Governments to Set Research Agenda for Agriculture as a Means of Combating Rural Poverty

UNESCAP will hold meeting on 21 November in Bangkok

High-level officials from governments across the region will meet in Bangkok on Wednesday, 21 November, to discuss approaches to tackling poverty in rural Asia.

The meeting will set the regional agenda for research priorities in the development of agriculture as a means of combating poverty in the areas where it is most needed.

“In Asia, over seventy per cent of poor people live in rural areas and depend largely on agriculture for their daily food and income,” said Taco Bottema, Director of the Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Secondary Crops’ Development in Asia and the Pacific (UN-CAPSA), a subsidiary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which is organizing the meeting.

“In recent years, international attention has strayed from the importance of agriculture in reducing poverty. Now that the income gap between rural and urban areas has grown, we are seeing a renewed focus, so setting clear common goals for future research is a critical step,” Mr. Bottema said.

Renewed support from the international donor community for rural development through agriculture has been stimulated by the World Bank’s latest World Development Report – which focuses on agriculture and poverty – and several other high-level inter-governmental meetings.

UN-CAPSA, which is based in Bogor, Indonesia, will convene next Wednesday’s meeting to bring the region’s UN member countries together to discuss the key issues. The outcome will be a common regional agenda for research priorities in agriculture for rural poverty reduction.

Ministries of Agriculture and national research institutes from member countries, and other international organizations will attend the meeting.