Leaders pledge to assist small farmers: Grow Asia Forum

13-Sep-2018 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

More than 170 senior leaders and decisionmakers in the agriculture sector today, September 11, gathered at the Grow Asia Forum 2018 to define strategies for agriculture in the region, sharing the common goal of encouraging modernised agriculture and food systems, which have small farmers at the core of profitable, sustainable and growing supply chains.

Some 500 million small farmers produce 80 percent of the food consumed in the developing world. It is necessary to ensure these farmers are equipped with the appropriate technologies, knowledge and skills to meet the rising global demand for sustainable food, according to the forum, co-hosted by the Grow Asia Partnership and Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

“We hold enormous hope that digitisation will transform the way small farmers learn, communicate and trade with agribusinesses,” Grahame Dixie, executive director of Grow Asia, a multistakeholder partnership platform, said in a statement, adding that the past year has seen a real change in how partners view digital technologies.

“With Grow Asia’s support, we are very proud of the progress we have made in enhancing Vietnam’s agriculture sector and equipping small farmers with the tools and knowledge they need,” stated Nguyen Xuan Cuong, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, adding that digital solutions will address some of the major challenges being faced by farmers in Vietnam, from creating safer farm produce to boosting exports and improving farmers’ living standards.

“Grow Asia provides businesses with a unique precompetitive space where problems can be solved collectively,” remarked Olivier M. Schwab, managing director, head of Business Engagement of World Economic Forum. By embracing the positive changes being shaped by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and encouraging inclusivity in agriculture supply chains, the Grow Asia network is tackling the issue of environmental sustainability while modernising global food systems and improving the livelihoods of small farmers in the Asean, according to Olivier.

Leaders at the Grow Asia Forum, taking place alongside the World Economic Forum on Asean, also noted that technological innovations have the potential to drive rapid progress in terms of the sustainability, inclusivity, efficiency and health impacts of food systems.

The Grow Asia Forum is a high-level event, bringing together senior leaders from Asean governments, the global and regional private sector, the international civil society and farmers’ organisations, as well as other key stakeholders to engage in the highly interactive programme. This year’s event focused on the role of innovation and new technology in accelerating farming and food system transformation in the Asean region.

Grow Asia promotes the crossregional sharing of knowledge and innovative solutions to improve the productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability of small-scale farmers. Its five country-led partnerships now operate 37 value chain projects, which have increased small farmers’ incomes by up to 80 percent.



Category: Economy, Vietnam

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