Writer: Agriculture and Food Cluster Team
The 9th Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) of the ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) recently summarised its efforts and contribution towards achieving long-term food security in the region. Held on 3 – 4 May in Bangkok, Thailand, the Meeting was attended by steering committee members from nine ASEAN Member States with the exception of Singapore.
Dr. Surmsuk Salakpetch, Deputy Director-General, Department of Agriculture (DOA), Thailand, on behalf of the host country, Thailand welcomed the Steering Committee members to the Meeting and highlighted the meeting’s objectives.
The 9th SCM was held with the objectives to 1) update the overall progress and achievements of project implementation at regional and national levels; 2) consider the revised draft ASEAN Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management (SNM); and 3) seek guidance for the draft Executive Summary Report, including the draft policy recommendations.
Mr. Salongxay Raxabud, Deputy Director of the Planning and Cooperation Division, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR, on behalf of Mr. Bounchanh Kombounyasith, Deputy Director-General, Department of Agriculture, the chairperson from Lao PDR delivered the Opening Remarks.
He emphasized the project efforts and contribution toward achieving long-term food security in the region, especially in the improvement of our agricultural sector with a focus towards sustainability and increasing its competitiveness through ASEAN cooperation.
ASEAN Guidelines on the Regulation, Use, and Trade of Biological Control Agents (BCA): Khmer language
Regarding the translation of the ASEAN Guidelines on the Regulation, Use, and Trade of Biological Control Agents (BCA) into Khmer language, the Meeting noted that since the BCA Guidelines has already been translated into Khmer language, the proofreading and verification meeting with technical group from General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) and the Department of Agricultural Legislation (DAL) is scheduled to be organized in May 2017. After proofreading and verification, the GDA will lead in preparing and submitting the official letter together with the verified version of the translated BCA Guidelines for seeking approval from the Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
ASEAN Cooperation on Crops Website
The Meeting noted that the ASEAN Cooperation on Crops website is being developed based on the website structure presented at the 8th SCM. The website, which is now located on ASEAN SAS server, can be accessed at org.doa.go.th/aseancrops. The website is scheduled to be transferred to DOA, Thailand in July 2017. In addition, the Bio-Inputs Database has been transferred to DOA, Thailand server and integrated into the website. Development of the login page for updating and editing the databases is under preparation.
The Meeting also noted that Thailand has appointed a Regional Focal Point and a National Focal Point as well as established a National Working Group for the website. The website will be submitted together with the Information Note and Implementation Mechanism to the 24th Meeting of ASWGC for consideration and approval in July 2017.
ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems progress and achievements
The Meeting noted progress and achievements of the project on 13 indicators as to reflect what has been achieved and are still on-going. The Meeting noted that 10 out of 13 indicators have been successfully achieved while three indicators are being implemented and agreed to the future activities to fulfil indicators and complete the project by the end of 2017.
Regional Knowledge Sharing Consultation on Sustainable Agrifood Systems for Food Security and Sustainable Development in the ASEAN Region
The Meeting took note of the outcomes and recommendations of the Regional Knowledge Sharing Consultation (RKSC) on Sustainable Agrifood Systems for Food Security and Sustainable Development in the ASEAN Region held on 1 – 3 May 2017 in Bangkok. The key objectives of the RKSC were to be a regional platform for sharing experiences and lessons learnt, to identify issues and challenges that hinder the implementation of sustainable agrifood systems approaches as well as successful strategies to overcome challenges, and to provide opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss and share their perspectives and recommendations in shaping national and regional policies and strategies for promoting sustainable agrifood systems towards achieving food security and sustainable development in the ASEAN region.