In the aftermath of the 2007/2008 food price crisis, the ASEAN Summit of 2009 pledged to embrace food security as a permanent and high policy priority. The attainment of food security has faced several recent challenges, such as economic slowdown due to the global financial crisis, as well as rising cost of living and of agricultural inputs due to escalating fuel prices. Emerging threats include the shift of arable land to biofuels with potential repercussions on food production, short-term impacts of natural disasters complicated by climate change, and other long-term pressures on food production, such as urbanization, conversion of agricultural land, and migration of labour from rural areas.
To systematize its approach to food security, the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework 2009-2013 was adopted by the Member states at the 14th ASEAN Summit in 2009 to provide scope and joint pragmatic approaches for cooperation among ASEAN Member States.
The AIFS Framework identifies a strategic set of measures based on strong commitments and ownership among all Member States. The goal of the AIFS Framework is two-fold: i) ensure long-term food security in ASEAN; ii) improve the livelihoods of farmers in ASEAN.
To achieve the goal, the Framework identifies six Strategic Thrusts arranged under four Components, namely: Emergency/ shortage relief; Sustainable food trade; Integrated food security information system; and Agricultural innovation.
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
Definition agreed at 1996 World Food Summit
Food security as foundation should have sustainable agrifood systems to promote means of livelihood, competitiveness and ensuring staple supply of food. Towards long-term food security in the ASEAN region, Sustainable Agrifood Systems is regarded as the long-term sustainable approach (in its social, economic and environmental dimensions).
ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and the Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN Region (SPA-FS), developed as a response to the need for an integrated approach and multi-stakeholder efforts towards long-term food and nutrition security in the ASEAN region, provide scope and joint pragmatic approaches for cooperation among ASEAN Member States (AMS). The ASEAN leaders reiterated the importance to develop a common and unified position to ensure sustainable food security and nutrition in ASEAN and endorsed the new phase of AIFS Framework and SPA-FS, 2015-2020 at the 25th ASEAN Summit held in November 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The new AIFS Framework and SPA-FS 2015 – 2020 have integrated a special focus on nutrition.