Beijing, China, 17 - 21 May 2004


Table of contents


1. Many interrelated activities were initiated and completed in support of food security, rural poverty alleviation, and institutional and human capacity building in the Asia and Pacific region. Full coverage of all the activities undertaken during 2002-2003 cannot be condensed into a document of this length, and therefore this report focuses only on some of the main activities undertaken in Asia and in the Pacific island countries, covered in Part I. Part II documents actions taken in response to the recommendations of the Twenty-sixth Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific.




2. Six training workshops on the modernization of irrigation, benchmarking and improved management were organized at the request of participating countries, leading to an expanded regional training programme. So far 160 trainees have used the improved system. Outputs have led to the shaping of national investment programmes in irrigation, such as in Viet Nam.

3. National round tables on integrated water resources were convened in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Myanmar in partnership with ESCAP. These have contributed to capacity building in the water sector.

4. Through SPFS projects, seven countries were assisted in on-farm water management that has improved the livelihoods of thousands of rural households.

5. Projects for reforming institutions in the water sector were formulated in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.

6. A location-specific nutrient management support system for improved maize production was developed in Thailand.

7. An upgraded soil analysis facility for rice and maize production in DPR Korea has resulted in cost-effective fertilizer use recommendations. A bio-organic fertilizer standard has been established in Lao PDR, contributing to provision of better quality fertilizer for farmers.

8. A website on the modernization of irrigation systems was launched and two publications plus training materials were produced.

9. FAO’s rapid appraisal procedures for the evaluation and benchmarking of the performance of irrigation systems and the identification of modernization actions are now used in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam.

10. In collaboration with national institutions, a workshop and project were carried out to promote land evaluation and land use planning systems and tools, and to promote sustainable agricultural systems to address land degradation and desertification, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration and reduced emissions.

11. Two projects were carried out to promote development of location-specific standards on nutrient management, and establishment and implementation of bio-organic fertilizer standards.

Pacific island countries

12. A TCP project was launched to improve small-scale irrigation in Samoa.



Food and horticulture crops

13. The Agriculture and Natural Resources Management project in the Northern Raekhine State of Myanmar to promote human resource development of farming and rural communities for poverty relief and income generation was successfully completed.

14. Technical backstopping was provided to 15 projects in nine countries, covering agricultural intensification, horticulture, rice, seed and grain legumes, community activation and area development.

Industrial crops

15. Support was given to the Second International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture for Food, Energy and Industry in Beijing, the World Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Conference and the International Conference on Vetiver-3 in Guangzhou, China. Publications have been prepared for all three conferences with the support of FAO.

16. A TCP project on sweet sorghum for fuel, fibre, food and feed was concluded in China. New technologies on the production of alcohol and animal feed were promoted for the dry and arid saline areas of northwest and northeast China where other crops had failed. Being drought and salinity tolerant, sweet sorghum has proven to be a highly successful and profitable crop for farmers and alcohol producers. A manual in hard copy and CD-ROM on the topic was produced.

17. Two projects for the control of Coconut Beetle were started in Maldives and Viet Nam.

18. Two TCP projects on coffee quality improvement have commenced in Myanmar and Viet Nam in order to verify the opportunities for the production of high quality Arabica and to address food safety problems.

Pacific island countries

Industrial crops

19. Continued support was provided to the Asia-Pacific Coconut Community and a new project for controlling the devastating effects of Coconut Beetle was initiated in Nauru.

20. An on-farm grain storage project was formulated in Timor Leste with the support of UNDP/EU. Support was also provided in reviewing the prospects for industrial crops, the formulation of a coconut oil project and a feasibility study for palm oil production.



21. Five specialized training courses were held in support of the FAO-GTZ MicroBanking System and 38 experts were trained in the installation of the System. A total of 70 systems were installed in seven countries and promotional seminars were held in two other countries.

22. Two workshops were convened to create awareness among policy makers on the institutional aspects of microfinance.

23. TCP projects designed to develop and enhance market information services were completed in Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Myanmar. In Bangladesh, a website with daily price information and emailed daily price bulletins of agricultural produce was installed.

24. Nine countries were assisted in promoting sustainable market-oriented production systems. Assistance was also provided in the promotion of income and employment generation activities, especially for resource-poor marginal and landless farmers.

25. Technical support was provided to nine countries to promote improved post-production and agro-processing management practices as well as post-harvest loss prevention technologies. Support was given to the International Agronomy Conference in India attended by over 2 000 delegates and to the ASEAN Food Conference in Viet Nam attended by over 600 professionals from 14 countries.

26. In collaboration with other partners, support was provided for the organization of an international conference on Extrusion Technology Applications for making a range of value-added nutritious foods having cereals and legumes as ingredients. Some 100 senior persons from governmental institutions, food industries and research institutes participated.

