Category Archives: Issue: Food Security/Sovereitny

Summary of the Grow Asia Forum 2015 at the World Economic Forum at East Asia

grow asia forum summary reportThe World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a summary report  of the Grow Asia Forum 2015 at the World Economic Forum at East Asia held on 19 April in Jakarta, Indonesia. which the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) participated in.

“Over 160 leaders from ASEAN governments, private sector, civil society, international organizations and farmers associations gathered at the Grow Asia Forum to set an agenda for this new regional multistakeholder partnership platform working to advance food security and sustainable, inclusive agricultural growth in ASEAN. Leaders committed to strengthening and scaling ongoing partnerships and launching new country partnerships, exchanged best practices, experiences and lessons from the region to develop innovative solutions, and jointly defined strategic priorities for the Grow Asia platform.”
Continue reading Summary of the Grow Asia Forum 2015 at the World Economic Forum at East Asia

AFA emphasizes small scale farmers’ role in OECD-ASEAN conference on food security

Bogor, Indonesia – AFA attended the regional conference on policies for food security between OECD and ASEAN held last November 11-12, 2014 at Hotel Salak, Bogor, Indonesia. AFA was represented by its policy advocacy officer, Ms. Lany V. Rebagay. The main objective of the conference was to provide a venue for exchange of policy experiences between OECD, ASEAN countries and international organizations in the region, with a special focus on food security. The conference also hoped to identify knowledge gaps and issues, on which the OECD could make a contribution in the region, and facilitate the exchange with regional partners.

During the conference, the newly endorsed ASEAN Integrated Framework for Food Security-Strategic Plan for Action for Food Security 2015-2020 (AIFS-SPA-FS) was presented. Ms. Rebagay acknowledged the goals of AIFS-SPA-FS which include the improvement of livelihood of small-scale farmers. She further reminded the delegates that small-scale farmers in the ASEAN region have been recognized as one of the key main investors in agriculture and should therefore be considered as key stakeholders in any discussions on food security. She added that ASEAN member states’ efforts like the provision of a multi-quality price policy or differentiated purchase price for quality rice in Indonesia should be implemented to encourage small-scale farmers to continue producing healthy and organic rice which is good both for the consumers and the environment as well.

The differentiated purchase price policy was recently approved based on strong advocacy by CSOs particularly the organized small-scale farmers including AFA’s member Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) together with other farmers group like Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) and WAMTI  composing the Farmers Forum / platform supported by the Medium Term Cooperation Program Phase 2 (MTCP2) funded by IFAD and SDC.

Ms. Rebagay also reiterated the need for support for community-based food reserves system including rice and seed banks as important initiatives to ensure food self-sufficiency and ensure resilience amidst climate change. In addition, the need to encourage young farmers to engage in sustainable farming was also emphasized particularly as one important sustainability factor for ensuring availability of nutritious food for all.

Click here to download the Conference Agenda

Click here to visit the Conference Website

AFA calls for communication with, by and for family farmers at the XIII UN roundtable on ComDev


“The challenge to the international community and to decision makers at all levels of society is to work with family farmers, through their farmers organizations… Communication for Development is key to enable social inclusion and put forward our own development agenda.”

This was the message delivered by AFA Secretary General and FAO Special Ambassador for the IYFF in Asia Pacific Esther Penunia in a keynote address at the XIII United Nations Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development with the theme “Enabling social inclusion to support food and nutrition security, resilient rural livelihoods and family farming” last September 16 at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. Continue reading AFA calls for communication with, by and for family farmers at the XIII UN roundtable on ComDev

AFA Event: CFS Side Event on Forests and Family Farming for food Security and Nutrition (16 October 2014, Rome)

Committee on Food Security (CFS) Side event on Forests and Family Farming for food Security and Nutrition (16 October 2014, Rome)

AFA co-organized a side event with FAO Forestry Department and Forest and Farm Facility together with the Indigenous Partnership for Agro-biodiversity and Food Sovereignty. AFA was represented by Mr. Lyam Bahadur Darjee, a farmer leader and Secretary-General of National Land Rights Forum (NLRF), who shared his experience and reflections of a Nepali Farmer on Agro-Forestry Based Farming for Food and Nutrition Security. The discussion during the side event highlighted the interconnectedness of forests and farms at the landscape level as well as the important role of forests and trees in family farming and food security through the direct provision of nutritious food and by maintaining sustainable agriculture systems for ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

Lyam Bahadur Darji – Agro-Forestry Based Farming for Food and Nutrition Security – Powerpoint Presentation 
Forest and Family Farming for Food Security and Nutrition – Proceedings

In the News: ASEAN ministers should protect interests of smallholder farmers

From September 23 to 25, ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) will hold their annual meeting in Nay Pyi Taw. Prior to this meeting, the Food Security Working Group (FSWG), a network of national and international NGO’s working on food security in Myanmar, organised a regional civil society dialogue, during which civil society representatives from a range of ASEAN countries discussed and formulated recommendations for their agriculture ministers. Continue reading In the News: ASEAN ministers should protect interests of smallholder farmers

FAO assures FO participation in GAFSP project in Bangladesh

Farmer organizations in Bangladesh are participating in the capacity building activities of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under the Technical Assistance (TA) component of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) project of Bangladesh.

