AMAF +3 highlights steps towards achieving food security
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
AGRICULTURE and forestry ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with their counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea called attention to efforts aimed at achieving regional food security when they met yesterday.
The 16th Meeting of ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministers of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (16th AMAF +3) took place in Singapore.
In a joint press statement, the ministers appreciated the progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Agreement, in particular the approval of the legal personality of the APTERR Secretariat by the government of Thailand.
They noted the implementation of the Tier 3 programme with the distribution of rice donated from Japan to the victims of typhoons and droughts in the region.
They also noted the progress in the development of the ASEAN Plus Three Food Security Information System (AFSIS) to provide a comprehensive platform of information on food security in the region and to improve statistics on food processing and distribution related to agricultural crops in ASEAN which is being conducted by the AFSIS Secretariat.
The ministers were also pleased with the good progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Strategy (APTCS) on Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2011-2015.
Several cooperation activities and projects in the form of workshops, seminars, training and exchange of experts and researchers were carried out under the nine strategic thrusts.
They include strengthening food security; biomass energy development; sustainable forest management; climate change mitigation and adaptation; animal and plant health and disease control.
They also include enhancement of capacity-building and human resource development; strengthening of information system and knowledge networking and exchange; enhancement of productivity, quality and marketability of agricultural products; and research and development.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance of Singapore, Lawrence Wong.
Representing Brunei was the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Hj Apong. Also present was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Dr Hj Abdul Manaf Hj Metussin.
With the end of the APTCS on Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2011-2015, the ministers welcomed the initiative to conduct an assessment on the implementation of the APTCS and to formulate a post 2015 strategy. This new strategy should be in line with the Vision and Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2016-2025 as well as the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, according to the statement.
The ministers look forward to the development of the new strategy beyond 2015, it said. They also extended their appreciation to the Plus Three Countries for their commitment to enhancing ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in food, agriculture and forestry.
“We express our sincere appreciation to the government and people of Singapore for their warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the meeting,” the statement concluded. The 17th meeting will be held in Thailand next year.
The Brunei Times