Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the Greater Mekong Subregion’s economies. With over 60% of the subregion’s 340 million inhabitants engaged in small-scale agriculture, it directly supports the livelihoods of nearly 200 million people.

The Working Group on Agriculture (WGA) has been working toward the implementation of priority projects under the Core Agriculture Support Program.

Agriculture is the cornerstone of many families’ livelihoods, however it is also exacting a toll on the environment, contributing to forest and biodiversity loss, water pollution and shortages, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions.

People and governments in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) are working to develop agricultural practices that simultaneously conserve land and water resources, while at the same time increasing the productivity and profitability of agriculture, particularly for small-scale farmers. 

The GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030), endorsed and adopted at the 7th GMS Summit of Leaders in September 2021 to provide a new setting for the development of this subregion for the next decade, notes that in the agriculture sector, GMS-2030 will promote higher food safety and quality standards for expanding exports, for which an alignment of policies and standards will be required in the subregion. GMS-2030 will encourage climate- and environment-friendly production practices along the value chain, as well as sustain natural assets with a focus on small-scale farmers and micro, small, and medium-sized agro-enterprises. Given that COVID-19 has adversely impacted agricultural supply chains, GMS-2030 will support food security response and recovery efforts in the medium and long terms.

The GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program (GMS SAFSP), implemented in 2019,has been designed to assist the GMS countries to tackle key climate change challenges to their agricultural sectors.Its three themes are: (i) climate-friendly, inclusive, and gender responsive agri-food value chains and agribusiness; (ii) climate-adaptive agriculture in the context of water-energy food nexus; and (iii) harmonized crop and livestock safety and quality systems.

The SAFSP was prepared in response to the recommendations of GMS agriculture ministers in 2017. They expressed a joint vision of promoting the GMS as a leading supplier of safe, quality and climate-friendly agri-food products. Achieving this vision depends on overcoming multiple barriers along the agrifood value chains. The ministers endorsed the Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains in the GMS at the 2nd GMS Agriculture Ministers' Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 6-8 September 2017. The Strategy aims to promote safe and environment-friendly agriculture products, and a plan to strengthen value chain integration, involving smallholder farmers, rural women, as well as small and medium-sized agro-enterprises.

The GMS SAFSP builds on the achievements of the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP) phase I (2006-2012) and phase II (2011-2020).

Related

Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains and Siem Reap Action Plan, 2018-2022
Core Agriculture Support Program Phase II (2011-2015)
Core Agriculture Support Program Phase I (2006-2010)
GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program Newsletter
Working Group on Agriculture (WGA)


Contact Persons

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Srinivasan Ancha 
    Climate Change, Resilience, and Environment Cluster
    Climate Change and Sustainable Development Department

  • Renalyn Asuncion Padilla
    Agriculture, Food, Nature, and Rural Development Sector Office
    Sectors Group

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Asadullah Sumbal 
    Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit
    Southeast Asia Department 

  • Rafaelita Jamon 
    Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat 

Send inquiries to GMS CCESP Secretariat and GMS Secretariat


20th Annual Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Working Group on Agriculture, 10-11 May 2023

20th Annual Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Working Group on Agriculture

Agrifood value chains in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), overall, proved to be resilient to global supply chain disruptions during the pandemic and have made a vital contribution to food security, and economic recovery. Many challenges, however, remain.


The Kim Thanh International Border Gate between Lao Cai (Viet Nam) and Yunnan Province (PRC) plays a vital role in the GMS northern corridor. Photo by ADB.

AEIR 2023 Highlights Deepening Integration, Continued Economic Growth in the GMS

The Asian Economic Integration Report 2023 highlights the continued growth of integration in subregional initiatives and programs in Southeast Asia, including both in the GMS and the ASEAN, from 2006 to 2020.


Green Agri-business and Agri-food Value Chain Growth and Development: Financing and Enhancing Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurs

This upcoming workshop, to be held on 26-27 April in Bangkok, Thailand, and via videoconferencing, aligns with output 1: strengthening climate-friendly, inclusive, and gender-responsive agri-food value chains and agribusinesses of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program (SAFSP). 



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