APHCA's mission is to enhance the level of nutrition and standard of living of livestock keepers, especially smallholders, livestock value-chain actors, and communities at large through equitable, sustainable and safe livestock sector development. This is achieved by promoting information-generation and exchange, providing normative guidance and coordinating joint action among members countries and other stakeholders.
The establishment of APHCA within the framework of the FAO was initiated by Asian nations at the 5th FAO Regional Conference on Animal Production in 1974. The Commission was approved and established by FAO at the 60th Session of the FAO Council under article XIV of the FAO Constitution and became operational in December 1975.
Membership is open to countries of FAO/United Nations, located wholly or partly in the region (defined by latitudes 50o North and 50o South, longitudes 60o East and 130o West). The geographical area covered by APHCA is home to more than two-thirds of the global domestic livestock population and to more than half of the world's poor livestock keepers.
The current 18 member countries are Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Iran, DPR Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
APHCA is led by an Executive Committee, which comprises: the Chairperson; the Vice-Chairperson; three members elected by the country delegates annually from among themselves; and the immediate past Chairperson of the Commission.
The Senior Animal Production and Health Officer of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, is the Secretary of APHCA and the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee provides guidance and assistance in the timely implementation of programmes that have been approved by the Commission.
APHCA is mainly funded from annual membership fees paid by its member countries. These fees are fixed according to the country categories that are broadly related to Gross National Product. These fees are paid to the FAO Trust Fund. The Secretary and part of the APHCA Secretariat staff are provided by FAO.
Furthermore, some countries established National Currency Funds (NCFs) to promote technical cooperation among developing member countries, these funds being available only for use in the country that provides them. The establishment of NCF was made a formal part of the Agreement for the Establishment of the Commission as a result of an amendment passed in 1979 at its 4th Annual Session. NFCs are administered by the members concerned.
Finally, APHCA is open to extra-budgetary contributions. The Government of Australia made an extra-budgetary contribution of A$175,000 during 1982-85 as special core budget support to the APHCA Trust Fund. These funds were used to support specific programmes, including regional and national training courses, TCDC activities, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) control, and rinderpest eradication in the region.
Activities and Achievements
APHCA's strategy for achieving its mission is are founded on the principles of collective self-reliance and mutual assistance between the developing countries and the Commissions main activities relate to the facilitation of information exchange and coordination.
Based on the available funds, the Commission prepares a work programme at its annual session intended to support sustainable improvements in rural livestock agriculture and resource use by means of disease control, improved services and inputs, enhanced organizational efficiency, diversification of farm production, value-chain development, and other initiatives. Some examples of specific programmes supported by APHCA are:
- Control and eradication of major diseases, which hamper livestock and poultry production in the Region. As an example, APHCA convened the first preparatory meeting for South Asia Rinderpest Eradication Campaign (SAREC) in New Delhi in 1987.
- Development of the rural economy through increased milk production by small-scale farmers. In this respect APHCA is currently supporting the implementation of a smallholder dairy development programme in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand.
- Increase efficiency of livestock feed resource use through better utilization of farm by-products, recycling of crop and animal wastes and by development of new sources of feeds which reduce dependence on human foodstuffs. To this end APHCA convened an international workshop on feeds and feeding of livestock and poultry and feed composition, data documentation and feeding systems in Asia, the Far East and South-West Pacific.
The implementation of these programmes is based on an exchange of experience, expertise, technology and information, common discussion through seminars and workshops to identify problems and find solutions, and inter-country training and visits to stimulate development activities at national levels.
