The FINANCIAL — At the 13th Annual Meeting of the Working Group on Agriculture of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), agriculture officials discussed ways to improve food safety and trade, climate friendly agriculture and bioenergy and biomass management. The GMS includes Cambodia, Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
The WGA AM-13 focused on improving the market access of GMS-produced safe and climate-friendly agriculture products regionally and globally. Officials reviewed the implementation of the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program Phase II (CASP2), which aims to make the GMS an internationally-recognized producer of safe and environment-friendly agriculture products that are integrated globally. The CASP2 is managed through ADB-administered technical assistance, according to Asian Development Bank.
“This 13th Annual Meeting takes place at a time when all our GMS countries are working together to finalize their respective first letter of agreement (LOA),” said Vu Van Minh, Deputy Director General, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam. “The LOA mechanism enables country direct involvement in program activities, thus fostering country ownership. Such is the core of cooperation in the CASP2 framework in each country, together with a number of parallel regional cooperation initiatives and activities.”
The WGA AM-13 also presented a blueprint on the supply of safe and environment-friendly agri-food for endorsement by the next GMS Ministerial Conference in December 2016. The blueprint for 2018-2022 has a four-pronged agenda of increasing productivity in agro-based value chains, promoting favorable business environment, developing market linkages and branding “made in GMS agro products”, and strengthening institutions for market development.