The inception workshop on the regional database of agricultural mechanization in Asia and the Pacific, co-hosted by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), was successfully organized on 29 March 2016, in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
The overall objective of the Inception Workshop was to facilitate mutual understanding on the project, seek engagement and collaboration from member countries and to identify opportunities. 31 representatives from 18 member countries and 4 international organizations, namely Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Fiji, India, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Bank Group and ESCAP attended the workshop and exchanged ideas and opinions on the project.
Mr. Eric Hermouet from ESCAP Statistics Division made an introduction to the FAO AGRIS Programme: Agricultural Integrated Survey, a potential link between the proposed regional database project and the FAO programme. He also iterated on the linkage between agricultural mechanization and the SDGs, from a statistical perspective.
The paper titled ‘A Conceptual Framework for the Establishment of a Regional Database of Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific’, commissioned by CSAM in 2015 was presented. The project overview including work plan from 2016 to 2018 was also presented.
During the discussion session, it was strongly agreed that Technical Focal Points should be appointed by agricultural mechanization organizations/institutes in participating countries, and a Technical Working Group, composed of statistical experts from member countries should be formulated. Besides, it was also mentioned that the collaboration among international organizations should be further explored and expanded.
As the project also focus on capacity development, 2 pilot training programs aiming at assisting the training recipient countries to establish/improve the existing national databases will be conducted through 2016 to 2017. Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand showed their interests in hosting the national pilot training programs.
A field trip to the Farms’ Organization Authority of Malaysia (FOA) was organized in the morning of 30 March 2016.