The 6th Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization “Enabling Environment for the Private Sector” was organized on 25 October 2018 in Wuhan, China by the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with China Agricultural Machinery Distribution Association (CAMDA), China Agricultural Mechanization Association (CAMA) and China Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers (CAAMM).
The Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization is an annual strategic initiative of CSAM with the aim to promote high-level policy dialogue and regional cooperation on shared or emerging issues of interest to member countries in the region.
Convened with the theme “Enabling Environment for the Private Sector”, the 6th Regional Forum focused its attention on the needs of private sector in advancing sustainable agricultural mechanization. The impetus for this initiative was the discussion during the 5th Regional Forum held in December 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
As highlighted during the event, an empowered, profitable, responsible and appropriately regulated private sector is critical for agricultural development, employment, poverty alleviation, and livelihood improvement for the rural population. The attention of the Forum was brought to the constantly growing challenges faced by farmers, retailers and wholesalers, manufacturers, and importers, and the role of government in providing a favourable policy environment as well as other support for the private sector.
The programme of the Forum was designed to allow to hear voices from all the key stakeholders including both public and private sector. Delegates elaborated on strategies and projects supporting the development of agricultural machinery enterprises, challenges faced, examples of good practices, and recommendations for future direction and potential regional actions. In order to facilitate dialogue between the main stakeholders, CSAM organized a panel discussion to boost debate on the potential solutions and good practices to address the lack of appropriate financial channels, small land holdings, and other key challenges constraining the sustainable development of the private sector.
The Forum gathered around 150 participants from 17 countries, including policy makers, academicians and researchers, extension workers, private sector and industry association representatives, as well as representatives from pertinent international and regional organizations including the ASEAN-China Centre, the German Agricultural Society (DLG), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) China Office.
The Forum was held alongside the China International Agricultural Machinery Exhibition 2018 that showcased the latest developments in the agricultural machinery sector in the region and beyond.
The representative of the Republic of Korea proposed to organize the next edition of the Forum in Jeonju in 2019.