Visits of the Secretary General AND Assistant Secretary General
During April-September 2016, the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General undertook the following visits:

I. Visits of the Secretary General

Egypt :At the kind invitation of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), New Delhi, the Secretary General attended the 4th African Regional Conference on Irrigation and Drainage (ARCID) on “Agricultural Land and Water Management for Sustainability under Climate Variability”, organised by the Egyptian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (ENCID), in Aswan City on 26-30 April 2016. While in Egypt, the Secretary General discussed with the Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for North and Eastern Africa, Cairo the activities of the regional office. He also met with the Director General, EICA and discussed matters related to training programmes organised by EICA, and organisation of a new training programme on “Women’s Empowerment”.

India : The Secretary General visited Mysore to inaugurate the International Workshop-cum-Exposure Visit on “Potential of Sericulture and Silk Industry for Employment and Income Generation in AARDO Member Countries” held during 11-16 April 2016. The programme was jointly organised by AARDO and the International Sericultural Commission (ISC), Bangalore. This was the first activity organised by AARDO and ISC after both the Organizations signed the MoU on 1st September 2015.

The Secretary General paid a courtesy call on H.E. Eng. Afonso Pedro Canga, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Angola, in New Delhi on 31st May 2016. H.E. Mr. Manuel Eduardo Dos Santos E. Silva Bravo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Angola to India was also present in the meeting. The Secretary General apprised the high dignitaries of the programmes and activities of AARDO and invited the esteemed Government of Angola to join AARDO as its member.

The Secretary General paid a courtesy call on Mr Amarjeet Sinha, IAS, Secretary (RD) to the Government of India, Ministry of Rural Development, New Delhi on 14 September 2016 and discussed matters of mutual interest, including additional capacity building programmes and identification of some centres of excellence in the field of fisheries.

Malaysia : At the kind invitation of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Secretary General paid a visit to Malaysia to attend CIRDAP’s 31st Technical Committee Meeting (TC-31) and the Workshop on “International Knowledge Exchange on Rural Development: Best Practices of Malaysian Experiences”, held in Kuala Lumpur during 22-28 May 2016, as Observer. The Events were hosted by the esteemed Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, Government of Malaysia. While in Malaysia, the Secretary General met with H.E. Dato` Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, Minister of Rural and Regional Development, Government of Malaysia.

Thailand :At the kind invitation of the International Sericultural Commission (ISC), Bangalore, India, the Secretary General attended the 24th International Congress on “Silk for the Green World and Sustainable Development” in Bangkok from 10 to 14 August 2016. In his speech at the inaugural function, the Secretary General introduced AARDO and the collaboration between AARDO and ISC. The Event was jointly organised by ISC and the Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture.

Philippines : At the kind invitation of the International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), Malaysia, the Secretary General paid a visit to the Philippines to attend the International Symposium on “Tropical Fruits: Towards Sustainable Fruit Production and Global Food Security” and the 10th Session of TFNet Board of Trustees Meeting, held in Davao City, from 30 August to 2 September 2016. He presented a Paper on “Empowering Smallholders in Rural Asia and Africa through Sustainable Fruit Production” at the Symposium. The Symposium was jointly organised by TFNet, the Philippine Fruits Association, Inc. (PFA) and the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines (BPI). As an elected Member of the TFNet Board of Trustees for 2015-2016, the Secretary General also attended the 10th Session of TFNet Board of Trustees Meeting held on 2 September 2016. While in Davao, the Secretary General met the Undersecretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of the Philippines and discussed the issue of re-joining of Philippines in AARDO and the settlement of its arrears. He also met with the delegates from Bangladesh, Germany, Fiji, Malaysia and Sri Lanka and officials from Crops for the Future (CFF), Malaysia, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dominican Republic and discussed matters of mutual interest.

II. Visits of the Assistant Secretary General

Turkey : At the kind invitation of the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (D-8), Istanbul, Turkey and the Agricultural and Rural Development Support Institution (ARDSI), Turkey, the Assistant Secretary General attended Workshop on “Exchange of Information on Rural Tourism Policies between D-8 Countries and ARDSI”, held in Trabzon, Turkey on 13-14 April 2016. While in Turkey, the Assistant Secretary General has a meeting with the chairperson of ARDSI and invited ARDSI to consider becoming a associate member of AARDO. AARDO’s request for the esteem government of Turkey to join AARDO as a member was equally reiterated through the advisor of the Turikish Minsity of Agriculture.

Pakistan : The Assistant Secretary General paid a visit to Pakistan during 25-28 August 2016, in connection with the Regional Training Workshop on “Promotion of Micro-Enterprises for Sustainable Livelihood in Rural Areas” jointly organized by AARDO and AHK National Centre for Rural Development (AHK NCRD) at AHK NCRD, Islamabad, during 22-28 August 2016.Besides performing the Valedictory Session in the programme held on 27 August 2016, wherein Mr. Fayyaz Aslam, Acting Director General, NCRD and Mr. Mubasshir Zaman Khan were present, the Assistant Secretary General has had a meeting with high officers of the AHK NCRD to, inter alia, review the achievements as well as the planned activities of the AARDO Regional Office and to discuss enhanced collaboration between AARDO and AHK NCRD by exploring the possibility of organizing additional programme with the support of relevant Pakistani authorities, in the vital thematic area of “Disaster Risk Management and Preparedness”.

The willingness of AARDO to further strengthen its cooperation and collaboration with the government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, through the organization of additional capacity building programmes for the benefit of AARDO member countries, was equally conveyed to officers of the Establishment Division of Pakistan.