The agricultural economy and rural sector continue to loom large in the development agenda of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In light of this, there is great value in having a regular venue for knowledge and experience sharing within the Southeast Asian region to respond to development challenges confronting the sector. Such a gathering can help inform policymaking in a sustained manner for agricultural and rural development (ARD) at the regional, national and sub-national levels. Knowledge sharing will also help foster wider dissemination and application of good practices by farmers, enterprises and civil society organizations towards improved productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness in their respective realms. In particular, the gathering can also be an important instrument for facilitating various forms of regional cooperation in ARD, especially as the region gears up for closer economic integration via the ASEAN Economic Community to be realized in 2015.
It is in this context that SEARCA will hold the 2nd International Conference on Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD2014) focusing on issues, imperatives and initiatives contributing to the theme “Strengthening Resilience, Equity and Integration in ASEAN Food and Agriculture Systems.” This will build on the first International Conference on ARD in Asia: Ideas, Paradigms, and Policies Three Decades After successfully held in November 2005 in Makati, Philippines, which aimed to draw policy lessons from the major ideas and paradigms that have influenced academic and policy thinking in ARD in the past 30 years. ARD2014 will update this stock taking to cover new knowledge gained in the succeeding ten years, i.e. since 2005, while expanding the conference’s scope and participation to be both encompassing and inclusive.
About the Conference
Agricultural and rural development (ARD) is among the primary engines for the realization of Southeast Asia’s huge potential for growth and development. The myriad of development challenges confronting it calls for a regular venue for knowledge and experience sharing within the region to help inform policymaking and action as well as facilitate various forms of regional cooperation towards addressing these challenges.
The Second International Conference on ARD in Southeast Asia: Strengthening Resilience, Equity and Integration in ASEAN Food and Agriculture Systems aims to provide a venue for sharing the wide and diverse knowledge pool on ARD that exists within and beyond the Southeast Asian region. It endeavors to highlight creative and innovative technological and practical approaches in the various processes of the agricultural system, showcase and derive useful lessons from institutional successes (and failures) in the management of the agricultural system and rural communities, and draw evidence-based policy implications to guide regional, national and sub-national policies and initiatives in the context of intensified regional cooperation and integration.
The Conference will feature plenary sessions, thematic parallel sessions, side events, exhibits, field visits, and sponsored lunches and dinners. It is expected to bring together around 400 participants from a wide range of relevant stakeholders coming from, but not limited to, Southeast Asia. Participants will include ARD experts from academe and research institutions, government policy makers, local government executives and officials, private sector practitioners, representatives of civil society organizations, farmer leaders and practicing farmers, and other interested stakeholders.
Plenary Sessions: A plenary session will be held at the beginning of each day of the Conference to kick off the day’s activities.
Thematic Sessions: The Conference will be organized into 5-6 simultaneous Thematic Sessions, each led by a designated Theme Chair. Under each Theme will be 3-4 sessions of around two hours each, featuring two to three paper presentations per session. Each session shall have a designated Moderator and Rapporteur.
Side Events: One-hour side events during lunch breaks and after the day’s sessions may be organized by partner institutions and organizations on the sidelines for any of the following: showcase specific initiatives or projects; launch a new publication, knowledge material or initiative; provide an advocacy forum for special-interest topics; or unveil a new product (in the case of a private sector partner); etc.
Exhibits/Fair: Partner institutions and organizations will be urged to set up exhibit booths to showcase their particular initiatives, projects or products. Space will be provided at the Conference venue for an exhibit area for this purpose.
Field visit: A field trip may be organized on the third day of the Conference to give interested participants the opportunity to witness certain worthy projects/initiatives on-site.
Sponsored Lunches/Dinners: Sponsorships will be sought from partners for the lunches and dinners within the duration of the Conference.
About the Conference Organizer
SEARCA is one of the 21 regional centers of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). Founded on 27 November 1966, SEARCA is mandated to strengthen institutional capacities in agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia through graduate education, short-term training, research and development, and knowledge management. It serves the 11 SEAMEO member countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.