Pacific Island countries

27. Five TCP projects with the aim of building capacity in farm management, marketing and post-harvest techniques were supported in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Palau and Tonga.

28. Support was provided to a project in Niue aimed at training farmers and producer groups in marketing and identification of export opportunities.

29. Case studies on the commercialization aspects of small farms were initiated in four countries.

30. Support was provided to consultant teams working on the formulation of the Regional Programme for Food Security.

31. Under the Pacific Farm Management and Marketing Series, five publications were produced.



32. Under the Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative (LEAD), three pilot studies in China, Thailand and Viet Nam were conducted to assess the impact of industrial livestock production on the environment and the area wide integration of specialized crop and livestock activities, and have led to the formulation of a World Bank/Global Environmental Facility (GEF) project. LEAD is also investigating the impact of changes in the formal market on poor and small-scale producers.

33. Under the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative (PPLPI), the social consequences of the transformation of the livestock sector were addressed. Issues of public policy-making related to the livestock sector were addressed in two workshops and in two country case studies in India and Viet Nam. The potentials and constraints of small-scale dairy production for poverty reduction were studied in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. PPLPI contributed to the reform of livestock services in the Indian States of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

34. The potential loss of animal diversity was addressed under the umbrella of FAO’s Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. Member countries have agreed to prepare country reports as input to the First report on the state of the world’s animal genetic resources.

35. Two training courses on the impact and consequences of the WTO-SPS Agreement were organized in collaboration with APHCA and OIE. Other joint training with OIE addressed risk assessment and BSE diagnostics. With support from TCP, 90 government staff received training as trainers in meat inspection.

36. Under a partnership programme involving CFC, GTZ/CIM, FAO/TCP, the regional centre in the Philippines and three sub-regional centres (Bangladesh, Myanmar and Samoa) will, through four regional courses, provide training in meat products diversification and meat processing technology to 60 persons from 19 countries.

37. The threat of endemic diseases, pests and newly emerging diseases – resulting in food shortages, destabilization of markets and sometimes triggering trade barriers – was addressed jointly by FAO and OIE, particularly in the context of EMPRES through the preparation of the Asia component of the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of FMD and other trans-boundary diseases.

Pacific island countries

38. A regional training workshop was convened in Fiji to assist the Pacific island countries in the preparation of their country reports as inputs for the State of the world’s animal genetic resources. Member countries have agreed to prepare country reports as input to the first report.



39. A handbook for trainers on participatory local development was published in collaboration with the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) and its Indian member, the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD). In India, three million Panchayati Raj village council members, a third of them women, are targeted for capacity-building on pro-poor, equitable development planning.

40. Networking continued in collaboration with 19 governmental and CSO members of NEDAC covering 11 Asian countries on agricultural cooperative development policies and strategies, and human resource development capacity-building for small-scale enterprise development.

41. Cooperation was continued with ESCAP in the dissemination of a training manual on ‘succcess case replication’ of small farm enterprises and in the promotion of the Biwako Action Plan in support of people with disabilities, focussing on enhancing opportunities for self-employment for persons with disabilities in rural areas.

42. Support was given to Thailand for the training of trainers in agricultural cooperative development, including capacity-building of 8 000 village-level women farmers groups as rural entrepreneurs under the government’s pro-poor rural enterprise development policy, known as One Tambon One Product. Savings and credit unions by hill tribe people were strengthened through village group enterprise development. Training manuals in Thai and English were published on the topics.

43. Land tenure related activities, funded by other sources, in the Philippines and Sri Lanka were supported.

44. Support was given to an intra-regional comparative study of the role of local-level institutions in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, including the Philippines and Viet Nam. Bangladesh, China and Mongolia were assisted in strengthening institutional capacities and strategies for disaster risk-mitigation and their integration in long-term rural development planning.

45. In partnership with UNDP, support was provided to Viet Nam in the formulation of recommendations for participatory rural environmental management and in strengthening the capacity of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Fisheries.

46. Under the FAO Netherlands Partnership Programme on Food Security, support was provided to Cambodia aimed at the assessment and strengthening of institutional capacities and development of hands-on methods for improving the livelihoods of the poorest and the most vulnerable.



Rural youth

47. Three case studies on “best practices” for the education and training of rural youth in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand were completed. A publication including the three case studies was disseminated in hard copy and CD-ROM, and a leaflet was produced.

48. Every two months the e-newsletter AsiaPacYouthWorks is produced and sent to subscribers and selected individuals throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

49. A study was completed on rural youth in Viet Nam.

50. National rural youth conferences and meetings were held in Indonesia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Biotechnology /Biodiversity

51. The regional project Asian Bio-Net strengthened national capacity in ten countries. An expert consultation on agricultural biotechnology, held in collaboration with APAARI, has proposed the creation of an Asia-Pacific Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology.

