Technologies and practices, focus of regional UN forum to advance sustainable agriculture in Asia and the Pacific

A three-day forum of agricultural experts and other stakeholders took place in Hanoi, Viet Nam this week, focusing on approaches to advance climate-smart agriculture through mechanization and good practices in the Asia-Pacific region.

Agriculture and land-use change contribute approximately one quarter of the manmade global greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of climate change, such as increasing frequency and intensity of ‘extreme events’, increasing average temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, and changes in water availability already undermine efforts to assure food security and nutrition around the world. As such, food systems in the region need to change to allow for sustainable productivity increases and higher incomes for farmers, and adapt to and build community resilience to climate change and variability.

“Agricultural mechanization can play a positive role in achieving climate-smart agriculture in both adaptation and mitigation: consider for example the promotion of efficient use of water and fertilizer; improving land management, for example through laser levelling; enhancing crop residue utilization; reducing post-harvest losses; and facilitating climate-smart practices, such as conservation agriculture and precision agriculture” said Dr. Katinka Weinberger, Officer in Charge of the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM).

The forum focused on how low-carbon technologies and innovative practices available across the Asia-Pacific region are distributed and applied. Participants also shared outcomes of their initiatives regarding sustainable agriculture. Additionally, the forum outlined ways to improve cooperation between stakeholders regarding climate-smart agricultural technology and practices in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and further reduce the region’s impact on climate change.

The 4th Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization for Asia and the Pacific, held from 23-25 November, was co-organised by the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Viet Nam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology (VIAEP).