At the second Greater Mekong Subregion Agriculture Ministers Meeting, which opened yesterday in Siem Reap province in Cambodia, ministers from the six GMS countries – Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – are discussing the most important issues in agricultural sectors of the sub-region. The main topics in the meeting focus on increasing productivity in the agriculture sectors of the sub-region countries and also potential markets for agricultural products, and included in this is developing agrotourism. Linkages between agriculture and tourism can be beneficial to both industries, and tourism is also seen as a way of boosting rural employment and economies. CABI, which is involved in both agricultural and tourism development, is represented at the event by Dr Qiaoqiao Zhang, Memberships Director & Secretary to CABI Executive Council.
By M Djuric, DVM
African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to spread in traditionally endemic sub-Saharan Africa, but it is also expanding into previously ASF-free countries with a new front opening up along the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.
The risk of ASF entering China is of particular concern since the country keeps almost half of the worldwide pig population. China is also the biggest importer of pork and has very strong links with ASF-infected countries in Africa. China also shares a border with the ASF-endemic Russian Federation.
China and Asia in general have never encountered ASF, and therefore there is a concern that the region may be unprepared for a potential outbreak of ASF, which could have catastrophic consequences on global pork supply.
To build ASF preparedness and to address the policy gaps, the European Union (EU) -funded LinkTADs research consortium brought together 40 experts from the EU and Asia for the “African Swine Fever Policy Event” in Beijing on 24 November 2014.