Brunei new chair of working group on agricultural research, development
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI took over chairmanship of the ASEAN Technical Working Group on Agricultural Research and Development (ATWGARD) from Vietnam yesterday.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Dr Hj Abdul Manaf Hj Metussin, during the working group’s 11th meeting opening ceremony, highlighted the pressing issue of food security for all countries around the world including those in ASEAN.
“The fulfilment of food security has faced several emerging challenges ranging from global financial crisis, rising cost of living, conversion of agricultural lands, as well as natural disasters coupled with climate change,” he said at the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.
In response to these challenges, agricultural invocation has been identified in the ‘ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework and Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN region 2015-2020’ as one of the key components in addressing long-term food security problems, he said.
Agricultural invocation is the product of efforts done in the field of research and development to ensure sustainable food production.
Dr Hj Abdul Manaf urged the technical working group – comprising representatives from ASEAN member states, ASEAN Secretariat, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) – to continue to identify new and fresh initiatives in agricultural research and development, particularly in intensifying cooperation activities amongst ASEAN member states that will benefit the region and represent the competitiveness of ASEAN in the global market.
The role of the technical working group in enhancing the harmonisation and cooperation in agricultural research must not be disregarded, he said.
“ATWGARD does not only provide a platform for first class research and development outcomes that will ensure long term food security for ASEAN, but it also has a significant contribution in upholding the common goal of ASEAN Economic Community especially in the institutionalising food, agriculture and forestry area,” he said.
The Brunei Times