52. Requests for capacity building in biotechnology and biodiversity are on the increase and TCP assistance to Bangladesh and Malaysia was well received.

Agricultural /Rural Education

53. Support was provided to the FAO/UNESCO Education for All (EFA) flagship programme on Education for Rural People (EFP). Three case studies in China, India and Thailand were completed and included in a joint FAO/UNESCO-IIEP publication.

54. A TCP project on strengthening distance education was implemented in China.

Agricultural Research, Extension and Communication

55. An expert consultation on extension and technology transfer was completed and a TCP project was formulated to implement one of its recommendations, namely the strengthening of ICTs in extension.

56. Case studies on rural information systems in China were undertaken with WAICENT and the Ministry of Agriculture in China.

57. Two national workshops on Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems for Rural Development were held in Malaysia and Pakistan to share findings on national case studies.

Pacific island countries

Rural Youth

58. Case studies on “best practices” for the education and training of rural youth are under discussion with various PICs.

59. Assistance was provided to a rural youth project in Tonga.

Agricultural Extension, Education and Communication

60. A TCP project on farming systems was implemented in Vanuatu which includes capacity building and extension.

61. A study relating to extension training needs in a small island country was undertaken in Samoa.



62. A regional consultation on Rural Women in Knowledge Society and a global dialogue on Women in the Agriculture Profession were organized. A publication Rural women in knowledge society was released.

63. Regional studies were completed on gender dimensions in agrobiodiversity and food security. Publications were produced on this theme for three countries (Philippines, India, Myanmar).

64. In Cambodia, a national strategy on integration of rural women through inter-ministerial collaboration was developed, and project interventions were directed at strengthening the capacity of rural women to improve productivity.

65. In Thailand, policy guidelines were developed to improve rural women’s access to technologies for poverty alleviation. A directory of institutions to facilitate access to technology and information services, and a technology resource manual were published (in Thai and English). A policy publication Gender responsive technology for poverty alleviation in Thailand was produced in English and Thai.

66. In Viet Nam, policy directives were developed to advise the government on integration of women in transitional economies. A publication Gender dimensions in the transitional economy of Viet Nam was produced in English and Vietnamese.

67. Strategies were developed to improve rural women’s education through distance education and to facilitate development opportunities for rural women through information and communication technologies. Three country case studies on distance education and rural women were completed (India, Philippines and Sri Lanka). A regional publication Rural women and distance education: regional strategies was produced.

68. Support to integration of gender considerations in agricultural statistics and strategies to improve the situation of rural women in resource management in fisheries communities and horticulture were undertaken in selected countries.

69. A regional training workshop on Gender Analysis in Farmers’ Water Management for Asian countries was organized in Cambodia in which 31 persons from 12 countries were trained.

Pacific island countries

70. Two projects in Vanuatu and the Cook Islands in support of rural women’s access to technology and extension service were prepared.

71. A regional assessment of rural women and food security in the Pacific island countries was carried out.



72. Food and nutrition information was strengthened through FIVIMS and the INFOODS Regional Data Centres.

73. An international workshop on Food Consumption Surveys in Developing Countries: Future Challenges was held to share expertise on the methodology of food consumption surveys, the use of food consumption data for nutrition assessment, exposure assessment and the study of diet-disease relationships.

74. Support was given to the Fifth International Conference on Dietary Assessment Methods which encompassed dietary assessment methodologies, sources of bias in dietary assessment and their control, and analysis and interpretation of dietary intake data.

75. FAO’s Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger projects were implemented in India, Indonesia and Nepal to sensitize schools, communities and youth in addressing problems of hunger and malnutrition. Additionally, all the countries in the region received advice on effective dietary guidance and nutrition education through promotion of food-based dietary guidelines.

76. A project was prepared for Viet Nam to extend technical support to integrated home gardening, nutrition and health education, and micro-credit management for vulnerable households in 11 provinces.

77. Assistance was provided to three projects: Women in Development and Nutrition in Cambodia and Nepal, Promoting Home Gardens in Lao PDR for improving nutritional well-being, and Integrated Horticulture and Nutrition Development in Bangladesh. The diversification of agriculture is progressively leading to increased consumption of a diversified and balanced diet in the region.

78. FAO provided technical assistance in project planning, implementation and evaluation to the WHO/China (Zhejiang province) School Nutrition project. The project has succeeded in developing a model action plan for other schools.

Pacific island countries

79. Capabilities in food analysis were strengthened, including international accreditation of the sub-regional food laboratory at the University of the South Pacific and the publication of a new version of the Pacific Island Food Consumption Table.



80. Over 20 countries participated in the Nineteenth Session of the Asia Pacific Commission on Agricultural Statistics (APCAS). The session made several important recommendations for future FAO activities based on a review of recent developments in food and agricultural statistics in member countries.

81. An Expert Consultation on Livestock Statistics was held in Bangkok which recommended improved strategies for the collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of data on livestock numbers and animal production.

82. FAO’s statistical database was enhanced through requests from FAO to member countries for updated official data on fertilizers, pesticides, machinery, land use, prices, external assistance to the agricultural sector, macro-economic data, economic accounts of agriculture and relevant environmental variables. These data are stored in FAOSTAT, which is accessible on the FAO web site. A summary of regional data is published annually in Selected Indicators of Food and Agricultural Development in the Asia-Pacific Region.

83. Regional projects in support of agricultural statistics concentrated on the establishment of a regional data exchange system embracing national and sub-national data on major agricultural commodities and types of livestock in member countries.


84. A workshop and a national demonstration centre were held in Bangkok with the aim of strengthening country capability in the collection and analysis of statistics related to food security.

85. FAO assisted in the creation of a Food Security Information Unit in Viet Nam including an internet web site to provide updates on crop markets as well as regular bulletins on different aspects of food security. FAO continues to provide assistance for the analysis of the results of the agricultural census in Viet Nam and for the collection of agricultural census data in Myanmar. It assisted Cambodia in developing national capacity in conducting agricultural sector surveys. Through technical assistance, livestock statistics in Indonesia have improved and a new methodology for forecasting rice production has been tested in Bangladesh.

Pacific island countries

86. Assistance was provided to the Cook Islands and Tonga in the collection, processing and publication of agricultural census data.

87. A workshop on strengthening agricultural statistics in the Pacific in support of food security and poverty reduction strategies and programmes was conducted in Fiji.



88. The heightened awareness of drought-prone and dryland agriculture in many parts of the region has led to the formulation of a regional project proposal on resilient livelihood systems involving six countries.

89. In Bangladesh, a comprehensive disaster management framework and a framework for strengthening food policies were developed.

90. Technical assistance was provided to China, Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia and other countries on diversification and farming systems development. This assistance has brought about a shift from the production of cereals and traditional non-food crops (rubber, jute and cotton) into high value commodities like fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, medicinal plants, livestock and aquaculture.

91. There has been a significant shift towards food market liberalization, especially the rice market, as well as a change in the public food distribution system from a price regulating to a market supporting role in the market. FAO has contributed to this significant change in direction through five regional policy seminars covering these topics.

92. FAO’s assistance in policy analysis and formulation supported the restructuring of agriculture in China, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Thailand, which subsequently led to improvements in their export competitiveness.

93. The cost-effectiveness of the food security system in the region has improved, particularly in China and in India. FAO has supported these efforts through TCP, SPFS, policy assistance, backstopping missions, training courses, seminars and other activities.



94. Collaborative activities with regional partners (NACA, SEAFDEC, MRC and Worldfish Centre) include a regional donor consultation on the Role of Aquaculture and Living Aquatic Resources (Philippines), the Second International Symposium on the Management of Large Rivers for Fisheries (Cambodia), a regional seminar on Accessing and Meeting Requirements of Markets for Aquaculture Products (Philippines), and a regional workshop on Use of International Mechanisms for the Control and Responsible Use of Alien Species in Aquatic Ecosystems(China).

95. National TCP and donor assistance projects addressing the issues of aquaculture development are ongoing in Indonesia, DPR Korea, India, Lao PDR and the Philippines.

96. Implementation of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, especially environmental and social sustainability, are being addressed by a regional TCP project Poverty Alleviation through Improved Aquatic Resources Management in Asia. The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem project is currently facilitating the development of a larger programme. FAO has been assisting member countries in the areas of legislative and policy reform in fisheries through regional and national TCP projects in Cambodia and Pacific Island countries.

97. Resource identification missions have been undertaken in Mongolia, Myanmar and Pakistan concerning aquaculture and inland fisheries.

Pacific island countries

98. Pacific island countries were assisted through TCP and trust fund projects to further improve the effectiveness of the seafood quality assurance system in order to upgrade national capacity in seafood inspection to meet the standards required by their major international trading partners, develop sustainable seaweed farming and strengthen national capacity in fisheries statistics. Several studies were also carried out, such as the shark fisheries management programme.

99. A TCP project assisted in the formulation of a seafood management programme and in setting up appropriate authorizing bodies for fishery products. In collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, a Regional Policy Meeting on Coastal Fisheries Management was held in Fiji. Contributions were also made to national capacity building in shark fisheries management within the framework of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. A regional workshop on the implementation of the Code of Conduct of Responsible Fisheries in the Pacific islands was held in Fiji.



100. Training and awareness-raising activities for the adoption and effective implementation of national codes of practice for forest harvesting have led to the expanded application of sustainable forest harvesting practices in the region. Increased political commitment for such approaches is evidenced by the formal endorsement by ASEAN of the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia-Pacific.

101. The initiative In Search of Excellence was conducted to identify and document exemplary forest management in the region, with 170 nominations received from 20 countries. As a result, there is growing awareness of best management practices and sustainable forest management.

102. Studies on incentives for forest plantation development were carried out in eight countries. In response to the findings and recommendations of the studies, several countries (including China, Indonesia, Philippines and Viet Nam) have initiated re-assessments of their forest plantation programmes.

103. Seven workshops and training programmes were carried out under the EC-FAO Partnership Programme on Forestry Information and Analysis, leading to increased capacities in forest data collection, analysis and dissemination in member countries of South and Southeast Asia.

104. As a result of capacity building in applying the model forest approach, China, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand have strengthened existing model forests, and Myanmar and the Philippines are in the process of expanding model forests. Indonesia is currently establishing a new model forest.

105. Natural regeneration and rehabilitation were supported through three workshops and study tours conducted in the Philippines and Malaysia, involving many countries of the region. Guidelines and publications are being prepared to further highlight opportunities for increased forest rehabilitation.

106. In collaboration with partner organizations, FAO organized international conferences on community forestry and community-based forest fire management. Pro-poor approaches to forest management for food security and poverty alleviation were promoted through support to the model forest approach and community forestry. A series of seminars on managing forests to help alleviate poverty were organized in China, India, and the Republic of Korea.

107. Under the National Forest Programme Facility, capacities were strengthened for implementing effective forest policies and programmes. The Facility established partnerships with China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines and Thailand.

108. FAO continued to support member countries to more effectively participate in the United Nations Forum of Forests and the international conventions related to climate change, desertification, biological diversity and trade of endangered species. Through the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, FAO provided support to the implementation of the Proposals for Action of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pacific Island countries

109. A study on Pacific islands forestry legislation was conducted.

110. Assistance was provided for the development of the New Forestry Act in Vanuatu through wide consultations with stakeholders.



111. Nepal was assisted in developing policies and strategies for poverty alleviation. A report Agricultural policy and strategies for poverty alleviation and food security was published.

112. A plan of action for implementing National Agricultural Policy was prepared for Bangladesh.

113. Studies were conducted on linkages and the impact of macro and sector policies on household food security and poverty incidence in the Philippines. Analyses were carried out on the implications of WTO accession and agricultural trade policy reforms in China.

114. Through staff missions and consultations, advice and support was provided to Myanmar for its integration into regional economic organizations.

115. Contributions were made to the preparation of Common Country Assessments and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework in several member countries.

116. Several regional and country workshops in capacity building on multilateral trade negotiations were held with the aim of better preparing the countries for the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture.

117. A multidisciplinary team mission was fielded to China in early 2002 at the request of the Government to assist in identifying constraints and potential for development in Western China. In consultation with major government agencies, the FAO mission identified 18 themes as potential priority projects. Outline project profiles were prepared for each theme. A response from the Government of China is still pending.

118. FAO launched a Regional Alliance Against Hunger by bringing together various stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region from governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector. A report on the recommendations of the roundtable meeting was prepared on policy perspectives and modalities of cooperation amongst stakeholders for follow-up actions.

Pacific island countries

119. Technical support was provided in the preparation of an agricultural strategic plan for the Cook Islands, and a regional programme for food security for 14 Pacific island countries.

120. Papers were prepared on the status of agricultural policy reforms, particularly in the context of the new trading regime and the benefits and costs of WTO membership for the Pacific island countries.

121. Workshops on multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture were organized for 14 Pacific island countries.

122. Contributions were made to the preparation of Common Country Assessments for Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as a basis for the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.



123. The shift of operational responsibility to country offices for many field projects has led to increased efficiency and improved dialogue with implementing partners. More than 200 field projects were operational in 27 Asia-Pacific countries covering crops, soil and water, livestock, fisheries, forestry, food security, nutrition, agricultural policy support, the environment and rural development. Total project delivery reached US$31.2 million in 2002 and it is expected to reach US$32 million in 2003. In the first nine months of 2003, 69 new projects became operational with a total cost of US$41.3 million.

124. FAO’s Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), focusing on increasing food production and rural farmer income generation for LIFDCs, is operational in 14 Asian countries and three Pacific island countries with 22 projects. FAO worked intensively to help formulate and design SPFS programmes and projects and mobilise TCPs and Trust Funds in support.  Some of the most successful SPFS experiences come from the Asia-Pacific region. 


