Following the devastating tsunami on 26 December 2004, numerous international and national institutions and organizations were involved in assisting affected countries in resumption of agricultural activities and restoration of shattered livelihoods. Three months after the disaster, a regional workshop on salt-affected soils from seawater intrusion was organized by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, which provided an excellent opportunity for participants to share information, collectively assess initial findings related to rehabilitation needs and opportunities, share plans and proposals for future rehabilitation work, and develop mechanisms for collaboration and joint activities. Several projects were initiated to assess the damages to agricultural lands and to plan appropriate interventions which included activities such as rehabilitation of damaged agricultural lands and infrastructures, and reclamation of salt-affected soils for resumption of crop production. Moreover, FAO supported agriculture workshops at the country level in Indonesia and Sri Lanka to address country-specific issues and identify policies and strategies for future rehabilitation activities. One of the main challenges now is to identify suitable interventions for longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction of the agriculture sector in a sustainable manner best suited to the local agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions. In this context, an integrated and participatory approach is needed to identify promising technologies that could be easily adopted by the farmers.
With these issues in focus, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific convened this second regional workshop to bring together relevant national and international institutions and organizations to assess the present status of the rehabilitation activities, share experience and knowledge for development of future plans and strategies for the longer-term rehabilitation and development of the agriculture sector.
The overall goal of the workshop was to examine the present status of rehabilitation activities in the agriculture sector as well as to identify future interventions for sustainable development of the affected agriculture sector.
The specific objectives of the workshop were to: