshop were to review experiences on urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in the Region as well as lessons learnt with the aim of identification and advocacy of best practices and case studies from countries across the Region. The regional workshop will also identify priorities and key investment areas for strengthening UPA leading to action plans including pilot interventions that can be taken up for supporting resilient food systems in the cities of Asia; mechanisms to coordinate between different stakeholders (public, private and civil society) and partners will also be identified.”
During the Field Trip    

During the Inaugural Session on January 28, 2012, the dignitaries on the dais were Mr. Hiroyuki Konuma, Assistant Director General, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Mr. Yukol Limlaemthong, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Government of Thailand; Dr. Chanvit Tarathep, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health, Government of Thailand and Dr. Prem Nath, Chairman, Dr. P.N. Agricultural Science Foundation (PNASF), Bangalore, India. The welcome address was delivered by Mr. Konuma and opening address was given by Mr. Limlaemthong. The key note address entitled, “Concept and Implementation of Food Security and Its Relevance to Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture” was delivered by Dr. Prem Nath, another address entitled, “Trends of Urbanization, Policy and Planning and Research Priorities in Sustainable Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture” was presented by Dr. Elumalai Kannan. It was followed by a lecture on “Global perspective on strengthening UPA towards resilient food systems” presented by Ms. Makiko Taguchi, FAO, Rome, Italy.
Participants of the UPAFSA-2013

The technical sessions included (a) presentation of country reports by each government delegate; (b) presentation of case studies, reviews and prospects; (c) group discussion; and (d) finalization of recommendation. It was followed by study tour. Before the workshop the government delegates were requested to write country report based on framework/plan of action format provided them, which were presented through power point presentation, which was handy to generate discussion.

The case studies covered almost all areas embracing urban and peri-urban agriculture. The following titles were presented during the workshop;

  • Global perspective on strengthening UPA towards resilient food systems by Ms. Makiko Taguchi, Agricultural Officer, FAO, Rome;
  • Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Collaboration and Investment in Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture by Prof. P.G. Chengappa, National Professor of Agricultural Economics, Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, India;
  • Development initiatives in food production, utilization and mechanism of management in developing Urban and peri-urban Agriculture in Asia by Prof. N. Nagaraj, Principal Scientist (Markets, Institutions and Policies), ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India;
  • Application of Horticulture in Improving Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Towards Enhancing Food Production in Bangkok City” by Dr. Grisana Linwattana, Horticultural Research Institute, Bangkok;
  • Contribution of Small Livestock in Developing Resilient Food Systems for Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Thailand by Dr. Sansak Nakavisut, Department of Livestock Development;
  • Towards Sustainable Wastewater-fed Fish Culture in Kolkata, India by Dr Peter Edwards, Emeritus Professor, Asian Institute of Technology and Advisor, Sustainable Farming Systems Programme, Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, Thailand;
  • Tree Planting in Urban and Peri-urban Areas by Mr. Roger Steinhardt, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific;
  • Integrated Homestead Farming Systems for Improving Nutrition Status of Urban & Peri-urban Populations – Case study/ Experiences from Selected Asian countries by Dr. Lalita Bhattacharjee, Nutritionist, National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme, FAO, Bangladesh;
  • Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (including organic agriculture) for Ensuring the Safety of Foods by Dr. A Thimmaiah, Advisor, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA);
  • Impact of Waste Management and Utilization in Improving Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture by Dr. Permpong Pumwiset, Office of Public Health and Environment, Thailand;

During the group discussion sessions, the three groups formed as follows;

  • Working group 1: Research priorities (including pilot interventions, investment areas, etc) on horticulture, food, waste management- Chair: Dr Prem Nath, PNASF.
    Facilitator: Ms. Wilailak Sommut
  • Working group 2: Development initiatives (including priorities, pilot interventions, investment areas, etc) in food production, utilization and management in UPA - Chair: Dr N. Nagaraj, ICRISAT, Hyderabad.
    Facilitator: Mr. P. B. Gaddagimath
  • Working group 3: Mechanisms for handling multistakeholder collaborations (including public and private partnership) in improving urban and peri-urban Agriculture - Chair: Prof P.G. Chengappa, Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bangalore
    Facilitator: Mr. Roger Steinhardt, FAO, Bangkok

The concluding session was chaired by Mr. H. Konuma with Mr. P.B. Gaddagimath as the Rapporteur. The Workshop proceedings to be published soon will contain all details including Recommendations. The vote of thanks was extended by Ms. Shashi Sareen, Senior Food Safety & Nutrition Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.

The field study programme covered visit to waste management and water treatment plant, roof-top garden, waste-fed fish culture, peri-urban vegetable plantation and street market. It was coordinated by Ms. Wilailak Sommut.

The workshop was a success with regard to contents, participation as assisted by FAO and the management by PNASF. It was appreciated and acknowledged by the participants. It may be noted that PNASF on behalf of FAO had organized such workshop on similar subject in Bangalore during 2005.

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