A recently held high-level policy dialogue aimed at promoting investment in agricultural research technologies and innovations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The policy dialogue explored ways in which appropriate policies, strategies and institutional arrangements can spur more growth and interest in investing in agricultural research for development in light of a challenging development funding environment.
Co-organized by the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-RAP), Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the high-level policy dialogue was held on 8-9 December 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) was represented by Steve Staal, regional representative for East and Southeast Asia, Alok Jha, regional representative for South Asia, and Hung Nguyen, country representative for Vietnam, at the meeting. They stressed the important role smallholders play particularly in livestock production and the increasingly important aquaculture sector in Asia.
During his presentation, Staal spoke about the opportunities offered by the new collaborative CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) on Livestock—which focuses on animal health, animal genetics, animal feeds and forages, livestock and the environment, livelihoods and agri-food systems, and CRP on Fish—which focuses on integrated sustainable agriculture, sustaining small-scale fisheries, and fish value chains and nutrition. Both programs are linked to national partners’ programs and priorities and include cross-cutting emphasis on gender and capacity building.
A summary of the CGIAR Research program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health’s (CRP A4NH) plans for phase 2 (2017–2022) was also presented, as well as ILRI’s key projects in East and Southeast Asia and South Asia.
Reflections and ways forwards
Dave Shearer, ACIAR’s corporate general manager, offered his reflections on the dialogue, placing emphasis on a few important points to move forwards. He emphasized the importance of innovations, not just in research but also in partnerships with the private sector, more south-south cooperation, and giving priority to women and youth.
Shearer also discussed how agricultural research should focus on delivery and performance of impact pathways, and not just productivity and poverty alleviation. Investment and capacity building for agricultural research for development, and governance and resource mobilization were also discussed.
In response, Raghunath Ghodake, the APAARI executive secretary, suggested focusing on demand- and partnership-based efforts of delivering impacts in order to renew interest and commitment in funding and investing in food security, nutrition to improve livelihoods.
Download a PowerPoint presentation by Steve Staal.
Read a concept note of the policy dialogue.