The Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project is helping transform transport corridors in the Greater Mekong Subregion into economic corridors by developing upstream and downstream linkages in agribusiness supply chains in a climate-friendly manner.
Agriculture is the backbone of the Greater Mekong Subregion’s economies. With over 60% of the subregion’s 340 million inhabitants engaged in small-scale agriculture, it directly supports the livelihoods of nearly 200 million people.
While agriculture is the cornerstone of many families’ livelihoods, it is also exacting a toll on the environment, contributing to forest and biodiversity loss, water pollution and shortages, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions.
People and governments in the Greater Mekong Subregion are working to develop agricultural practices that simultaneously conserve land and water resources, while at the same time increasing the productivity and profitability of agriculture, particularly for small-scale farmers.
Countries are pooling resources and expertise to increase the competitiveness of their agricultural products and encourage investment in agribusiness, while at the same time conserving the environment and natural resources. This involves research and technology that emphasizes climate-friendly agricultural development, including participation by the private sector with a focus on food security. This work is being guided by the Core Agriculture Support Program Phase II (CASP II) 2011-2020, supported by the Government of Sweden (Sida), Nordic Development Fund, Water Financing Partnership Facility, and Asian Development Bank.
At the 2nd GMS Agriculture Ministers' Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 6-8 September 2017, the ministers endorsed a strategy to promote safe and environment-friendly agriculture products, and a plan to strengthen value chain integration, involving smallholder farmers, rural women, as well as small and medium-sized agro-enterprises.
A new variety of rice is now helping smallholder farmers in North Thailand out of poverty, while also improving their diet. Siam Organic Co., Ltd., which introduced Jasberry rice, a non-GMO, organic rice variety in the region, adopted an inclusive business model to help farmers increase harvest yields and earn more.
A pilot project is introducing the use of barcodes to track the quality and safety of food in the Greater Mekong Subregion from “farm to shelf, then table.”
The Greater Mekong Subregion Working Group on Agriculture held its 15th meeting on 29–30 May 2018 in Pu’er, Yunnan Province in the People’s Republic of China.
VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (31 July 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a $40.5 million grant to help farmers and agribusinesses develop sustainable and climate-smart agriculture value chains in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have agreed to strengthen joint efforts to fight illegal fishing practices and increase fish stock in the Mekong-Sekong basin.
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (4 July 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a $90 million loan to help Cambodia strengthen climate resilience and modernize the agriculture sector using advanced technologies.
A subregional approach toward safe and environment-friendly agrifood value chains is expected to achieve three main outcomes: greater trade, economies of scale, and inclusive food safety.
PU’ER CITY, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (31 May 2018) — Senior agriculture officials from the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion agreed to increase regional cooperation in food safety, boost the trading of climate-friendly agriculture products, and accelerate the implementation of the five-year GMS Strategy and Siem Reap Action Plan endorsed by the Second GMS Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting.