The Special Session of the AARDO Executive Committee was held at The Hotel Leela Palace, New Delhi on 4th October 2017. The Session was chaired by Mr. Oomaduth Jadoo, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office (National Development Unit), Government of the Republic of Mauritius, and Hon’ble President of the Executive Committee of AARDO.
Eleven, out of 13 members of the Executive Committee attended the Session. The countries represented in the Session were: (i) People’s Republic of Bangladesh, (ii) Republic of China (Taiwan), (iii) Arab Republic of Egypt, (iv) Republic of India, (v) State of Libya, (vi) Malaysia, (vii) Republic of Mauritius, (viii) Federal Republic of Nigeria, (ix) Sultanate of Oman, (x) Republic of the Sudan, and (xi) Republic of Zambia. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as the Member Secretary to the Executive Committee.
The Secretary General extended a warm welcome to Hon’ble President and distinguished delegates to the Special Session and expressed his gratefulness to them for sparing their invaluable time to attend the Session. The Hon’ble President inaugurated the Special Session by mentioning, among others, that he would rely on invaluable support and suggestions of all the distinguished delegates to arrive at a constructive outcome of the meeting. After the opening addresses by the Hon’ble President and the Secretary General, the Special Session of the Executive Committee adopted the Provisional Agenda.
The Special Session of the Executive Committee was convened to elect the Assistant Secretary General of African–Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO). The Executive Committee re-elected Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, the current Assistant Secretary General for the second term of four (4) years with effect from 14th February 2018. After being re-elected to the post of Assistant Secretary General, Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh was congratulated by the Hon’ble President, the Secretary General, and other distinguished members of the Executive Committee by wishing him a fruitful tenure and success.
African-Asian Rural Development Organization, in collaboration with the Council of Agriculture (COA), Government the Republic of Taiwan, organized an international workshop on “Aquaculture Technology and Industry Development” at the Fisheries Research Institute (FTRI), Taipei, Taiwan during 17-22 September 2017. The objectives of the workshop were to learn Taiwan’s development experiences of aquaculture and its biotechnology-related industries; to view ornamental fish industry in Taiwan; and to study on marketing of the fisheries products and intelligent aquaculture.
On behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, the workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Jong-I Hu, Chief Secretary, Council of Agriculture (COA), Government of the Republic of China on 18th September 2017. During the inaugural session, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO delivered his address. Amongst the guests, Dr. Grace Lih-Tung Lin, Director General, Department of International Relations, Council of Agriculture, Dr. Chen-Te Tseng, Chief Secretary, and Dr June-Ru Chen, Director General of the Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) graced the inaugural session. Besides, some senior officers from COA and FRI also witnessed the opening ceremony.The workshop was attended by 12 delegates from AARDO member countries, namely, Ghana, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Palestine, Sri Lanka and Zambia and a special invitee from Turkey.
The workshop consisted of plenary session and field visits. During the plenary sessions, experts delivered their lectures on trends and latest developments of aquaculture and ornamental fish industry; introduction to mariculture; marketing in fisheries and intelligent aquaculture in Taiwan, etc. It was followed by field visits that provided, along with the lectures, an overall view on development of aquaculture technology and industry in Taiwan. Field visits were well arranged covering significant activities and operations that exposed well the participants to Taiwan’s rich and vast experiences in aquaculture and marine fisheries industry. These exposures could be made possible through visits to the Addiction Aquatic Company (Taipei), Mariculture Research Centre (Tainan), Sea–water Farm, Milk Fish farm and Grouper Farm (Kaohsiung city), and also Tungkang Biotechnology Research, ECOTEK Industrial Aquaculture Corp (displaying Intelligent Aquaculture), Sheng-Diao Aquatic Technology (displaying Tilapia Aquaculture), and JY LIN Trading Company (displaying Ornamental Fish Industry) at Kaohsiung city. The workshop concluded with a set of recommendations for enhanced cooperation for transfer of technology and technical expertise in the area of aquaculture development between Taiwan and the AARDO member countries.
AARDO has been conferred the prestigious 10th Global Agriculture Award- 2017 by the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA), New Delhi, in the category of “Livelihood Leadership” in recognition and acknowledgement of its pioneering role and impact in the field of agriculture and rural development through capacity building and other initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable livelihood of rural population in its member countries in Africa and Asia. The 10th Global Agriculture Leadership Summit and Awards was organised by ICFA in New Delhi on 5-6 September 2017.
