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Thursday, December 2, 2010

APEC WORKSHOP - Food Security

I am attending the APEC Workshop on "Enhancing food security through a regional approach and wide stakeholder participation in plant biodiversity" at Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia from 1-3 December 2010. The workshop attended by 76 participants from 10 APEC member country and 3 Non-APEC member country and observer from other nations. Four major paper were presented by resource person from professionals include government and private sector about food security and compliance with global standards and risk management for market access. Two paper from Australian Representative discusss about " The biodiversity Continum" by Dr Ian Naumann and " A Regional approach to plant Biodiversity" by Dr Andrian Harris. 11 Country paper on overview of fact finding visits to member economies and potential areas for cooperation in regional bio-security also presented by PR China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar.

The key objective of the workshop is to build on current national systems and capacity within the developing APEC economies to develop a complementary framework that will strengthen region wide cooperation to facilitate efficient food production. The other objectives of the workshop will be to promote an environment of sharing and learning in addressing current constraints to an efficient food production system. Then to provide opportunities for member economies to directly exchange strategies and experiences in their efforts towards food security in an APEC (integrated approach). This workshop also designed to propose and discuss a framework for a regional collaboration approach to meet food security, particularly with respect to common threats of invasive agricultural pests, covering pest management, quarantine and phytosanitary measures, and regulations as they relate to market access and trade. Last objectives is to strengthen networking among APEC economies in a systemic manner to share information and expertise in phytosanitary and agricultural trade issues.

As we know the world is currently facing a food security crisis. Today, an estimated 852 million people worldwide are going hungry, while 2 billion people do not have a regular secure source of food due to the poverty as they face (FAO Reports 2003). The need for increased global food production continues against a backdrop of population growth, changing food preferences, increased pressures on land and water, and climates change. Agriculture is central to the issue and food security; the challenges associated with food security , the challenges associated with food security may be addressed not only to growing more, but also by losing less of what is being grown.

The objectives of the Agriculture Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCTWG) are to improve productivity in Agriculture, facilitate trade in food product and strengthened biosecurity by containing trans-boundary movement of plant pests. Some economies are scientifically logging behind whilst others may be at various levels of development. This development disparities provide opportunities for the maximal use of complementarities through regional approaches to increase crop production and reduce crop losses. The adoption of innovative systems can create an enabling environment for individual sharing and learning. The alignment of different domestic policies and processes to the common objectives of ATCWG can go a long way towards and effective joint action in enhancing regional food security.

According to Dr Larry C.Y. Wong from ISIS Malaysia, Food Security exists when all people, at all times , have physical , social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The reports says that for meat consumption for 100 years recorded at 25 kg/kg/person per year increased to about 80 kg/person/person/year an increase of 55 kg. For fish consumption increase from 9.9 kg to 16.4 kg/person/year in 25 years. For vegetable consumption reported the average consumption were increase from 60 kg/person/year in 1970'es to about 100 kg/person/year today. Asia is the home to 2/3 of the world's poor and hungry in the world and 947 millions Asians live on less than USD 1.25 a day (FAO Reports 2009).

The 4 main threats in Food Security were FOOD AVAILABILITY, FOOD ACCESSES (PHYSICAL), FOOD ACCESS (ECONOMIC/EMPLOYMENT) and FOOD UTILIZATION. Food availability related to food production, Food imports and Food stockpiles. Physical Food Accesses depends on access to the market for consumer and infrastructures. Economic Food Access related to employment, overseas remittance, foreign direct investment and trade. The food utilization refer to health and nutrition, sanitation or hygiene, storage or processing facilities and clean water. Other related transitory food security weather disruption , pests and disease outbreaks . fluctuation or increasing of fuel prices, competition from energy sector, policy changes (eg trade policy), lower holding of cereal stocks, diversion from staple to cash crops, conflicts or terrorists activities and economic factors.

Most APEC members country increasingly contend their National Food security policies and able to achieve with regional and global food security. With increasingly interconnectivity or interdependence in food security - need to view as Food Ecosystem, Increasingly develop and apply systems especially in view of overlapping regional frameworks. The discussion of the workshop give an idea of how the plant biosecurity related to food security in this region. Thanks.


M Anem
Concorde Hotel
Shah Alam
2 Dec 2010

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