To promote resilient, inclusive, and productive Asian Mega-Deltas, CGIAR, together with government agencies from Vietnam and Cambodia and other relevant stakeholders, officially launched the initiative on Securing the Food Systems of Asian Mega-Deltas for Climate and Livelihood Resilience or AMD through an inception workshop held in TTC Can Tho Hotel, Can Tho City, Vietnam on 28-29 June 2022.
The initiative will focus on the three main deltas in Asia, such as Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta in Bangladesh and India, Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar, and Mekong River Delta in Vietnam and Cambodia.
In his introduction of the AMD initiative, Dr. Björn Ole Sander, the Country Representative to Vietnam of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the AMD Initiative Leader, emphasized the importance of the deltas as “food baskets” for the countries in the region. He shared that AMD’s goal is for the Asian Mega-Deltas to “maintain socio-ecological integrity, adapt to climatic and other stressors, and support human prosperity and wellbeing by removing systemic barriers to the scaling of transformative technologies and practices at community, national and regional levels.”
To achieve the objective of AMD, he elaborated on the five focus areas that the various CGIAR centers involved in the initiative, together with the different stakeholders, will work on, such as:
- Adapting deltaic production systems;
- Nutrition-sensitive deltaic agrifood systems;
- De-risking delta-oriented value chains;
- Inclusive deltaic food-systems governance; and
- Evidence-based delta development planning
The inception workshop fostered participation from the different partners in designing a more stakeholder-responsive work plan for the five focus areas. In his opening remarks during the program, Mr. Le Thanh Tung, the Deputy Director for South of the Department of Crop Production-Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, encouraged all participants to be involved actively in the inception workshop by taking “this opportunity to give the AMD team the necessary ideas and feedback to make the initiative truly responsive to the needs of the smallholder farmers and the other marginalized sectors in the deltas.”
Mr. Tung also hoped that “through AMD, we continue our harmonious working relationship with CGIAR and carry on the learnings from our previous collaborations, particularly the value of stakeholders’ participation and empowerment in research for development work.”
Highlights of the workshop include the session on country priorities and statement of support and expectations from the partner countries delivered by Dr. Nguyen Hong Son, President of Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences for Vietnam and Dr. Chan Phaloeun, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for Cambodia. Sessions with national agencies of Cambodia and Vietnam and international organizations on the implementation and scaling of the AMD Initiative were also conducted to match their existing priorities and activities with the AMD’s focus areas.
More than 80 participants attended the event representing the government agencies of Vietnam and Cambodia; CGIAR and its centers working for AMD, such as the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, International Potato Center, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, International Water Management Institute, WorldFish and the International Rice Research Institute; international organizations working in the region, particularly in the Mekong Delta; academic institutions; private sector; and other relevant stakeholders groups.