The first Executive committee meeting of APAARI for 2018 was held on 28 May 2018 at the Rama Gardens Hotel in Bangkok under the leadership of its Chair Dr. Yusuf Zafar and Dr. Birte Komolong who sat in for the Vice chair Dr. Sergie Bang. Nine out of ten Executive Committee members were either present or were represented. This year’s sitting was spiced by the presence of nine special guests from Myanmar, Crop Asia, ICAR, FARA, CUSAR, IAAS, PAU, IIT and Mahidol University.

To set the stage, the Executive Secretary Dr. Ravi Khetarpal, presented an overview of the current situation of institution from the backdrop of the last Executive committee meeting in November 2017. This included the synoptic presentation of the minutes of the previous Executive Committee meeting, recommendations that were made, actions taken by the recommendations and the progress report of activities carried out so far. The financial pulse of the institution was part of the situational overview as the Executive Secretary equally presented by the balance sheet of income and expenditure of the year under review. His presentation showed a positive balance sheet where revenue income doubled from the 2017 financial year and an accounting system which is being revamped.

From the review of activity, the Executive Secretary noted an upbeat in the membership drive that was reinforced. It has seen the induction of four members with the prospects of more members in the pipeline. The current membership status stands at 73

According to the Executive Secretary, during the period under review, APAARI carried out a number of partnership and collaborative activities in the like of meetings, workshops, conferences, visits and publications which have improved and ascertained APAARI’s visibility within and beyond the region.

Another building block of the day’s agenda was the presentation of workplan by the staff of the institution. Each staff presented his or her activities as streamlined in APAARI Strategic Plan 2017-2022. These were from Knowledge Management, APCoAB, ASTI, the intern and Resource Mobilization.

The special invitees to the Executive Committee meeting given a voice to talk about their organizations and how they can partner with APAARI to strengthen research and innovations for sustainable agricultural development in the Asia- Pacific region. All were very honored by the opportunity as they saw APAARI from inside and promised partnership activities or becoming members.

One of the landmarks of the session was the signing of a partnership agreement between APAARI and FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa). The two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) for joint partnership to carryout mutual research programs on agricultural research for development in Asia and Africa to new frontiers.  

One of the key points on the agenda of the sitting, was the Constitutional Amendment of APAARI’s constitution which has gone through five editions with only minor amendments.  The Executive Committee members had earlier expressed the desire to update the constitution as they realized it is not able to keep pace with the changing role of APAARI in the existing and emerging context of agri-food Systems and the need for strengthening agri-food research and innovation systems in the Asia Pacific region. It was therefore decided that the constitution needed a facelift to fit the times. Unfortunately, the timing of the activity came towards the end of the day’s agenda when deliberations had exhausted members. It was therefore decided to carry forward the activity. Members therefore unanimously agreed to suspend deliberations and set up a Task Force to work on the draft constitution and then circulate it among members for fine tuning before being sent to the General Assembly for adoption.

The Executive Committee Meeting then rose with congratulatory words for the marked improvement in the quality and quantity of activities which stand out from that of the previous years. 

More photos from the APAARI Executive Committee Meeting 2018 HERE