The Award was received by His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General on behalf of AARDO, from His Excellency Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Hon’ble Governor of States of Haryana and Punjab of India, and the Chief Guest of Award Function, in New Delhi on 5 September 2017.
In its citation the ICFA said, “…One of the earliest examples of South-South Cooperation in rural development in the African-Asian region, AARDO promotes collaborations with various international organizations for the economic and social welfare of the rural community. The Organization has been effectively collaborating with the appropriate international and regional organizations, including UN agencies, the national bodies, governmental or non-governmental, both in the developed and developing countries, for purposes of taking action to accelerate agriculture and rural development in the member countries. With the mission to catalyse efforts of the African-Asian countries, to help them empower their rural societies and to reconstruct the economy of their rural people, AARDO has been playing leadership role in helping its member countries with knowledge sharing, successful experiences, models and effective programmes, thus helping them launch cooperative action.”
The Leadership Summit was attended by high level dignitaries, including Ministers, Members of Parliament, Diplomats, eminent scientists, scholars, senior officials, corporate, farmers leaders from Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe, USA and host country India. It served as a forum for resources persons to present their papers and share knowledge and experiences with the delegates on a wide range of pertinent issues like Climate Smart Agriculture for Global Food Security; Doubling Farmers Incomes by 2022; International Cooperation for Agriculture Growth; Partnering for African Agriculture Development, etc.
ICFA, established in 2015, is a national level apex Non-Government Company with a mandate for policy research and advocacy, trade, technology and investments facilitation in food and agriculture sector towards empowering the farmers and addressing the issues of agricultural development, global food security and environmental sustainability.
AARDO and ICFA have been regularly participating in each other’s activities since they signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaborating activities in July 2016.
At the kind invitation of the Hon’ble Chairman, Korea FAO Association & Global Agriculture Policy Institute, Gyeonggi-do, R.O.Korea, His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the 16th Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy (APAP) Forum on “Enabling Investment for Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainable Rural Development through Regional Cooperation”, held in Seoul from 31 August to 1st September 2017.
The Secretary General, in his congratulatory remarks, laid stress on making concerted endeavours to enhance national institutional capacity and regional cooperation in order to create a supportive policy environment for agricultural competitiveness and strengthened rural economy. Further, the lessons learned and a combination of each other’s experiences in the market-based approaches will drive the efforts towards strengthened cooperation and regional integration.
While in R.O.Korea, the Secretary General met the delegations from some prospective members viz. Lao PDR and Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia and briefed them about the activities and programmes of AARDO for the cause of rural development, as well as the benefits they could derive by joining the Organization. The Secretary General also called on the delegation members of the Philippines and appraised them about the recent decision taken by the Executive Committee meeting held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in January 2017.
The Regional Office arranged for a meeting of the Secretary General with a eight members delegation from Uganda headed by the Under Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, visiting R.O.Korea in connection with Saemaul Undong Movement. During the meeting, the Secretary General explained to them about the Organization and its activities in its member countries, and benefits members are deriving from the Organization.
The Secretary General utilized his presence in Republic of Korea to pay a courtesy call on the Hon’ble Vice-President, KOICA and thanked him on KOICA’s decision to organise a new joint training programme with AARDO. The Hon’ble Vice-President lauded AARDO’s activities and reposed his faith in continuing KOICA’s association with AARDO.
All the meetings were arranged and attended by the Honorary Regional Representative of AARDO for the Far East and officials of the Regional Office.
African-Asian Journal of Rural Development (AAJRD) started its journey fifty years ago and is celebrating 50 years of its publication under the tag line "Fifty Years of Cooperation for Information Dissemination". To commemorate the historic event, a thematic issue on “Agriculture Water Management for Sustainable Rural Development” was released by the H.E. Dr. Ali Al Isawi, Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Libya and Chairman of the 70th Session of Liaison Committee and H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO in the Conference hall of the AARDO Secretariat on 28th August 2017 in the august presence of 21 delegates representing 16 AARDO member countries.
The Journal, having wide circulation both in the developing and developed countries, is regularly sent to the AARDO member and eligible member countries and their diplomatic missions in New Delhi, besides AARDO’s centres of Excellence and International/Regional Organizations working in the field of rural and agricultural development. The Journal -released biannual- has passed through various phases in term of standardization, contents and production and its name underwent change from "Rural Reconstruction" to "Journal of Rural Development". The contributors in the Journal, among others, include professors, scientists, government officials, NGOs activists and scholars. Full text of Golden Jubilee issue of the Journal as well as 107 back issues, containing around 10,000 pages, are available on the AARDO website (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PtvxSlNFTjQVgwNlE4Uks0SXc/view").
