The Thirteenth General Assembly Meeting (GAM) of the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) was held on 1 November, 2014 at Rama Gardens Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.
Dr. Simon Hearn, Chairman, APAARI welcomed all members and special invitees. He made special mention of the Hon. Inia B. Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Fiji, and the Hon. Wen-deh Chen, Deputy Minister for COA, Chinese Taipei for participating in the meeting despite having busy schedule.
Recalling the progress made by APAARI during the past 22 years under the able guidance of Dr. Raj Paroda, Executive Secretary, Dr. Hearn mentioned that APAARI is now recognized as a very vibrant organization as well as prominent think tank in addressing various emerging issues concerning agricultural research for development in the Asia-Pacific region. APAARI has facilitated wide ranging deliberations/expert consultations /workshops/ training programs on a large number of diverse topics/issues focused on achieving food security and poverty alleviation, sustainability of smallholder farmers and research resulting in international public goods. While APAARI is a self-sustaining organization, the support extended by ACIAR, FAO, GFAR and COA through funding of its regular programs and other activities is gratefully acknowledged.
Dr. Hearn informed that he would be relinquishing his position as Chairman, APAARI in December 2014. So will Dr Raj Paroda. He thanked all the members for their support and expressed his gratitude to Dr. Raj Paroda for his long and extraordinary contributions in bringing APAARI to this high pedestal. He also expressed his appreciation for all APAARI secretariat staff in Bangkok and New Delhi for their dedicated service. He especially thanked DOA for the DOA-APAARI MoU, which is presently under active consideration. It would ensure legal identity to APAARI for its smooth functioning in Bangkok. Support extended by Dr H. Konuma, ADG, FAO R, and Bangkok to APAARI was also recognized.
Dr. Raj Paroda welcomed the participants and expressed his appreciation of all member organizations for their partnership in co-organizing various APAARI activities. He extended warm welcome to the special invitees who attended the GAM for the first time. In his Progress Report, Dr. Paroda specially highlighted the activities conducted since 2010. He stated that APAARI is trying to implement the Strategic Areas identified in its vision 2025 document such as: policy advocacy, need assessment, investment in AR4D, knowledge management, role of women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, and precision/conservation agriculture. Also, activities conducted under the two major programs of APAARI, i) the Asia-Pacific Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology (APCoAB), and (ii) the Asia-Pacific Agricultural Research Information System (APARIS) were briefly presented. Dr. Paroda also highlighted APAARI’s efforts towards implementing GCARD Road Map, strengthening CGIAR-NARS partnership, and for involving diverse stakeholders in its activities.