1st Regional Academic Conference on Agroecology, Yezin Agriculture University, Myanmar, 24th & 25th of January 2017

1st Regional Academic Conference on Agroecology, Yezin Agriculture University, Myanmar, 24th & 25th of January 2017

On the 24th and 25th of January 2017, Yezin Agriculture University (YAU) has organized a Regional Academic Conference about Agroecology, with a close support from the Agroecology Learning alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA) funded by the French Agency for Development.

This Learning and Sharing Event took place in the framework of the ongoing collaboration between YAU and GRET in the Dry Zone (Cartier Charitable Foundation funded project in the Sagaing region), and with the objectives to promote YAU current work/research and to broaden the knowledge of its personals and students about agroecology.

Such event was a unique opportunity to share experiences and knowledge from across the region while showcasing ongoing initiatives from Myanmar.

It brought together 84 participants, including scholars from Cambodia (Battambang University), Lao PDR (National University of Laos), Myanmar (Yezin Agriculture University), Thailand (Chulalongkorn and MaeJo Univerities) and Vietnam (Hanoi University of Agriculture). Here are all speakers’ profile: Speaker Profiles YAU Conference_Jan17

At Myanmar level, it benefited, beyond personals and students from YAU, from the participation of Myanmar Agriculture Extension Services, Myanmar Department of Agriculture Research, representatives from Civil Society Organizations and other valuable stakeholders.

This Learning and Sharing Event contributed to

  • Take stock of ongoing academic research in the field of agroecology across the Mekong region and to foster knowledge sharing
  • Exchange about how to better include agroecology in academic curriculum
  • Create linkages between different universities working on agroecology across the Mekong region, and to pave the way for a future regional academic working group within the framework of ALiSEA

It was organized around a one day conference on agroecology (24th of January) and a one day specific workshop addressing “Mapping and Assessing University-based Farmer Extension Services in ASEAN through an Agro-ecological/Organic Lens” (25th of January).

Each session of the 2 days were supported by presentations that can be downloaded through their weblink below. Videos will be shortly available as well and uploaded to the website.

Opening Speech of Dr Myo Kywe, Rector of the Yezin Agriculture University: Rector’s opening speech edited 13 Feb 2017

24th of January 2017: Academic Conference with different panel discussions

AE, a diversity of concepts, definition and approaches (introduction session)

This introduction session would aim at setting the stage and to provide an overall presentation of the concept of agroecology for all participants to have similar understanding

  • Agroecology, a diversity of concepts, definition and practices, Pierre Ferrand, ALiSEA Regional Coordinator & Dr Htet Kyu, Myanmar ALiSEA Coordinator AE concepts & practices_YAU_Jan17

AE & paddy production

Paddy production is the most important commodity produced across the Mekong region. Several AE practices have been developed over the last decades (i.e IPM, SRI) and supported to different extend in each country. This session will highlight the different approaches that have been implemented in Cambodia and Myanmar

AE & adaptation to climate change / resilience

As mentioned by FAO for the World Food Day 2016, the climate is changing and agriculture needs to adapt. In this regards, agroecology provides a wide range of practices that have been acknowledged for increasing resilience to climate change. Myanmar has been listed as one of the most affected country in the Mekong region by climate change. This session will highlight ongoing initiatives geared towards climate change resilience / adaptation in different parts of the country

 AE products, what are the potential markets, certification options and future opportunities

With the recent promulgation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) lie important opportunities for the development and trade of quality products across the region and beyond. This needs to be supported (for the production) and controlled (certification) adequately. In addition, this answers as well the increasing demand from consumers to access safe products (increasing cases of food safety issues have raised the awareness of many consumers). In this regards, this session will shed light on the different ongoing initiatives or policies that are supporting the development of quality products (organic, safe or agroecological) in Lao PDR and Myanmar.

AE at university level, examples of current curriculum / actions

It is widely acknowledged that university curricula play a crucial role in supporting the dissemination and upscaling of agroecology practices amongst farmers. In this regards, this session will offer room for sharing ongoing initiatives across the region and introduce a more in depth working session that would take place on the 25thof January.

25th of January 2017: Workshop on “Mapping and Assessing University-based Farmer Extension Services in ASEAN through an Agro-physiologie/Organic Lens”

Historical Background / Rationale for Current Project, Core Partnerships and Myanmar Workshop – Introduction to Global, Regional & National Contexts

  • Dr. Wayne Nelles. Visiting Scholar, University School of Agricultural Resources (CUSAR), Bangkok, THAILAND Consultant, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Bangkok and Hanoi, Offices Intro_YAU_Jan17
  • Mr. Pierre Ferrand, Regional Coordinator, Agroecology Learning Alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA), Laos
  • Dr Htet Kyu, National Coordinator for Myanmar, Agroecology Learning Alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA) QOV of AK Sources of Myanmar Farmers_YAU_Jan17

Setting the basic scene – Discussion on basic issues and questions (What We Know, Don’t Know and Need to Know about farmer extension services and university roles in Myanmar, with implications for agro-ecology and organic practice)