Project Name
Accelerating the Implementation of the Core Agriculture Support Program
Project Number
Country / Economy
  • Regional
Project Status
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6521-REG: Accelerating the Implementation of the Core Agriculture Support Program
Source Amount
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.50 million
People's Republic of China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund US$ 500,000.00
Strategic Agendas
  • Inclusive economic growth
  • Regional integration
Drivers of Change
  • Governance and capacity development
  • Partnerships
Sector / Subsector
  • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural production

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.

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
The physical activities were completed on 31 December 2015. The TA achieved its intended outcome and generated additional investment for CASP projects of at least $5 million by 2012 (from $7 million in 2008)-- with $18 million mobilized for two regional technical assistance projects (RETAs 7833 and 8163) approved in 2011 and 2014, respectively.

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)

Output 1 was carried out through partnerships with FAO and the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC). Activities were linked to FAO's regional programs on biosafety in relation to three other ongoing projects on food safety and horticulture chain management.

Output 2 strengthened collaboration and cooperation mechanism between the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP) and FECC through the Agriculture Information Network Service (AINS). The pilot program GMS-wide satellite drought monitoring and early warning system (SDMEWS) was implemented, including training activities for GMS policy makers.

Output 3 piloted a conceptual framework for analyzing the links between bioenergy and food security, which were discussed in a series of national policy workshops in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. Best practice case studies and country booklets are available in hard copy and were widely disseminated in during regional meetings.

Output 4 included the Asia-Pacific Food Situation Update (APFSU), which continues to publish the analysis and monitoring of food market development on a monthly basis, as well as a weekly newsletter on key staple food products and policies.

Output 5 consisted of the WGA Secretariat strengthening the capacity of GMS countries to coordinate and communicate on regional issues and concerns in agriculture toward the shared goal of GMS growth and development. The four WGA Annual Meetings (2009 to 2012) were successfully organized and a series of regional trainings on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, food safety standards, paperless trade, rural renewable energy, and management of transboundary invasive pest species of cassava conducted. Furthermore, several case studies on various topics were prepared, including DVDs on agriculture and climate change. The AINS system in each country was also enhanced with additional hardware for transformation into an e-Trade system.

While the TA was not implemented as planned requiring four minor changes in scope and implementation arrangements (budget reallocation, amendments in some activities, additional activities) this did not adversely impact on the delivery of TA outputs. The TA was originally scheduled for completion by 30 June 2012 but had to be extended three times to 31 December 2015 mainly because of the need to expand the scope of satellite-based drought monitoring and early warning system to include flood monitoring and crop outlook projection and provide FAO sufficient lead time to comply with the necessary ADB reporting requirements for the subsequent closure of the partnership agreement.

Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

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
Ramachandran, Pavit
Responsible ADB Department
Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division
Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines


Concept Clearance
02 Sep 2008
Fact Finding
21 Sep 2008 to 24 Sep 2008
23 Dec 2008
Last Review Mission
PDS Creation Date
30 Jan 2009
Last PDS Update
31 Mar 2016


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
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,500,000.00 500,000.00 250,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,250,000.00
Cumulative Disbursements
Date Amount
23 Dec 2008 1,483,546.64
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