The 17th Steering Committee Meeting of the ASEAN-AVRDC Regional Network for Vegetable Research and Development (AARNET) was successfully held on the 29 to 30 May 2023 at Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), Brunei Darussalam. The meeting brought together esteemed committee members from the ASEAN member countries, coming from the experts and stakeholders in the field of vegetable research and development.
The event began with the recitation of Surah Al-fatihah, followed by a welcoming remark delivered by Yang Mulia Ms. Poh Bee Ling, Director of the Agri-technology & Food Innovation Department, who also served as the AARNET Chairman. This was then followed by the opening remarks given by Yang Mulia Dr. Syazana Abdullah Lim, Director of the Center for Research on AgriFood Science and Technology (CrAFT). Mrs. Delphine Larrousse, Regional Director of the World Vegetable Center-East and Southeast Asia, also shared her remarks with the attendees.
AARNET, a collaborative platform jointly established by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the World Vegetable Center, has a primary objective of bolstering research and development endeavors in vegetable production, postharvest management, and sustainable agriculture. With a strong focus on regional cooperation, knowledge sharing, and technology transfer, this network strives to enhance vegetable productivity, nutritional value, and marketability across all ASEAN countries.
At the 17th meeting of the Steering Committee, committee members actively participated in constructive discussions regarding various aspects of vegetable research and development. The meeting centered around multiple agendas, including updates on the AARNET project proposal, the identification of significant challenges encountered in the vegetable sector within the ASEAN region, the exploration of innovative solutions, and the establishment of partnerships to effectively tackle these challenges.
The meeting concluded on the second day where committee members reached a consensus on a set of recommendations to strengthen the operations of the network and its impact in the ASEAN region and creating future initiatives to fulfill the ever-changing demands of the vegetable industry.
The two-day meeting concluded with a site visit to Tungku Agricultural Development Area and Rimba Agricultural Development Area, Gadong where the committee members witnessed firsthand agricultural initiatives and innovative practices implemented in these areas.