Visits of the Secretary General & Assistant Secretary General
During October 2015 – March 2016, the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General undertook the following visits:

I. Visits of the Secretary General

Republic of China (Taiwan):During his visit to the Republic of China(Taiwan) to attend the inaugural function of the Study Visit of Experts from AARDO member countries on “Role of ICTs in Agriculture/Rural Development and Governance” held on 15-21 November 2015 , the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Chih I Sha, Deputy Minister, Council of Agriculture, and discussed matters of mutual interest. He also called on Dr. Pai-Po Lee, Deputy Secretary General, Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF), and discussed matters of mutual interest. Besides meeting Dr. June-Ru Chen, Director General, Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), the Secretary General visited organizations like Taipei Fishery Market Corporation and Addiction Aquatic Development and other centres to observe at close quarters the research and development activities in the fisheries sector. He paid a visit to Taiwan International Fisheries & Seafood Show at Kaohsiung.

Republic of Sudan:During his visit to the Republic of the Sudan from 30 January to 3 February 2016 in connection with the organisation of the 67th Session of the Executive Committee in Khartoum, the Secretary General paid courtesy calls on H.E. Prof. (Dr.) Ibrahim Adam Ahmed Al-Dukhairi, Minister for Agriculture and Forests, Government of the Republic of Sudan and discussed issues of mutual interest. He also called on H.E. Engineer Ali Gadoom El Ghali Osman, Undersecretary and Dr. Adil Yousif Eltaib Babiker, Director General of International Cooperation in the Ministry and discussed matters of common interest. He utilized his presence in the country to have meetings with H.E. Prof. Gasim Badri, President, Ahfad University for Women (AUW); H.E. Dr. Sidi OULD TAH, Director General, The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA); and Dr. Ahmed Abdul-Wali al-Samawi, Deputy Secretary General, Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) and explored the possibility of AARDO’s collaboration with their respective organizations. The Secretary General again visited the Republic of the Sudan to attend the 67th Session of the Executive Committee in Khartoum on 21-23 February 2016.

Malaysia : At the kind invitation from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Secretary General paid a visit to Malaysia to attend the Thirty-third FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, held there from 7 to 11 March 2016. While in Malaysia, the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on H.E. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Bin Yaakob, Minister of Rural and Regional Development, Government of Malaysia, and discussed matters of mutual interest. He also called on Y.B. Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Bin Cheek, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry and had discussions on issues of common concerns. He also met Dr. Mohd. Desa Haji Hassim, Chief Executive Officer, International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), Serdang, and explored the possibility of organising some collaborative activities in the future.

II. Visits of Assistant Secretary General

Pakistan : The Assistant Secretary General, AARDO visited the Islamic Republic of Pakistan during 4-8 November 2015 in connection with inauguration of the International Workshop-cum-Training Programme on "Irrigation System and Water Management", jointly organized by AARDO and AHK-NCRD, Pakistan during 3-12 November 2015. While in Pakistan, he utilized his presence in Islamabad to visit different institutes and Centers working in the field of agriculture & rural development.

The Assistant Secretary General had a meeting with the Regional Representative of AARDO for South and Central Asia and directors of the Akhtar Hamid Khan National Centre for Rural Development (AHK-NCRD), Islamabad to discuss matters of mutual interest, including ways of strengthening the regional office.

The Assistant Secretary General also visited the SAARC Human Resource Centre, Islamabad, where he held meeting with Dr. Mrs. Riffat Ayesha Anis, Director, SAARC Human Resource Development Centre and discussed matters of mutual interest.

The Assistant Secretary General met with Researcher Ms. Aisha and Dr. Anwar Baig, Head, Institute of Environmental Sciences & Engineering (IESE), School of Civil and National University of Science & Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan and discussed about AARDO funded research study on “Water Demand Management in Drought Condition by Applying Organic Mulches on Wheat/Groundnut Rotated Crops to Enhance Soil Water and Nutrient-Holding Capacity, Pakistan”.

In Pakistan, the Assistant Secretary General also visited COMSATS University Campus, Islamabad and discussed with Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, Rector and senior faculty members of the University the implementation of the MoU signed between AARDO and COMSATS.

The Assistant Secretary General visited the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Islamabad and discussed with its acting Head the possibility of collaboration between the NARC and AARDO.

Bangladesh : The Assistant Secretary General, AARDO visited Bangladesh from 2 to 5 December 2015 to attend the valedictory session of the National Training Workshop on “Sustainable Development Goals: Land Use, Food Security and Changing Pattern of Agriculture in Bangladesh”. He also chaired the plenary session of special working groups and moderated the policy recommendations of reporters of the working groups.

In Bangladesh, Assistant Secretary General discussed with Mr. Mohammad Mir Kashem, the Additional Director of BARD, other officials and faculty of the BARD on possibility of organizing, in continuation of the national workshop, a regional workshop on the vital theme of SDG’s with a view to sharing, with other AARDO member countries, the methodology of the national workshop and experience in mainstreaming SDG’s in national policies and programmes.

India: On 18th January 2016, the Assistant Secretary General officiated at the opening of the Centre for International Cooperation & Training in Agriculture Banking (CICTAB) organized in collaboration with National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI). NCUI hosted the programme in its National Centre for Cooperative Education (NCCE), New Delhi. 25 participants from training institutes of India viz. ICMs/RICMs and other related training Institutes, Faculty Members of National level Training Institutions of Cooperative & Rural Financing Institutions in the countries of SAARC Region and Trainers / Potential Trainers / HR Executives of other related training institutes of Agriculture & Rural Financing Institutions participated in the programme. Dr. Balasubramanian Iyer, Regional Director of International Co-operative Alliance of Asian-Pacific and Dr. Dinesh, Director of National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) were also present at the opening function.

Sudan: The Assistant Secretary General attended the 67th Session of the AARDO Executive Committee held at Khartoum, Sudan during 21-23 February 2016. The session was chaired by the Hon’ble President of the Executive Committee Ms. Asha Burrenchobay, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office (National Development Unit), Government of the Republic of Mauritius. Ten, out of thirteen members of the Executive Committee, attended the session.