ASEAN-India cooperation in Agriculture
India became a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992 and a full dialogue partner in 1995 and the two have been having summit level meetings ever since 2002. An India-ASEAN Working Group on Agriculture is very important, as agriculture is a critical sector for the economy of India as well as ASEAN Member States. In view of commonality of several areas and issues, the cooperation aims to facilitate promotion of joint research for development of technologies for increasing production and productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries, and natural resources management, among others, in the region as well as in development of joint ventures, exchange of technologies, expertise and material.
The 1st ASEAN-India Agriculture Working Group Meeting was held in New Delhi on January 29-31, 2011. The meeting was attended by delegates from the ten ASEAN member States viz., Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam as also by India. Representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat also attended.
The Second Meeting of the ASEAN-India Working Group on Agriculture and Forestry was held during 6th-8th March, 2012 in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia.
In the course of the meeting various activities were proposed for enhancing India-ASEAN cooperation in Agriculture. These proposed activities have been confirmed by ASEAN Secretariat and they are classified under Short-Term Plan (for implementation in 2011-12), and Mid-Term Plan (for implementation during the period 2011-15). They are as under:
Activities under Short-Term Plan (Implemented in 2011-12)
- Publication of “ASEAN India Newsletters on Agriculture” (First issue released on 17.10.2012 by Hon’ble Agriculture Minister, GoI)
- Institution of ASEAN India Fellowships for higher education in the field of Agriculture and allied sciences (Agenda discussed during the Heads of Agri. Universities Conference held on 19-20 February, 2013)
- Conference of Heads of Agricultural Universities (held during 19-20 February, 2013)
- Exchange visits of farmers (started in December, 2012)
- Training programmes (started in August 2012)
- Workshop on adaptation/mitigation technologies for climate change (held on 23-25 August, 2012)
- Meeting of Agriculture Ministers of ASEAN and India (held on 17-19 October, 2012)
- ASEAN-India Agri-Expo (held during 17-19 October, 2012)
The first issue of the ASEAN-India Newsletter on Agriculture was released on 17th October, 2012 in the Second ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry. Exchange visit of 100 farmers from ASEAN countries to India and Indian farmers to ASEAN have been planned. First group of 18 farmers and 9 officials from 9 ASEAN countries toured various ICAR Institutes, farms and industries during 20-30 December, 2012. Other groups from ASEAN countries to India, and India to ASEAN countries will be visiting during 2013.
The ASEAN-India Newsletter on Agriculture is intended to provide a platform for sharing information pertaining to agriculture among the ASEAN Member States and India. It will be published both in softcopy and hardcopy (with limited number) half-yearly (Two editions per year). The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the host agency of the Newsletter.
The following training programmes have been organized for scientists from ASEAN countries in India -
- Training on Advances in Agricultural Equipment for Productivity Enhancement Including Precision Farming, 23 April – 5 May 2012, Bhopal, India.
- Training on Processing and Value Addition of Soy Products and Coarse Cereals, 7 - 19 May 2012, Bhopal, India.
- Training on Production and Processing Technology for Value Addition of Horticultural Products, 30 April – 12 May 2012, Ludhiana, India.
The Workshop on “Adaptation/ Mitigation Technologies for Climate Change” was organized from 23-25 August 2012 at NASC Complex, ICAR, in New Delhi. 16 Scientists from 8 ASEAN countries participated.
Following the ASEAN-India Officials Consultation Meeting on ASEAN India Green Fund, held on 19 October 2011 in Phnom Penh, India submitted two concept note activities, namely: Concept Note 1 – “Forestry Management and Climate Change”; and Concept Note 2 – “Forests in ASEAN REDD+ Region” to be funded by the ASEAN-India Green Fund.The 15th ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) Meeting, held on 28-29 June 2012 in Hanoi discussed the two concept notes and welcomed cooperation with India on issues related to forests and climate change. The ASEAN Secretariat was requested to convey views and comments of ASOF on the initiatives to India for further development of detailed proposals.
A group of 27 farmers and officials from ASEAN countries visited India during December, 2012.
India organized a Conference of Heads of Agricultural Universities and Research Institutions of ASEAN countries and Vice Chancellors of Indian Agricultural Universities and Central Universities during 19-20 February, 2013 at NASC Complex, New Delhi to identify strategy and to work out on the modality of cooperation among the agricultural universities and research institutes in ASEAN and India.
Proposed activities under Mid-Term Plan (for implementation in 2011-15)
- Enhance cooperation in food, agriculture and forestry in key areas of mutual interest, with the aim to enhance productivity of agricultural products and meet the challenges of food security, as well as enhance their accessibility to global markets (activities already started under different programmes).
- Promote networking between government authorities concerned, as well as between agriculture experts/ scientists agricultural related academic institutions of ASEAN Member Countries and India (agenda put up for Conference of Heads of Agricultural Universities and Research Institutions and Indian Agricultural and Central Universities to be held at NASC, New Delhi on 19-20 Feb., 2013).
- Promote capacity building, technology transfer, and R&D as mutually agreed for global competence in agriculture (agenda put up for Conference of Heads of ASEAN Universities and Research Institutions and Indian Agricultural and CentralUniversities to be held on 19-20 Feb., 2013).
- Provide opportunities for ASEAN and India farmers, including young farmers, to learn and develop more efficient farming practices and management skills through information sharing (visits of farmers have started in December, 2012 in batches).
India is to develop and implement Joint Collaborative Projects in the areas of
- Hybrid Rice technology
- Breeding for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance (submergence, drought, salinity, diseases and insect pests )
- Resource conservation technologies
- Gene and allele mining
- Quality enhancement of Agricultural produce
- Nutrient and water use efficiency management
- Climate change and testing
- Demonstration and exchange of farm implements and machinery
- Agro forestry systems
- Food security, particularly food price volatility
- Trans boundary animal diseases
The 3rd ASEAN-India Working Group on Agriculture & Forestry meeting was held during 6-7 May, 2013 in New Delhi.
The 3rd ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture & Forestry was held in Malaysia on 28 September, 2013, which was attended by Hon'ble Minister of Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, Shri Sharad Pawar.
- A training programme on “Training on conventional and molecular techniques for diagnosis and trans boundary animal diseases” shall be held at High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal during December 2013 as per the following programme:
- 1st Batch - 10 participants from 4th December,2013 to 11th December, 2013
- 2nd Batch - 10 participants from 16th December, 2013 to 23rd December, 2013
- A training programme on “Training on IT application for agricultural extension” shall be conducted at National Academy of Agricultural Research & Management (NAARM), Hyderabad during 6th January, 2014-17th January, 2014.
- The 4th ASEAN India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture & Forestry shall be held in New Delhi in 2014 (dates not yet finalized).