125. The Country Integrated Pest Management projects completed their activities in 2002, while other more specific IPM projects continued, in particular IPM for cotton in six countries and IPM for vegetables in eight countries.

126. The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem project completed its activities successfully with the institutionalization of the Bay of Bengal Programme as an inter-governmental organization. The agreement was signed in April 2003 by the Governments of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, followed later by the Maldives.

Pacific island countries

127. Assistance was given to Fiji for improving the handling and marketing of fresh vegetables and fruits.

128. Through a TCP project Tonga was assisted in improving the technology of “sea farmers” who are collecting Mozuku seaweed for export, and a market study was undertaken to explore other export markets for their produce.



129. FAO continued its strong collaboration with its long standing partner financial agencies (World Bank, Asian Development Bank and IFAD) to mobilise investments for agriculture and rural development. Activities covered the identification, preparation, supervision and evaluation of investment projects in irrigation and water resources development, rural infrastructure, tree crops and forestry development, research and technology, and crop diversification.

130. In addition, FAO has turned its attention to activities aimed at increasing the capacity of rural stakeholders to compete for scarce investment funds including preparation of investment strategies, programmes aimed at implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, and strengthening the rural aspects of national development plans.

131. FAO also helped formulate a Regional Programme for Food Security in the Pacific Island Countries which has recently been approved. The overall objective of the programme, funded by a trust fund which has already secured $4.5 million, is the strengthening of food security both at the regional/national level and at the community/household level. The programme would assist the Pacific island countries adjust to the new international trade environment brought about by the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, and assist communities and small farmers to take advantage of new production and marketing opportunities.

132. RAP fielded several missions to hold technical discussions with subregional organizations such as ASEAN and SAARC towards formulation of a Regional Programme for Food Security as well as to enhance subregional cooperation in attaining the Millennium Development Goals of the WFS Declaration. Discussions are continuing.

133. RAP is developing a regional strategy to promote and facilitate agricultural investments in the region. This strategy has been developed and will be continuously revised through a participatory process involving FAO, member countries and experts from the private sector.

134. Relevant data on the Asia-Pacific region is as follows:



135. Framed within the follow-up of the World Food Summit: five years later and the parallel NGO Forum for Food Sovereignty held in Rome in 2002, a decentralized implementation of the cooperation between the International NGO/CSO Planning Committee (IPC) and FAO was institutionalized at RAP in June 2003 through the establishment of an NGO/CSO working group. The first RAP/SAPA-IPC joint planning meeting was held in July 2003. The planning meeting initiated a process of dialogue between RAP/SAPA and IPC Asia; translated the FAO-IPC cooperation framework into a workplan at the Asia-Pacific regional level; and consolidated cooperation and clarified working arrangements between RAP/SAPA and IPC Asia. The agreed workplan is being implemented and includes the 2004 NGO/CSO consultation in Beijing, China.


136. The following is a brief summary of actions taken on recommendations made by the Twenty-sixth FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific held in Kathmandu, Nepal from 13 to 17 May 2002.

Sustainable Mountain Development in Asia and the Pacific

The Regional Conference:

recommended that member countries, with assistance from FAO and other partners, initiate specific studies to determine optimal and efficient systems for marketing mountain products and services in competitive markets.

137. FAO supported the testing and application of a Market Assessment and Development approach to identify and develop promising mountain products in Bhutan, China, Nepal and Viet Nam. It also provided support for the development of a marketing system for non-wood forest products (NWFP).

recommended that member countries work with FAO and partner organizations to identify products and niches that command competitive and comparative advantages and strengthen the production capacities for those which appear most promising.

138. FAO conducted sector reviews and provided policy and technical assistance to member countries in examining the concerned country’s product-specific comparative advantages and recommended actions to address constraints.

139. FAO assisted small-scale textile and handicrafts enterprise development for hilltribes.

140. FAO supported product quality improvement and marketing of mountain products through the Regional Model Forest Project (RMFP).

requested FAO to work with member countries to assess the likely positive and negative impacts of exposing mountain communities to more open economies.

141. FAO supported the assessment of ecotourism impacts on mountain communities and disseminated RMFP experience in ecotourism development through workshops. It also supported the assessment of the impacts of NWFP marketing on NWFP-dependent communities.

requested FAO to strengthen its community nutrition programs in mountain areas.

142. FAO carried out community-based nutrition programmes in Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal for improving household food security, nutrition and health through diversification of food production and year-round access to a balanced diet.

recommended that FAO, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Regional Community Forestry Training Centre (RECOFTC), and other international organizations increase their support for research, development, promotion and capacity building aimed at developing ecotourism, consistent with sound environmental, social and livelihood objectives.

