Start-up of a regional network for farming systems
Co-hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) of Thailand in Bangkok, the GRA organized a regional meeting to start a network on farming systems. Participating countries were Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam and of course Thailand. With the support of Agriterra, farmer representatives from the Philippines and Indonesia also joined this meeting. The Netherlands, the current Chair of the GRA, was represented by the Co-chair of the GRA Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Group and a policy official of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. In this two-day workshop, the countries’ policy and research representatives explored the challenges and difficulties of developing farming systems that meet the impact of a changing climate. On the first day the exchange of experiences between participants was the focus. On the second day, participants analyzed the exchanged information and identified common areas of interest. As a result they identified and agreed to put their efforts into four projects. The projects are: 1) Mixed farming systems, 2) Knowledge transfer/adoption of mitigation technologies/adaptations for GHG reduction, 3) Development of information systems for tools and technologies, and 4) Increased collaboration between policy makers, researchers and farmers. For each project, one (or two) leading countries will initiate the process. This very successful workshop makes an impressive start to the regional collaboration initiated and supported by the GRA. In the upcoming months the groups will exchange the results, and as the process continues it will be worthwhile to meet again in a year’s time.