Food Systems Cornerstone to GMS Progress, MI Chief Says
August 10, 2021
“Sustainable development in the Greater Mekong Subregion is anchored on inclusive and robust agricultural food systems.”
This was the message of Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, MI Executive Director, during his presentation at the “Agriculture Roundtable on Policy and Investment” hosted by HnyB Tech-Incubations Private Limited on August 6, 2021.
Mr. Suriyan shared that the central link of agricultural development outcomes to poverty alleviation, climate change resilience, public health, and food security in international, regional, and national agendas emphasize the pre-eminence Cambodia, P.R China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam places on the sector to improve the way of life of over 340 million people for a stronger GMS.
To fully realize these objectives, he urged a deeper whole-of-society approach in the design and implementation of policies and programs to fully optimize agricultural economies of the six GMS countries for the establishment of sustainable, equitable, and progressive societies.
Specifically, Mr. Suriyan called for more multi-sectoral engagements to spur public-private investments for the revitalization of rural areas, broadening of farm-to-market networks, building of digital infrastructure, and growing technological adaptability among stakeholders to modernize value chains, food distribution, and procurement for more resilient and competitive food systems.
More importantly, Mr. Suriyan highlighted capacity building initiatives that would place farmers' organizations at the fore of agricultural transformation through scalable business models, as well as programs to upskill micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises so they can reactivate and sustain their businesses in the current climate through e-commerce.
“These efforts, including the need for harmonization in transboundary policies and regulations, will require broader partnerships to ensure more concerted investments to meet the GMS’s mission towards sustainable growth through agricultural development,” he said.
To access the Mr. Suriyan’s presentation and view the discussion among the other five agricultural experts, visit cutt.ly/bQIrWLh.