MPFD Seminar Series on Economic growth, demographic transformation and inclusive food security: Emerging challenges and opportunities

17 Jun 2016
Bangkok, Thailand

This seminar will discuss the findings of a series of analytical studies and consultations to understand the implications of the evolving economic growth and demographic transformation for realizing agricultural development, inclusive food security and rural poverty reduction in the Asia-Pacific region (APR).

While unprecedented economic growth experienced by the APR in the last 2-3 decades enabled millions of people to escape from poverty, it widened income gaps across sectors and countries. Farmers everywhere including in dynamic regions have become relatively poorer because of widening labour productivity gaps, marginalization and social exclusion, and poor integration with markets and value chains. The APR is entering into a period characterized by lower economic growth, greater financial market volatility and profound demographic transformation. In this context, realizing inclusive food security and poverty reduction will require efforts toward integrating agriculture and the rural sector with the rest of the economy, realizing labour productivity convergence across sectors, and rooting out structural and institutional impediments to equity and food price and income stability.

Mr. Wickramasinghe is currently serving as a Senior International Consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. He has earlier served as the Regional Adviser on Poverty Reduction and Food Security of the Centre for the Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA) – ESCAP, Economic Adviser of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Professor of Economics at the University of Sri Jayewaredenepura, Sri Lanka. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is an alumnus of the East-West Centre, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

The seminar is held from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m., in Meeting Room H, United Nations Conference Centre.