May 31, 2016. Grow Asia is a multi-stakeholder partnership platform in ASEAN member countries that enables partners to collaborate on agriculture value chains. Its goal is to reach 10million smallholder farmers by 2020, enabling them to increase productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability by 20%. The platform was catalyzed by the World Economic Forum (WEF)in collaboration with ASEAN secretariat and was launched at the Grow Asia Forum 2015 in Jakarta. A Grow Asia Partnership Committee is in place, with representation from donor countries Australia and Canada, from ASEAN member states represented by Philippines, from the business community represented by Nestle and Sinar Mas, from the CSO community represented by Mercy Corps, and from the FO community represented by AFA.
The WEF conducted its yearly Grow Asia Forum, this time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last May 31. AFA was represented by Seu Rany and Sopheap Pan of FNN, Rene Cerilla of PAKISAMA and AFA SecGen Esther Penunia from the Secretariat. The AFA SecGen was a panelist at the opening plenary where she emphasized that FOs’ capacity to build and strengthen their cooperatives should be sufficiently supported . She also encouraged country platforms to replicate the regional Partnership Steering Committee at the country level, with representatives of farmers organizations and cooperatives as recognized partners and decision-makers.
During the Forum, many partners echoed the need to have a strong monitoring and evaluation process to measure the results of the Grow Asia partnership according to its goals and targets.