143. FAO promoted ecotourism development and supported ecotourism-based environmental education. It also worked with RECOFTC to develop a training workshop on community-based ecotourism development; the workshop is now conducted annually.

requested FAO to support improved networking and effective dissemination of development-related information to mountain areas, via modern and traditional mechanisms.

144. FAO supported the Mountain Forum and the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions for enhanced networking and effective dissemination of information to mountain stakeholders.

145. In cooperation with ICIMOD, the Ecoregional Fund and FAO-IYM unit, FAO supported the development of the Mountain Agricultural Systems Information File Himalayan Ecoregional project covering over 800 mountain districts.

recommended that FAO identify and support effective approaches for decentralization and devolution of natural resources management, assist governments and local communities in strengthening capacities for local resources management, and help clarify associated rights and obligations.

146. FAO promoted numerous decentralized management approaches through the model forest approach. In collaboration with the National Forest Programme Facility, FAO assisted national forest programmes and strengthened capacities of local governments and community-based organizations in forest management. FAO also conducted case studies on community-based fire management in forested mountain areas.

147. FAO carried out research and widely disseminated publications on the role of women in agrobiodiversity conservation.

Livestock and Fisheries Development for Household Food and Nutrition Security and Poverty Alleviation in Asia and the Pacific

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to assist countries in developing appropriate policies to reduce the financial, technical and cultural barriers that limit small-scale producers’ ability to benefit from the expansion of the livestock and fisheries sectors.

148. FAO formulated and promoted policy and institutional reforms through studies, workshops and strategic options’ papers to increase competitiveness and reduce risks and vulnerability of small-scale livestock producers.

149. FAO assisted the Pacific Island countries in improving data collection and fishery statistics for effective management of subsistence fisheries and aquaculture.

150. FAO implemented activities to promote the development of agricultural cooperatives, including dairy and fisheries cooperatives as viable rural small-scale enterprises.

requested FAO to assist member countries in developing appropriate policy and legislation related to small-scale coastal fisheries.

151. FAO recently approved a TCP project for the Micronesia region that addresses legislation regarding small-scale coastal fisheries and aquaculture. FAO also participated in an ADB funded project in Southeast Asia dealing with the regulatory and management aspects of inland fisheries.

requested FAO to support networks that encourage governments, national and international organizations, civil societies and the corporate sector to review livestock and fisheries policies and strategies vis-a-vis the poor.

152. FAO recently approved a TCP project with NACA that will enhance communication to policy makers of the needs of poor and small producers, as well as prepare a regional strategy targeting small-scale aquatic resource users.

153. Two sub-regional projects have been formulated to promote livestock policies that ensure equitable, safe and clean livestock farming.

154. FAO provided technical and financial assistance in organizing the collaborative FAO-ASEAN Strategic Planning Workshop on Harmonization of Standards for Shrimp Import-Export in Thailand.

requested FAO to assist countries in developing the necessary capacity to ensure food safety throughout the production and processing chain.

155. TCP projects, training workshops, seminars and meetings were undertaken to strengthen national capacities in food safety and quality, including the recently established FAO/WHO Project and Trust Fund for Codex, aimed at strengthening household food and nutrition security. SAPA co-hosted the FAO/SPC/WHO Pacific Islands Consultation on food safety and quality.

requested FAO to help countries build capacity for addressing food safety and sanitary and phyto-sanitary regulations of importing countries.

156. Capacity building was reviewed at the 13th Session of the Codex Coordinating Committee for Asia which also noted the commitments by FAO, WHO, OIE and WB to provide assistance for capacity building in SPS related standard setting activities.

157. FAO is co-organizing the 6th Round Table meeting for Pacific island countries on the implications of the WTO multilateral trading system on the agricultural sector.

recommended that FAO formulate a plan of action for the livestock sector for supporting, among others, a regional emergency response system to deal with transboundary animal diseases, a regional program for the control of foot-and-mouth disease, a diagnostic information reference system, and procedures for harmonising laboratory standards.

158. The Global Framework for the progressive control of FMD and other major trans-boundary diseases addresses the above issues. Two sub-regional workshops were held and their recommendations form the basis of the Asia component in the Global Programme.

Empowering the Rural Poor in Asia and the Pacific

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to provide technical support and organize resources to assist member countries in conducting agriculture and rural sector reviews, including assessment of policy issues and options for food security and poverty reduction.

159. FAO carried out agriculture sector reviews focusing on options for policy and institutional reforms to enhance food security and to alleviate poverty in Nepal and the Philippines. It assisted Cambodia in the localization of the Millennium Development Goals for eradication of extreme poverty and Bangladesh in the preparation of a Plan of Action to Implement National Agricultural Policy. It also provided technical backstopping and policy support in the formulation of an agricultural strategic plan for the Cook Islands. Obstacles impeding the participation of poor livestock farmers in the dramatic growth of the livestock sector in Asia were reviewed.

