The Twelfth General Assembly Meeting (GAM) of APAARI was held on 12 October, 2012 at the National Agricultural Science Centre (NASC) Complex, Pusa Campus, New Delhi, India. The meeting was hosted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi.
Dr. S. Ayyappan, Chairman, APAARI welcomed the participants on behalf of APAARI and also on behalf of ICAR, as the host organization. He emphasized that APAARI today is recognized not only by its members within the region but also by other international institutions and organizations as one the most vibrant regional fora, providing neutral platform for scientific partnership among NARS to learn from each other’s experiences, especially successes in the field of agricultural research for development (AR4D). In addition, APAARI has also been facilitating the participation of CSOs (NGOs and FOs) and farmers in its activities. He further mentioned that APAARI firmly believes in partnership and thus has been pursuing a paradigm shift from NARI to NARS. The progress made by APAARI over the last 20 years, under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Raj Paroda, Executive Secretary is indeed commendable and praiseworthy. In true sense, APAARI is acting today as a Think Tank for the AR4D related issues for the NARS of the region. It has also succeeded in forging strong linkages among the stakeholders and has provided an important neutral platform for all.
Dr Ayyappan further mentioned that in order to address the challenges, there is need to build partnership since no individual NARS will be able to address them alone. The role of APAARI as a facilitator for strengthening partnership among agricultural research institutions is, therefore, critical to move forward. APAARI today is a self-sustaining organization, with some regular support for its two main programs: APCoAB and APARIS coming from ACIAR, Australia and COA, Chinese Taipei besides funding support for specific activities from GFAR, FAO, ADB, JIRCAS, and CGIAR Centers. He appreciated the support of CG Centers especially in facilitating some networks. He also thanked all members for their regular payment of membership fee.
Dr. Ayyappan highlighted that during 2011 and 2012, several international/regional conferences/expert consultations/workshops were organized, including a highly successful global conference on women in agriculture. In addition, many training programs on different aspects were also organized, which helped in capacity development.
Dr. Raj Paroda, Executive Secretary welcomed the APAARI members and expressed his appreciation for their excellent support in carrying out the programs and activities during the biennium 2011–2012. Dr. Paroda highlighted the progress made by APAARI relating to: (i) review of the progress on agricultural biotechnology related activities undertaken by the Asia-Pacific Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology (APCoAB), (ii) review of the progress of activities relating to Asia-Pacific Research Information System (APARIS), (iii) regional workshops/consultations on conservation agriculture, implementation of Suwon Agrobiodiversity Framework, improving wheat productivity in Asia, climate-smart agriculture, global conference on women in agriculture, biosafety and biosecurity, reproductive management of animal production, and communication management and knowledge sharing. In addition, policy dialogues on need assessment for prioritizing AR4D were organized in Bangladesh, India and Nepal and based on these policy dialogues, a regional synthesis report for South Asia was developed which will be presented in GCARD 2. APAARI in collaboration with Asian Farmers Association (AFA) also organized a workshop at Bangkok to address the problems of small holder farmers, the outcome of which will be presented in GCARD 2.
Dr. Paroda also highlighted APAARI’s efforts in facilitating CGIAR Networks such as CORRA, CLAN, PGR Networks – SANPGR, EAPGR, RECSEA-PGR, PAPGREN, strengthening partnerships and collaboration and the efforts made for implementing GCARD Road Map.