The First South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Agri Cooperative Business Forum began in Kathmandu. The theme of three-day Forum is the ‘Organizing and Strengthening Family Farmers’ Cooperatives to attain the Sustainable-Development-Goals-1 and 2 in South Asia’. It is being co-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Asian Farmers’ Association with the support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The Forum brings together representatives both from the government and non-governmental entities from the Member States of SAARC as well as from regional and international organizations. Addressing the inaugural session of the Forum, the Secretary-General of SAARC Amjad Hussain B. Sial said that South Asia is home to around a quarter of the global population and majority of whom live in the rural areas and depend on natural resources like land, freshwater, coastal fisheries and forests. He said that much of the agricultural production in the region is undertaken by small landholders.