Written by Mekong Institute
The Mekong Institute (MI) was commissioned by the Yunnan Provincial Government of the Peoples Republic of China to organize a regional workshop and structured learning visits on Transboundary Agribusiness Development and Management in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Yunnan Provincial Department of Commerce, the Provincial Chambers of Commerce along the North-South Economic Corridor of the GMS (R3a) and GMS Business Forum (GMS-BF). It was conducted from 22 March to 2 April 2010 at Mekong Institute and twenty-two government officials and private sector personnel from the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries attended the workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to expose participants to the increasing significance of agribusiness to poverty alleviation, to uplifting the quality of life of rural people and in narrowing cross-border trade gaps in the GMS.
Eight resource persons were invited to deliver lectures and facilitate discussions and to share their experiences with the participants. The program comprised of five inter-related modules. Module 1 Global and Regional Trend in Agribusiness Development provided an introduction to global and regional trade agreements. Module 2 Role, Significance and Trend of Cross-Border Agricultural Trade in the GMS covered the role and significance of agriculture and agribusiness to national economy activity and introduced the prospect of cross-border agricultural markets in the GMS and ASEAN regions. Module 3 Agribusiness Development and Management addressed a range of core agribusiness development and management issues. Module 4 Strengthening Small Farm-agribusiness Linkages and Enhancing Small and Medium Enterprise Entrepreneurship detailed the means to support small farm-agribusiness linkages. Module 5 Measures to Facilitate Cross-border Agribusiness in the GMS suggested ways to increase cross-border agribusiness in the GMS.
Five structured learning visits were organized to enhance the participants understanding and help them to apply the acquired knowledge in their works.
The evaluations of the workshop show that the program accomplished its objectives and met participants expectations. Networking, gaining knowledge of agribusiness trend in the GMS and cross-border agribusiness linkages and practices, site visits, and a better understanding of the contribution of small-scale farmers and businesses to poverty alleviation were highlighted as the most significance benefits for participation in the workshop. Recommendations and suggestions were also made for the improvement of the workshop and the development of future cross-border agribusiness programs.