Regional: Accelerating the Implementation of the Core Agriculture Support Program

Sovereign Project | 39542-012


The proposed Project will enable the Working Group in Agriculture to respond to the identified priority needs of the GMS countries and the call of leaders during the Third GMS Summit. The Project will contribute to the efforts to strengthen food and energy security, while addressing the challenge of climate change in the subregion.

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Project Name Accelerating the Implementation of the Core Agriculture Support Program
Project Number 39542-012
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6521-REG: Accelerating the Implementation of the Core Agriculture Support Program
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.50 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Agricultural production

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Description The proposed Project will enable the Working Group in Agriculture to respond to the identified priority needs of the GMS countries and the call of leaders during the Third GMS Summit. The Project will contribute to the efforts to strengthen food and energy security, while addressing the challenge of climate change in the subregion.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

In April 2007, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Agriculture Ministers' Meeting endorsed the Strategic Framework for Subregional Cooperation in Agriculture and the Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP) for 2006-2010. The CASP consists of priority projects under five strategic components designed to sustain and further accelerate cooperation in agriculture: (i) facilitating cross-border agricultural trade and investment, (ii) promoting public-private partnerships in sharing agricultural information, (iii) enhancing capacity in agricultural science and technology, (iv) establishing emergency response mechanisms for agricultural and natural resource crises, and (v) strengthening institutional linkages and mechanisms for cooperation. At their third summit, held on 31 March 2008 in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic, GMS leaders gave explicit directives on the immediate focus of agricultural cooperation, specifically (i) implementing the GMS initiative on rural renewable energy (RRE) development; (ii) expanding control programs for trans-boundary animal diseases, and (iii) supporting access to agricultural information in rural areas.

The TA will enable the Working Group on Agriculture (WGA) to respond to the priority needs identified in GMS countries during the Third GMS Summit. It will further contribute to efforts to strengthen food and energy security, while addressing the challenge of climate change in the subregion.

Impact The main impact is a GMS that is more prosperous in agriculture, more integrated, and more equitable in sharing the gains from agricultural growth.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome The outcome is enhanced GMS regional cooperation and investment in the areas of biotechnology and biosafety, rural renewable energy development, agriculture information network services, cross-border trade and food security.
Progress Toward Outcome TA Implementation Ongoing
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Implementation of the strategy for biotechnology and biosafety initiated

2. Agriculture information and network service development and use promoted

3. Rural renewable energy development strategy supported

4. Food security and cross-border agricultural trade strategies developed

5. WGA Secretariat strengthened

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The implementation of Component 1 was carried out through partnerships with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC). Activities under this component was linked to FAO's regional programs on biosafety in relation to three ongoing projects namely Enhancing Food Safety by Strengthening Food Inspection Systems in ASEAN Countries (GCP/RAS/222/JPN) , Capacity Building in Food Safety in Selected ASEAN Countries (GCP/RAS/223/JPN) , Pesticide Risk Reduction in Southeast Asia (GCP/RAS/229/SWE) and a new regional FAO-Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) project Capacity Development in Horticulture Chain Management. The partnership has produced case studies, developed various training materials, and conducted regional workshops.

For Component 2, efforts to establish a close collaboration and cooperation mechanism between the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP) and the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC) China team (AINS) to promote the linkage and harmonization was continued through the Agriculture Information Network Service (AINS) supported by the TA. The activity of linking FAO Asia-Pacific Food Situation Update (APFSU) monthly reporting system with AINS (harmonization of platforms, formats) was generally completed. On the submission of data from APFSU to AINS, APFSU continued the collection of market information from several countries and the updating of its databases. AINS also opted to get RAP price data directly from the APFSU newsletter at the RAP web site. On the activity of partner countries providing market data to APFSU, reciprocal information from Mekong countries to FAO was never received despite several requests to AINS.

Under this component, the application of space-based technology to access information that will help GMS countries mitigate the effects of droughts through a monitoring and warning system was initiated through the implementation of a pilot program to develop a monitoring and warning system for the region using freely available date. Capacity building initiatives allowing GMS policy makers to access specific information from the developed system to assist their decision-making process is being conducted.

Component 3 is implemented through parallel financing of activities by the IFAD and FAO. Based on consultations, FAO developed and piloted a conceptual framework for analyzing the links between bioenergy and food security. The final conceptual framework document and results of the pilot project in Thailand are now available at A series of national policy workshops have been held in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. The outcome of these workshops was a national plan of action in relation to rural bioenergy and renewable energy development. In preparation for these studies country specific, best practice case studies were collected and published in country booklets with the plans of action developed. These booklets are available in hard copy from FAO RAP. To disseminate the project findings and seek guidance on future directions a series of four regional meetings was held.

Component 4 conducts activities in support of recommendations from the Agriculture Trade and Facilitation Plan from the study conducted under RETA 6324. During the WGA-7 Meeting, GMS Governments, and WGA in particular, agreed to enhance the use of IT in the agriculture sector, especially in intra- and inter-regional trade, particularly for products which poor farmers can produce. The Asia-Pacific Food Situation Update (APFSU) continues to publish the analysis and monitoring of food market development on a monthly basis.

DG, SERD has approved the extension of TA completion date for 18 months from 30 June 2014 to 31 December 2015 to (i) expand the scope of satellite-based drought monitoring and early warning system developed by the TA to include flood monitoring and crop outlook projection; (ii) develop mobile phone applications for key beneficiaries to have access to drought and flood risk information; and (iii) conduct regional and pre-feasibility studies pipeline projects under the GMS Regional Investment Framework, particularly to address information gaps for ANR operations in Myanmar; and (iv) allow FAO sufficient lead time to comply with the necessary ADB reporting requirements for the subsequent closure of the partnership agreement.

As of 31 December 2014, the GMS-wide satellite drought monitoring and early warning system (S-DMEWS) was introduced through public campaign to promote the use of the system by the local governments. The system was also introduced to development partners in CASP 2 events. An informational handout on S-DMEWS was produced in November 2014. The Crop Outlook Specialist was engaged in November 2014 to further expand the system to include flood monitoring and crop output estimation. The third follow-up letter was sent to FAO on 19 December 2014 requesting for submission of the information on ADB's financial contribution to the joint publications and the financial statements in ADB format. Upon receipt of the required documentes and subject to the satisfactory review of these documents, ADB will authorize final payment to FAO. To date, FAO has not complied with ADB financial reporting format.

Geographical Location
Safeguard Categories
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The TA will engage a total of 36 person-months (pm) of international and 32 pm of national consulting services. The international consultants will comprise (i) regional cooperation specialist; (ii) subject matter experts (biotechnology and biosafety, renewable energy, regional cross-border trade, and food security); and (iii) media specialist. The national consultants will comprise (i) program coordinator/regional cooperation specialist; and (ii) information technology and database management expert.
Responsible ADB Officer Pavit Ramachandran
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Concept Clearance 02 Sep 2008
Fact Finding 21 Sep 2008 to 24 Sep 2008
Approval 23 Dec 2008
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 30 Jan 2009
Last PDS Update 25 Sep 2015

TA 6521-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
23 Dec 2008 - 23 Dec 2008 30 Jun 2012 31 Dec 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,500,000.00 0.00 250,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,750,000.00 23 Dec 2008 1,206,286.50

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