Working Group on Agriculture(WGA)
The working group on agriculture (WGA) was initiated under the GMS Tenth Ministerial Conference in November 2001 to serve as an advisory body to GMS Ministerial-level Conferences on agricultural issues. An Inception Workshop was held in July 2002 to define the framework and the scope for regional cooperation in agriculture. The GMS Eleventh Ministerial Conference held in September 2002, confirmed the need to establish a working group on agriculture (WGA) The WGA reports to the Ministerial Conference and the respective governments.
The goal of GMS cooperation in agriculture is to help rural communities in the GMS reduce poverty through partnerships aimed at promoting food security and increased commercial income generating opportunities in agriculture. To this effect the WGA will aim to improve sub-regional cooperation in agriculture and to serve as an advisory body to GMS Ministerial-level Conferences on agricultural issues.
The WGA main objectives are to provide a forum for identifying and realizing opportunities to increase GMS cooperation in the agriculture sector with the aims of:
1 reducing poverty;
2 promoting equitable economic growth;
3 promoting sustainable use of natural resources in GMS agriculture; and
4 ensuring that the benefits of other GMS initiatives reach rural communities.
Initially, membership of the WGA would be limited to senior government officials. Additional representatives can be invited to attend WGA meetings, depending on the issues to be discussed. The private sector, the Consultative Group of International Agriculture Research Institutions (CGIARI), relevant NGOs and relevant United Nations institutions will be consulted in planning and implementing WGA activities. GMS countries have designated a focal point for WGA activities, and will establish national committees to coordinate national consultations on WGA issues and priorities. WGA activities will be closely coordinated with other GMS working groups and other regional and international organizations.
Chairperson and Venue
The venue (host) for WGA meetings is determined by the WGA members. The Chairperson of the WGA meeting is a member of the WGA core group of the host country. The Chairperson provides the necessary technical, administrative, and coordinating support for WGA activities. In the initial years, ADB will assist in facilitating WGA deliberations.
The WGA meets at least once a year, but may meet more frequently, depending on its work program. WGA meetings will provide opportunities to help:
1. Identify and discuss emerging GMS agriculture issues.
2. Establish priorities for WGA activities.
3. Mobilize resources to implement activities.
4. Facilitate implementation of studies.
WGA Meetings Held
1 Inception workshop, 4-5 July 2002, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
2 First meeting, 21-22 January 2003.