28-29 September 2021: The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (ESCAP-CSAM) joined the General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Cambodia and other partners including Agroecology in Southeast Asia (ASEA), Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) and Swisscontact to co-organize the ‘2nd Annual Conservation Agriculture, Sustainable Intensification and Agroecology Regional Workshop’ on 28 and 29 September 2021. The workshop was convened virtually and attended by about 150 participants from 28 countries.
Over 20 national and international speakers and facilitators, all experts in their field and many drawn from CSAM’s networks across the region, shared their knowledge and insightful perspectives on the conservation agriculture and sustainable intensification (CA/SI) status in Asia, challenges with regard to broad scale adoption of CA/SI, methodologies for managing diversity in CA/SI systems, driving the CA/SI dissemination process, and the support provided by development partners for an enabling environment on CA/SI.
Given that the inadequate availability and application of agricultural machinery is one of the key constraints for CA/SI in the Asia-Pacific region, CSAM’s contribution highlighted the importance of sustainable agricultural mechanization in enabling CA/SI and balancing the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable agricultural development. In particular, the role of mechanization was highlighted in the CA/SI country status presentations from China and India as well as presentations on ‘Nepal’s Experience in Promoting Mechanization for Conservation Agriculture’ and the ‘Pakistan Experience on Promotion of Laser Land Leveling’. In addition, CSAM provided an overview of the positive results and learnings attained from its regional initiative on integrated management of straw residue. This initiative has implemented pilot projects in China and Viet Nam, and is now expanding its reach by launching new pilots in Cambodia, Indonesia and Nepal.
In her Keynote Remarks in the opening session of the workshop, Dr. Yutong Li, Head of CSAM, underscored the significance of CA/SI in the backdrop of the Food Systems Summit convened by the United Nations on 23 September 2021. She pointed out that to fully realize the potential of mechanization for CA/SI, “we must address the inadequate availability at the local level of suitable tools and equipment, particularly for smallholders. In addition, we must develop technical and institutional capacities and promote regional and South-South cooperation”.
The workshop was held following the success of the ‘Regional Training on Appropriate Scale Mechanization for Conservation Agriculture’ which was also co-organized by CSAM and its partners in 2019 in Siem Reap and Kampong Cham provinces of Cambodia.
(For additional information about the event, please refer to https://www.casiccambodia.net/post/casic-held-second-regional-training-on-conservation-agriculture-sustainable-intensification-and-agroecology)