Asia-Pacific policymakers and representatives from industry, civil society and academia gathered at a regional forum in Kathmandu, Nepal this week to promote engagement and participation in sustainable agricultural mechanization strategies and help reduce emissions from the common issue of straw burning in the region.
Organized by the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in partnership with the Ministry of Agricultural Development of Nepal, the annual high-level forum provided a platform for countries to develop and share best practices that are vital for increasing agricultural productivity, sustainable agriculture, food security and rural welfare.
Underscoring the importance of supporting sustainable food production systems and offsetting climate change impacts on the agriculture sector, Head of CSAM Ms. Li Yutong said, “Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization Strategies provide a framework for making decisions on allocating resources, addressing current challenges, and developing achievable actions and programmes through a structured, but flexible, participatory process.” She added, “CSAM is pleased to play a role in convening key stakeholders to explore opportunities for synergy and collaboration.”
Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Li Hong, Permanent Representative of China to ESCAP, said “China has deep recognition of the important role of mechanization in agriculture. We are privileged to be the host of CSAM and have been showing strong support to the work of CSAM.”
This year’s forum was highlighted by a regional workshop on ‘Integrated Straw Management in Asia-Pacific,’ where participants shared best practices and explored targeted assistance for piloting in affected areas of China, India and Vietnam. The workshop was held in the response to last year’s Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam, where participants identified the need to advance climate-smart agricultural practices, along with measures to address the impacts of straw residue burning in the region.
Initiated in 2013, the Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific is a strategic annual event held by CSAM to promote high-level policy dialogue and regional cooperation. The meeting aims to create an enabling policy framework, as well as an institutional and market environment that provide sustainable climate-smart agriculture solutions.