Regional: Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Agriculture Support Program (Phase 2)

Sovereign Project | 39542-022

Summary

The proposed RETA will conduct regional studies to identify suitable regional interventions as well as assist the countries in mobilizing required resources to implement the CASP Phase II. Regional fora will be organized to propose harmonization of policies and standards to capitalize on the subregion's locational and other competitive advantages. Technological innovations offer a rich source of opportunity for collaboration and to stimulate emerging business sectors associated with ethical consumerism and sustainable natural resource management. The GMS WGA will work closely with other GMS Working Groups (trade and transport facility, environment, and tourism) to align strategies and maximize impact.

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Project Name Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Agriculture Support Program (Phase 2)
Project Number 39542-022
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8163-REG: Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Agriculture Support Program (Phase II)
A.T.F. - Swedish T.A. Grant US$ 7.50 million
TA 8163-REG: Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Agriculture Support Program (Phase 2) (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 500,000.00
Nordic Development Fund US$ 5.00 million
TA: Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Agriculture Support Program (Phase 2)
Nordic Development Fund US$ 5.30 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Agricultural production
Industry and trade - Small and medium enterprise development
Information and communication technology - ICT industries and ICT-enabled services
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Description The proposed RETA will conduct regional studies to identify suitable regional interventions as well as assist the countries in mobilizing required resources to implement the CASP Phase II. Regional fora will be organized to propose harmonization of policies and standards to capitalize on the subregion's locational and other competitive advantages. Technological innovations offer a rich source of opportunity for collaboration and to stimulate emerging business sectors associated with ethical consumerism and sustainable natural resource management. The GMS WGA will work closely with other GMS Working Groups (trade and transport facility, environment, and tourism) to align strategies and maximize impact.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy The proposed RETA will prioritize activities to support Pillars 1 and 2 of CASP Phase II, and synergism between CASP Phase II and the Core Environment Program (CEP) Phase II. Activities on food safety standards, paperless trading, climate friendly agriculture, development of roadmap on synergism between CASP Phase II and CEP Phase II, knowledge sharing activities including GMS agriculture trade exhibition and establishing communities of practice will be undertaken. In addition, the proposed RETA will enable the GMS WGA to respond to the priority needs identified in GMS countries during the Fourth GMS Summit. It will further enhance the GMS WGA to respond to emerging challenges to agriculture development, specifically those linked to expanding cross-border trade in agri-food products, climate extreme and risk mitigation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and food and bio-energy security. Under the proposed RETA, options for financing, partnership facilities and cooperation funding from various sources and modalities will also be explored to ensure the sustainability of the GMS WGA. In light of its pivotal role in ensuring the effective implementation of regional-level activities under CASP Phase II, the GMS WGA will require adequate resourcing in order to drive new regional initiatives and fulfill its role as a forum for knowledge exchange among GMS countries.
Impact A more integrated, climate friendly agricultural sector in the GMS
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Enhanced market access for environmentally friendly agricultural products produced by smallholders
Progress Toward Outcome TA Implementation Ongoing.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Strengthened regional policy framework and capacity for agri-food quality management

2. Established electronic trade of environmentally friendly agri-food production of smallholders

3. Increased adoption of gender-responsive and climate-friendly agriculture

4. Facilitated knowledge management and dissemination

5. Strengthened regional cooperation on agriculture in the GMS

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

A major change in the TA to increase in the TA amount by $ 5.5 million equivalent comprising $5.0 million equivalent from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and $0.5 million from ADB Technical Assistance Special Fund was approved by ADB Board of Directors in October 2013)

The overall progress of planned activities against the Annual Work Plan 2014 targets is generally satisfactory. Inception workshops were held in all six GMS countries. These workshops equipped officials of concerned government agencies with knowledge and expertise needed to effectively implement CASP 2 activities. For additional capacity-building and awareness on climate-friendly agriculture of government officials, support to attend various trainings and meetings was provided.

Several programs and activities were carried out to strengthen regional cooperation among GMS countries. The 11th Annual Meeting of the WGA was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 25-27 March 2014 and the Semi-Annual Meeting of the WGA followed in Bangkok, Thailand on 13-15 August 2014. Four inception workshops were also held in Viet Nam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the PRC.

Several key initiatives were carried out in 2014, including design, development, and implementation plan for the following activities: (i) Training of Master Trainers and Farmer Leaders Program; (ii) formulation of strategies, criteria, and guidelines for the establishment and management of 21 demonstration farms; and (iii) finalization of the Letter of Agreement (LOA) format and proposals from all six GMS countries.

In December 2014, the first LOA was signed with Cambodia, followed by LOA Training for officials of government agencies that will implement activities funded under the LOA arrangement. The adoption of the LOA will greatly enhance country ownership of TA activities and expedite operations.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was initiated to provide a platform for CASP 2 to work with private companies and NGOs. The MOU is intended to help farmers acquire knowledge, technologies, and experiences on climate-friendly agriculture (CFA) and to access markets for their CFA products. The first MOU was signed with a firm in Thailand last September 2014.

The regional WGA Secretariat was established in ADB Resident Mission in Bangkok, Thailand. Recruitment of NSSU staff was completed in 2014 for all six GMS countries. Two consulting firms were also recruited. More specialist staff were recruited in the second half of 2014. A consulting firm to work on a regional study on soil suitability mapping for biochar application was also recruited in November 2014.

For knowledge product and development, a regional study on food safety was fully achieved. Several videos and knowledge materials were produced and published on the newly established WGA website, Facebook and Youtube channel.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Close consultations with WGA, concerned ministries and government agencies, and stakeholders were carried out to obtain their views on needs of the GMS, priorities of the GMS countries, and support for the agriculture sector during project design and formulation.
During Project Implementation Regular communications and consultations with stakeholders are being maintained to ensure effective implementation of the project.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services ADB will engage international and national consultants to provide about 700 person-months of consulting services to assist the GMS countries to expand subregional cooperation: (i) develop roadmaps and plans and implement each pillar of the CASP Phase II by conducting studies and pilot projects for scaling up regional investments, consistent with GMS Master Plan; (ii) mobilize resources from development partners and private sector to support CASP Phase II; and (iii) enhance institutional capacity for regional cooperation and ensure collaboration of R-PATA activities and outputs with activities of other GMS Working Groups and of development partners. In addition to international consultants, the TA will provide 546 person-months of individual national consultants to work together with international consultants in supporting the implementation of CASP Phase II. ADB will select and engage consultants in accordance with its Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (March 2013, as amended from time to time). Disbursements under the TA will conform to ADB's Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (May 2010, as amended from time to time). All procurement will be done in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (March 2013, as amended from time to time).
Responsible ADB Officer Pavit Ramachandran
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 14 Sep 2012
Fact Finding 09 Jan 2012 to 16 Feb 2012
MRM -
Approval 14 Sep 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 31 Mar 2015

TA

Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 5,300,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 5,300,000.00 - 0.00

TA 8163-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
14 Sep 2012 - 14 Sep 2012 14 Sep 2017 - -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
500,000.00 12,500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 13,000,000.00 14 Sep 2012 2,356,473.51
Title Document Type Document Date
Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Agriculture Support Program (Phase 2) TA Change in Scope, Amount, and Implementation Arrangements Sep 2013
Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Agriculture Support Program (Phase 2) Technical Assistance Reports Aug 2012

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