The Grow Asia Forum is our annual high-level flagship event. Usually run on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's Asia Summit, the Grow Asia Forum brings together senior leaders and decision-makers from Southeast Asia's governments, the global and regional private sector, civil society organizations, farmer groups and other key stakeholders to share ideas, establish new partnerships and explore scalable, sustainable and inclusive solutions to agricultural development.
Held on 13 August 2020, the 2020 Grow Asia Forum brought together 197 key leaders from Southeast Asia and beyond to - virtually - explore opportunities to build more inclusive, sustainable and resilient food systems. Organized under the theme of "Call for Partnerships", the high-level event saw Grow Asia's key partners identify action areas around four key topics:
(1) Coordinating a Regional Response to COVID-19,
(2) Mainstreaming Gender in Agriculture
(3) State of the Smallholder AgriTech Sector 2020, and
(4) Opportunities for Collaboration with the Grow Asia Network.
Concluding the event was a series of “Calls to Partnership” – presentations highlighting programs, platforms and interventions that need the involvement of more partners to achieve impact at scale.
On Tuesday 11 September 2018, more than 170 senior leaders and decision-makers in the agriculture industry gathered at the Grow Asia Forum 2018 in Hanoi, co-hosted by the Grow Asia Partnership and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. Leaders defined strategies for transforming agriculture and food systems in the region anchored around public-private policy dialogue and 4IR technologies, with smallholder farmers at the core of profitable, sustainable and inclusive supply chains.
Leaders committed to working in partnership with other stakeholders through the Grow Asia platform to scale the impact of their work and ensure South East Asia’s smallholder farmers are equipped with the right technologies, knowledge and skills to meet the increasing global demand for sustainable food. A Knowledge Marketplace was launched for the first time at the event and offered participants case studies in agricultural innovations, creative solutions and resources.
How can South East Asia address the uncertainties and challenges facing the future of food and the agriculture sector? What decisions can be made which can enable greater inclusivity and sustainability for ASEAN and its 100 million smallholder farmers?
On Wednesday 10 May 2017, the fourth annual Grow Asia Forum brought together over 120 leaders from ASEAN governments, global and regional private sector, civil society and farmers’ organizations to explore solutions to these questions.
Themed ‘Pathways to Scale’, participants explored scenarios for the future of agriculture in the region and made strategic decisions to strengthen and help ensure the sustainability of food systems.
The event was co-hosted by Grow Asia and the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. The event took place alongside the World Economic Forum on ASEAN Summit 2017.
The third annual Grow Asia Forum was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 31 May 2016. The high-level event was attended by 140+ senior leaders from governments, the private sector, farmer organizations and civil society.
It focused on sharing the actions and outcomes from the Grow Asia partnership in the last year and participants discussed plans for the coming year. A need for greater engagement with farmer organizations in value chain projects; supporting innovation; developing financing solutions for farmers; and using digital platforms to scale solutions were identified as areas of focus for Grow Asia. In addition, the role of local secretariats for Country Partnerships was recognized.
The Grow Asia partnership was launched at the Grow Asia Forum on 19 April 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Over 160 leaders from government, the private sector, civil society, farmers associations, international and donor agencies, and other groups joined the discussions to define concrete opportunities for action, collaboration and solution-building. Participants embraced Grow Asia’s goal of reaching 10 million farmers by 2020 in the ASEAN region, helping them to improve productivity, sustainability and profitability by at least 20%.
In a press conference on 21 April, the Governments of Australia and Canada announced a total of US$ 9.5 million over three years in funding commitments to support the partnership’s activities and the establishment of a coordinating Secretariat in Singapore.
150 leaders from ASEAN governments, private sector, NGOs, international organizations and farmers associations participated to set the agenda for Grow Asia. This included Ministers, Vice Ministers or Senior Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture from eight of the ten ASEAN countries. In country discussions and solution sessions, participants shared partnership opportunities, exchanged experiences from the region and jointly defined strategic priorities for Grow Asia.
Key messages included the need to align with ASEAN priorities, explore cross-border collaboration, focus on farmers including aggregation of farmers and provision of financing, investing in research for development, improving environmental efficiency and reducing food loss.