The 3rd International Integrated Conference “Asia Today” held in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 31 March to 2 April 2017 at Maejor Agricultural University.
The conference topic for this year was “Next generation with creation the history of the future”. It addressed the regional issue of market ethical degradation throughout Asia, and at the same time, calls upon young farmers to keep staying in their villages for preserving their ancestors’ traditional farming on their own land under a new concept of values. Values which are totally different from those of industrial agriculture and commercial agriculture, and which have been existing for over 200 years - “Gardens provide a source of pure and tasteful food” - in the move towards minimizing
of non-transparent, incapable and immoral middlemen. Many creative thoughts and outlooks of the young farmers coming from Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, United States of America, United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka and Laos were shared at the conference. Also in this forum, the academics confessed their foolish and unconscious guilt for causing decades of degradation to soil, water, air and food - gifts that have been presented to human beings by nature. “The next generation must pay the price of their parent’s mistakes. As we have committed lots of sins, we call on our next generations to redeem our mistakes by respecting nature like our ancestors did 200 years ago” – said Dr. Kurma.
Three recommendations proposed during the conference. These were that Asian nations need to take immediate actions, namely: 1) Turn their back to GMO products and varieties produced by Monsanto and Syngenta available throughout the continent; 2) Create opportunities for the youths to meet more frequently through international short-term practical ecological farming training courses; and 3) Establish models of cooperatives connecting eco-farmers and mindful consumers regionally, nationally and internationally. The representative from Community Entrepreneur Development Institute (CENDI), Mrs. Tran Thi Lanh, also gave her recommendation and solution, which was highly welcome by young eco-farmers. It was necessary, she said, to create favorable conditions for regional young eco-farmers, communities, and farmer field schools (FFS) to exchange their endangered forest seeds and herbal medicine plants via annual meetings; so that natural seeds can be more freely exchanged after more than a century of the intentional or unintentional elimination of natural varieties for the profit-at-all-costs-seeking purposes of market-driven companies. Through discussions, the young eco-farmers show their deep understanding of their missions. “The future is in the heart and the hand of the young eco-farmers, i.e. the society puts not only trust and opportunities, but also big responsibilities, on the shoulder of the young generation”.
Let us love and respect every living thing around us every second, every minute and every day, just as we love our parents, our children and our friends. Be mindful that we are just little beings among many other sentient beings every second, every minute and every day. For sure, the young generation will look back at us and be determined to redeem those mistakes that the older generations and academics have made over 200 years.