The 70th Session of the Liaison Committee of AARDO was held on 28th August 2017 at the Conference hall of the AARDO Secretariat, New Delhi and was chaired by H.E. Dr. Ali A.S. Al Isawi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Libya to India who was elected by the house for this purpose. Twenty one (21) delegates from sixteen (16) member countries, namely, Republic of China (Taiwan), Arab Republic of Egypt, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Republic of the Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Republic of India, Republic of Iraq, Republic of Lebanon, State of Libya, Republic of Mauritius, Kingdom of Morocco, Republic of Namibia, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of the Sudan, Republic of Yemen and Republic of Zambia of the Liaison Committee attended the Session. His Excellency Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, AARDO attended the meeting as Member Secretary to the Liaison Committee.
The Secretary General welcomed the Hon’ble Chairman and the distinguished delegates to the 70th Session of the Liaison Committee and requested the Hon’ble Chairman to commence proceedings. The Chairman, in his turn, welcomed the distinguished delegates to the session. Thereafter, the Committee went on to transact the business session by, first of all, adopting the Provisional Agenda. The Committee took note of the follow -up action taken/proposed to be taken by the AARDO Secretariat on the decisions/recommendations of the 68th Session of the Executive Committee and 69th Session of the Liaison Committee as well as adopted the latter’s report. The Committee reviewed the activities of the Organization, membership contribution and member relations for the period, January - June 2017.
This Session of the Liaison Committee was important in the sense that it recommended the Technical Work Programme and Budget Estimates for the Triennium 2018-2020, as well as Gratuity Scheme for Locally Recruited AARDO Employees to the 69th Session of the Executive Committee scheduled to be held in Malaysia in the first quarter of 2018. The Committee also took note of the projected programmes of AARDO to be organized from July to December 2017. It decided to hold its next (71st) Session on 20 February 2018 and accordingly approved the list of special invitees.
At the kind invitation of the esteemed Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Region, and Transmigration, Government of Republic of Indonesia, the Secretary General attended the 2017 Village Development Forum – Senior Executives Meeting, International Symposium and Parallel Workshop on “Representing Village : Democracy, Autonomy and Prosperity”, held at Jakarta during 23-25 August 2017.
The Honorable Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia inaugurated the Forum at the presidential Palace on the morning of 24 August, in presence of the participating delegates from many countries, organizations, diplomats and senior government officers.
During the Senior Executives Meeting, which was attended by many of the participating countries and organizations, and chaired by the Hon’ble Minister of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Region, Transmigration, Government of Indonesia and the Secretary General of the Ministry, the Secretary General of AARDO made his statement on theme of the forum, and apprised the meeting of the activities and programmes of AARDO. He urged the Honorable Minister and other delegates from eligible participating countries, to favourably consider rejoining AARDO. He also called on His Excellency the Ambassador of South Africa in his office in the presence of Her Excellency the Ambassador of Venezuela to Indonesia, and explained to them the activities and programmes of AARDO as well as the benefits their countries could derive by joining the Organization.
At the kind invitation of the Uzbekipaksanoat Association and the Uzbek Research Institute of Natural Fibers, Republic of Uzbekistan, the Secretary General attended the International Scientific-Technical Conference on “The Role of Integration of Knowledge-Science in the Organization of Production at Textile Industry Enterprises and Resolution of Topical Problems”, held in Margilan City, Fergana, Uzbekistan on 27-28 July 2017.
The Secretary General, in his congratulatory remarks, brought home the vital significance of textile industry, including sericulture and silk, and its invaluable contribution to industrial production, export earnings, income and employment generation, etc. He apprised the gathering of the activities and programmes of AARDO and work being done by AARDO in promoting sericulture and silk industry in its member countries. He also extended an invitation to the esteemed Government of Uzbekistan to consider joining AARDO as its distinguished member.
The Secretary General also held discussions with some of the participating dignitaries. He also presented AARDO’s mementos and sets of AARDO publications to the Hon’ble Minister of Silk Industry, Governor of Fergana and the Hon’ble Director General of Uzbekipaksanoat Association, respectively.