The fifth meeting of the Mekong Extension Learning Alliance (MELA) opened in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang on September 11, within the framework of ASEAN cooperation in agricultural training and extension.
|At the meeting
The four-day event, held by the National Agricultural Extension Centre under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), brings together 60 delegates from five MELA member countries namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The meeting is meant to exchange information, knowledge and experience in agricultural extension and advisory services in Mekong sub-region countries, along with research in agriculture and rural development.
The participants presented reports on policy implementation and the countries’ efforts in promoting smart agriculture adaptive to climate change, green agriculture, and the development of farmers’ organisations, including cooperatives.
Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, head of the MARD’s International Cooperation Department, said MELA makes it easier for farmers to access information-technology and investment capital to address challenges regarding climate change, natural disasters and environment, as well as to expand the market for farm products.
He highlighted the significance of coordination between regional agricultural extension organisations to food security and safety, animal and plant disease control and sustainable agro-forestry-fishery development.
The meeting is expected to reach specific solutions to enhance the partnership among regional agricultural extension organisations for improving capacity, stepping up technological transfer and agricultural reform in each nation, he said.
Initiated in Hanoi in March 2015, MELA has created a network for its member countries to share knowledge and best practice in agricultural advisory and marketing services, and sustainable rural development.
The previous four meetings of MELA were held in Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand.