HANOI, Vietnam – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) organized back-to-back national-level events under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded project Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in the ASEAN Region: Responding to Food Security and Inclusiveness Concerns (ATMI-ASEAN) on 10 May 2019 at IPSARD Office.
The first activity was the policy roundtable (PRT) on Pig Sector in the New Context: Some Policy Implications for Small Pig Households. The discussions focused on the rapid value chain study on pig being conducted by the Center for Agricultural Policy (CAP) of IPSARD under the ATMI-ASEAN project. The PRT aimed to solicit inputs and recommendations from various stakeholders involved in the swine sector of Vietnam for the successful completion of the policy study.
In his Welcome Remarks, Dr. Tran Cong Thang, Vice Director General of IPSARD and focal point of the ATMI-ASEAN Project in Vietnam, shared the research team's experiences during the implementation of the policy research on pig value chain in Hanoi, which was funded by IFAD through the ATMI-ASEAN Project. The preliminary results and policy recommendations of the study were presented during the first PRT organized in November 2018. The second PRT, on the other hand, will allow the research team to present how small households in the pig value chain cope with the integration process. IPSARD invited speakers to further discuss the status of the pig sector and share some policy implications in view of the recently passed Livestock Law of 2018 in Vietnam.
Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, delivered an opening message on behalf of the Center. In his speech, he emphasized the important role that agriculture plays in driving overall regional development and transforming the ASEAN region into a major conglomerate in global agricultural trade. This would require institutions and stakeholders to step up and maximize the benefits of borderless trade. Hence, developing countries such as Vietnam, stand to benefit from the ATMI-ASEAN Project through its broad components and activities such as policy studies, policy forums, and roundtable discussions, and need-based technical assistance (TA) package for planning and policy development.
ATMI-ASEAN Policy Facilitator Ms. Aniq Fadhillah represented the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project's lead implementer, during the event. She emphasized that the ASEAN integration is an ongoing inevitable process, and the ATMI-ASEAN Project aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of the targeted ASEAN Member States (AMS), Vietnam included, in view of the regional integration. Ms. Fadhillah reiterated the importance of research studies and discussions on value chain competitiveness in moving toward the establishment of a common market, and to achieve a competitive ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The ATMI-ASEAN Project, as a knowledge sharing platform, offers research opportunities focusing on smallholder farmers and small-scale rural producers (SSRPs), that are in line with ASEAN's priorities.
In support of the project's objectives and overall goal, events such as this PRT are organized by SEARCA and IFPRI at both the national and regional levels. This PRT will usher in the national TA activities of the ATMI-ASEAN Project for Vietnam. Dr. Gregorio and Ms. Fadhillah then enjoined everyone to participate in the discussions to further improve the outputs of the study and possibly sharpen the focus of the national TA.
The resource speakers included Ms. Le Thi Ha Lien, Vice Director of the Center for Agricultural Policy (CAP) of IPSARD; Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Son, Director of the Hanoi Animal Health Department; and Mr. Do Van Hoan, Deputy Chief of the Poultry and Small Livestock Division of the Department of Livestock Production, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. To close the event, Dr. Thang again thanked the participants and the project partners for their participation and invaluable inputs to the discussion.
Immediately after the PRT was the 3rd Vietnam National Project Steering Committee (NPSC) Meeting. The meeting focused on the discussion of proposed activities as part of the ATMI-ASEAN Project's TA package for Vietnam, as well as potential research proposals that may be developed as offshoots of the pig value chain study and other projects that IPSARD is currently working on.
Three members of the Vietnam NPSC attended the meeting – Dr. Thang, Ms. Lien, and Mr. Son. Ms. Fadhillah and the SEARCA Team led by Dr. Gregorio, together with the ATMI-ASEAN Project Support Unit (PSU), likewise participated in the activity.