160. FAO also prepared, in collaboration with national governments, Country Policy Profiles in 35 countries in Asia and the Pacific as a follow-up to WFS: fyl and in support of the Initiative to Support the Review and Update of National Policies and Strategies for Food Security and Agricultural Development.

urged FAO to provide technical assistance and advice, and strengthen country capacities, in areas related to agri-business development and rural extension.
161. FAO assisted member countries in capacity building related to the development of agri-business and income generation at the village level through TCP projects, workshops (including “youth entrepreneurship”), extension support and training manuals.

Preparation for the WFS: fyl-Regional Dimensions

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to strengthen national capacities to analyse trade issues, assist countries in formulating and updating national trade legislation, and facilitate regional and sub-regional information sharing related to trade negotiations.
162. FAO organized a workshop on multilateral trade negotiation in agriculture for member countries of Asia. Participants from 18 developing member countries and representatives of regional organizations participated in the capacity building exercise. It also carried out detailed analysis of the implications of WTO membership for Pacific island countries in the food, agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors.

163. For the last five years, FAO has organized annual roundtable meetings in partnership with the Government of New Zealand and the Commonwealth Secretariat to discuss issues concerning agriculture-related WTO agreements relevant to the Pacific island countries.

164. FAO provided technical support to the International Conference on Food Security and Agricultural Development in the Context of Globalization, organized by the Asia Pacific Policy Centre with the sponsorship of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) and IFAD.

165. FAO provided technical support to the International Tropical Fruits Network in undertaking four country studies on Elements of A Strategy and Action Plan for Sustainable Development of Tropical Fruits aimed at export promotion in Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Fiji.

requested FAO to provide support to member countries in establishing and strengthening national FIVIMS.

166. FAO initiated a number of start-up activities, including the Regional Asia FIVIMS Project in selected countries and a TCP national FIVIMS project in India, to develop institutional frameworks at the local level and to train national professionals on the FIVIMS approach. A national strategic plan for FIVIMS was elaborated in Samoa and a similar plan is under way for Fiji.

Annex 1
Activities under the FAO Regular Programme: training, meetings, direct support to member countries, technical backstopping of field projects, number of publications and partnership programmes in 2000-01 and 2002-03 biennia for Asia and the Pacific Region (RAP)


Training courses, workshops
and study tours1

Meetings, seminars and expert

Director support to member

Technical backstopping of field projects

Publications, excluding working papers (number)

Partnership Programme4 (number)





FAO staff


Experts and

FAO Professional staff





















2.1 – Agriculture





















2.2 - Food & Agriculture Policy/Development





















2.3 – Fisheries





















2.4 – Forestry





















2.5 - Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme










































Percent increase (+) or decrease (-)
over 2002-01











Annex 2
List of Abbreviations


Asian Development Bank


Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes


Asia Pacific Commission on Agricultural Statistics


Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific (FAO)


Asia and Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association


Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Centrum für Internationale Migration und Entwicklung


Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific


Combined Federal Campaign


Civil society organization


Education for All (FAO/UNESCO)


Education for Rural People (FAO/UNESCO)


Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (FAO)


Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN)


European Union


FAO Statistical Databases


Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems


Foot-and-Mouth Disease


Global Environmental Facility


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit


International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development


Information and Communication Technologies


International Year of Mountains


International Fund for Agricultural Development


International Institute for Educational Planning (UNESCO)


International Network of Food Data Systems (UNU)


International NGO/CSO Planning Committee


Integrated Pest management


Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative


Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries


Millennium Development Goals


Mekong River Commission


Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific


National Agricultural Cooperative Federation


Non-governmental organization


National Institute for Rural Development (India)


Non-wood forest products


World Animal Health Organisation


Pacific Island Countries


Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative (FAO)


Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO)


Regional Community Forestry Training Centre


Regional Model Forest Project


Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO)


Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development


Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center


Secretariat of the Pacific Community


Special Programme for Food Security (FAO)


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures


Asia Pacific Service of the Investment Centre (FAO)


Technical Cooperation Programme (FAO)


United Nations Development Programme


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


World Agricultural Information Centre (FAO)


World Bank

WFS: fyl

World Food Summit: five years later


World Trade Organization


World Health Organization (UN)


World Summit on the Information Society

1 Includes all training activities implemented irrespective of the sources of funds, except for those carried out by field projects.
2 Some meetings were financed partially or entirely from extra-budgetary funds.
3 For FAO staff, the figures refer only to time spent in the field; for consultants, the figures refer to the entire duration of the assignment.
4 Number includes TCDC/TCCT, visiting experts, retired experts and young professional officers.