In addition to reaching practical goals, APHCA has built a fund of good will and a reputation for performance with the other United Nations agencies and international organizations, developed countries and development actors which seek to support programmes for rural development based on small farmer livestock production. APHCA's performance has further earned it a reputation as advocacy body for regional livestock policy makers and industry stakeholders.
| 1. Dr. C. Perumal Pillai (Sri Lanka) [December 1975 - January 1979] - Dr. Pillai was one of the founders and the first Secretary of APHCA. He joined FAO as Regional Veterinarian for the Asia-Pacific Region in 1968 and later on became Regional Livestock Development Officer. Under his driving force, FAO established APHCA - then the FAO Regional Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia, the Far East and the Southwest Pacific. He served the Commission as its first Secretary until January 1979. Dr. Pillai passed away in Colombo on 2nd March 1997.
| 2. Dr. Balbir Krishna Soni (India) [August 1979 - April 1990] - Dr. Soni served FAO as the Regional Animal Production and Health Officer and the second Secretary of APHCA between August 1979 and 1991. One of his key achievements, amongst other, was the raising of APHCA core budget support scheme for which APHCA received A$175,000 - during 1982-85 - as extra budget contribution from the Government of Australia. Dr. Soni is keeping well in Bangalore, India.
| 3. Dr. Masao Sasaki (Japan) [March 1991 - December 1995] - Dr. Sasaki joined the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in February 1983 as Livestock Officer and was thereafter promoted to Regional Animal Health Officer and Regional Animal Production and Health Officer in 1986 and 1991, respectively. In the latter function he served APHCA as its third Secretary. He left FAO in January 1989 to take up a post with JICA.
| 4. Dr. Denis Hoffmann (Australia) [1997 - November 2002] - Dr. Hoffmann started his career in FAO in 1997 as Senior Animal Production and Health Officer in the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and served as the fourth Secretary of APHCA. He took early retirement from the Organization in November 2002 but occasionally serves FAO as consultant, mainly in animal health issues.
| 5. Dr. Hans-Gerhard Wagner (Germany) [September 2003 - June 2010] - Dr. Wagner was transferred from FAO HQ and assumed the post of Senior Animal Production Officer at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in 2000. He was appointed Senior Animal Production and Health Officer and became the fifth Secretary of APHCA in September 2003. Dr. Wagner retired from FAO in 2010.
| 6. Dr. Joachim Otte (Germany) [November 2011 - June 2015] - Dr. Otte joined the Animal Production and Health Division of FAO HQ in 1998, where he was in charge of livestock sector information management and, from 2002 to 2009, coordinated the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative as well as a DFID-funded HPAI research project covering the greater Mekong Sub-region. Dr. Otte was transferred to the FAO Regional Office in Bangkok in 2011 to assume the post of Senior Animal Production and Health Officer and serves as sixth Secretary of APHCA.
| 7. Vinod Ahuja, Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, USA [July 2015 - Present]- Vinod Ahuja is Livestock Policy Officer at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Office of the United Nations) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok. Prior to joining FAO in August 2009, he taught at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, India for about 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA and worked for the World Bank in Washington DC for about three years before joining IIM Ahmedabad. His professional interests include sustainable livestock development and value chain development for livestock products. He has written extensively on a broad range of topics including collective action and livestock-livelihood linkages. Within FAO's new Strategic Objectives he is currently the Regional Focal Point for Strategic Objective 4 "Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems".
| 8. Dr. Katalin (Katinka) de Balogh (Netherlands) [November 2016 - ] - Ms de Balogh joined the Animal Production and Health Division of FAO HQ in 2002. At FAO HQ, Ms de Balogh initially worked in the DFID funded Pro-poor Livestock Policy facility dealing especially with the West African activities of the project. During the outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in 2005, she moved to the Animal Health Service (AGAH) where she took up the role of response manager of the newly established Crisis Management Centre- (CMC-Animal Health). In 2007, she became the Senior Office-Veterinary Public Health dealing with diseases that are transmitted between humans and animals and became a keen advocate for the implementation of the One Health concept and the elimination of human rabies transmitted by domestic animals. Within FAO's new Strategic Objectives she has been a delivery manager for "innovative delivery of services for the rural poor". Dr. Katinka was transferred to the FAO Regional Office in Bangkok in 2016 to assume the post of Senior Animal Production and Health Officer and serves as seventh Secretary of APHCA.