Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC37) Prioritizes Agricultural Transformation in Nepal

Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC37) Prioritizes Agricultural Transformation in Nepal

Feb. 21, 2024, 8:34 p.m.

The Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC37), convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka, marks a significant milestone in the region's efforts to address the challenges posed by the pandemic, climate emergencies, and volatile markets.

The Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC37) is set to convene from February 19 to 22, 2024, bringing together delegates from 46 FAO Member Nations in the region. This high-level gathering will feature official ministerial sessions, providing a platform for strategic discussions and collaboration on key agricultural issues facing the Asia-Pacific region.

Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, climate emergencies, and economic volatility, the conference serves as an opportunity for delegates to exchange insights, share best practices, and formulate collective strategies to address pressing concerns in the agricultural sector of this region.

The ministerial sessions, scheduled to take place in-person, will facilitate dialogue on a range of topics including food security, nutrition, poverty reduction, and sustainable agricultural development. Delegates will engage in discussions aimed at identifying innovative solutions and fostering partnerships to enhance resilience and promote inclusive growth across the region.

Nepal government has participated in the conference led by Hon. Bedu Ram Bhusal, Minister for Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) including two senior official delegation membersfrom MoALD. Mr. Ken Shimizu, FAO Representative for Nepal and Bhutan has also joined the event along with the delegation in Colombo.

The Government of Nepal (GON) underscores its commitment to agricultural transformation, emphasizing initiatives such as the One Country One Priority Product (OCOP), Digital Village Initiative (DVI), Green City Initiative, and the One Health Approach.

In alignment with the Hand-in-Hand initiative, recently declared by the Rt Hon. Prime Minister, the Government of Nepal identifies the highland potato, ginger, large cardamom, and Sichuan pepper as Hand-in-Hand commodities, following their presentation at the 2021 Investment Forum in Rome. In addition to this, efforts are initiated by FAO support, particularly in the formulation and implementation of the One Health Strategy, focusing on food safety, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and animal health.

The Government of Nepal highly appreciates the recently concluded FAO Country Foresight Exercise, which has provided direction to develop upcoming 16 five years periodic plan, revision of Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS 2015-35) and formulation of the decade of agriculture investment.

The conference agenda, which includes ministerial roundtable discussions on topics such as future food and nutrition security, investment and financing for poverty reduction, and strategies to mitigate water and food loss and waste, reflects issues of vital interest to Nepal. These discussions provide an opportunity to share lessons learned from convergent crises and explore collaborative solutions.

The recent visit of FAO Director-General QU Dongyu to Nepal further underscores FAO's commitment to supporting the country's agricultural transformation. Emphasizing the importance of agri-food systems transformation, especially in light of Nepal's graduation from the Least Developed Countries category, Director-General Dongyu highlighted the significance of prioritizing smallholder family farms and Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in agri food system transformation.

Nepal is embarking on a decade of agricultural investment with optimism in achieving sustainable growth, increasing productivity, and contributing significantly to regional food security. It is optimistic and looking forward to fruitful collaboration with FAO and member countries in realizing the transformation of our agri-food system.

The Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC37) serves as a platform for dialogue and collaboration, focusing toward a resilient and sustainable agricultural future for the region.

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