Key players in the food value chain reflects challenges that could possibly put an end to the agrifood production in ASEAN and this beautiful world.
The world is beautiful even though today the earth is packed with 7.5 billion people and in the 30 years from now there will be 9 billion people living in this planet. Asia alone resides 4.5 billion people.
The world is beautiful even though today 1 in 9 suffers from hunger, and 3 million children die of hunger every year despite the fact that the food is produced 1.5 times more than the total population living in the planet. More than half of the hungry people live in Asia.
The world is beautiful even though one third of the food that we produce for human consumption gets lost or wasted every day. And, this means one third of our resources like soil, water, energy, labor and cash are lost for nothing. In Asia, about 40 per cent of losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels.
The world is beautiful. Yet, we need sustainable agrifood systems and everybody’s involvement to maintain it.
Ms. Wilma Cuaterno
Chief of Crop Pest Management Division, Department of Agriculture, the Philippines
Everybody must think that this natural environment and the ecosystem is not ours. It is for the next generation. We must take care of it so the next generation will benefit like what we have now. If we are selfish, there is no more next generation.
Ms. Estrella Penunia
Secretary General, Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development, the Philippines
We need a political will from the policy makers, and we also need to unleash the potential of farmers through their organisations. Who will plant? It is the famers who will plant, it is not the government, it is not the minister, it is not the company, it is the farmer.
Dr. George Kotch
Head of Plant Breeding Division, International Rice Research Institute
One of our biggest challenge is that we in the agrifood systems and the chain we are strong in some components but not as strong in other components. Step back, look at the chain, and begin to approach that as across of the chain rather than one individual component of the chain. “Acting very independently we will have very little impact. We have to do this not only at local level but regional level. That’s where you are going to have the greatest impact. Local levels are good but not sustainable. Regional levels are powerful network.
Dr. Mak Soeun
Deputy Director General, General Directorate of Agriculture, Cambodia
Policy can be involved by many stakeholders and many agencies. We need to be harmonized as well as to make awareness and have integrated approach in order to implement with the win-win situation. Policy dialogue is very important. If we have a good plan and good arrangement, it does not waste time and money. We need to raise awareness, to make all the stakeholders to understand. I want to see our country increase GDP per capital, people increase income, get quality of food with safety, have good health and well-being through the sustainable agrifood system. I would like to see my country developed.
Mr. Satish Thampy
Managing Director, OLAM Thailand Ltd.
One of the biggest challenges when we talk about sustainability, everybody believes sustainability comes with the premium. But, sustainability should be part of what we do. Sustainability should come at the cost of reducing the cost of people who are operating in the sustainability. Reduce the cost, and still we are offering the same product, the same price.
By Rojana Manowalailao, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems