Innovation to take primary role in Asean food security
HIS Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, yesterday placed great emphasis on innovation taking a primary role in achieving and maintaining food security in the Asean region.
Speaking at the opening of the 31st Asean Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Meeting (Amaf), His Royal Highness cited the pressures of population growth, particularly in Asia, and highlighted the important role that science and technology will play in alleviating the strain on limited regional food resources.
"I believe that innovation, based upon science and technology, will be a primary contributor to the maximisation of food production in a sustainable, more cost effective and environmentally responsible manner," said the Crown Prince.
His Royal Highness also raised the issue of sustainable development and stressed that any growth in production must be balanced.
"Innovations in food production must not only increase the safety and quality of food products, they must also find new ways to ensure that food production can be increased without detriment to the environment," he said.
Citing the 11th Asean Food Conference held in Brunei last month as an example, His Royal Highness said that conferences that provide a forum for international experts to explore new approaches and opportunities in food science technology are crucial in the efforts to ensure food security for the region.
The Crown Prince also called for the Asean ministers to look into effective ways of encouraging investment in agriculture to enhance the region's capacity in food production.
"We must also recognise that substantial and continuous investment is required for the necessary capacity building, and research and development, that drives innovation in our food production," he said.
Ministers at the conference were urged by the Crown Prince to share and learn from each other's best practices in order to further the development of a comprehensive strategy on sustainable and integrated food and bio-fuels production, as well as its consumption.
"We may also wish to share information on our respective experiences, whilst also enhancing capacity building and technical cooperation to promote the harmonisation of food safety and bio-energy production standards in Asean," he said.
The Brunei Times