Md. Mahmud Hossain, National Team Leader of IAPP-TA in Bangladesh said that the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP) already has two farmer representative members in the Project Steering Committee from two regions of the project area and they attend the meetings regularly.

“We included them in our capacity building initiative so they can participate more efficiently in the PSC meeting,” Hossain emphasized.

According to Hossain, the farmer representatives who sit in the steering committee of IAPP are: (1) Md. Wahedul Islam, President, Ghonirampur Livelihood Field School in Manirampur, Taraganj, Rangpur; and, (2) Md. Fazlul Haq, President, Munda Pasha Livelihood Field School in Munda Pasha, Uzirpur, Barisal

Click here for more information about the GAFSP Asian CSO representative

GAFSP Set To Reach More Than 10 Million Farmers across 25 Countries

(The following is a press release from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). AFA is a support organization to the Asian CSO representative to the GAFSP Steering Committee.)

WASHINGTON, September 11, 2013—Partners in the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a multi-donor trust fund established in 2010 to improve food security in the world’s poorest countries, today announced the allocation of $254.5 million in grants to eight countries. The grants will support country-led initiatives to increase agricultural productivity, improve food and nutrition security, and reduce poverty in Burkina Faso, Honduras, Kyrgyz Republic, Mali, Nicaragua, Uganda, Yemen, and Zambia.

International food prices have spiked three times in the last five years. With the outlook for future food pries uncertain, GAFSP seeks to improve food security and reduce poverty by delivering targeted financing for the agriculture sector in low-income countries. It takes up where emergency and recovery assistance leaves off, targeting transformative and lasting long-term development
Continue reading GAFSP Set To Reach More Than 10 Million Farmers across 25 Countries

AFA participates in a panel session during WEF-East Asia meeting in Myanmar

[World Economic Forum on East Asia, Nay Pyi Taw, 5-7 June 2013. (C) World Economic Forum]
June 6, Nay Pwi Taw, Myanmar – The World Economic Forum (WEF) conducted its 22nd forum in East Asia last June 5-7 in Nay Pwi Taw, capital city of Myanmar, with the theme “Courageous Transformation for Inclusion and Integration”. Around 900 participants from business sector, government and civil society attended the conference.

AFA Secretary General Ma. Estrella Penunia joined a parallel session held June 6, entitled “Building Food Security,” as a panelist together with Rusman Heriawan, Vice Minister of Agriculture of Indonesia, U Ohn Than, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation of Myanmar, Rajeev Vaidya, DuPont’s President for South Asia and ASEAN, Franky Oesman Widjaja, Chairman and CEO of Sinar Mas Agribusiness & Food, Indonesia, and Debbie Taylor, co-founder of Proximity Designs in Myanmar. The session was moderated by Jamil Anderlini, Beijing Bureau Chief of Financial Times, and had as rapporteur Dang Kim Son , Director General of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) of Vietnam. The session was organized by the team from the New Vision for Agriculture, a WEF initiative led by 29 global companies.

Continue reading AFA participates in a panel session during WEF-East Asia meeting in Myanmar

Madrid high level consultation participants want to end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition by 2025

[High-Level Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. April 4, 2013. Madrid, Spain. (C) IISD.]
“When I was born, four out of five Koreans lived in rural areas, but very few of them actually owned the land they farmed. Most were very poor, and many experienced hunger. The war years, of course, were especially dire. The United Nations helped come to the rescue, not just militarily but with sacks of grain and other forms of sustenance. When small farmers finally gained access to land and inputs, they were able to move beyond subsistence and contribute to the country’s progress. Today, the Republic of Korea is ranked 12th on the Human Development Index. There is a message for the world in Korea’s achievement: Hunger and malnutrition can be eliminated. With the right policies and investments, we can make dramatic progress in one generation – not in some distant future but in our own lifetimes.”

Continue reading Madrid high level consultation participants want to end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition by 2025

AFA promotes IYFF at PMAC

prince mahidol conference 2013Bangkok, Thailand – AFA promoted the International Year of Family Farming during a global panel discussing health and food security at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) 2013 Main Conference held at Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Center at Central World on January 31-February 2, 2013.

PMAC is an annual conference attended by a wide-range of experts and development players focusing on issues in public health. This year’s theme is “A world united against infectious disease: cross-sectoral solutions.”

The event was attended by around 1,000 participants from across the globe.

AFA joined the panel “Contribution of the One Health Paradigm to Food Security” moderated by Dr. David Nabarro, UN Senior Coordinator for Avian and Pandemic Influenza and Special Representative on Food Security and Nutrition.

Ms. Lany V. Rebagay, Policy Adovacy Officer of AFA, spoke about the role of small-scale farming in ensuring health, nutrition and food security. She said that “small-scale farmers feed the world and care for the earth.”

This is also the theme of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), which the UN declared after a worldwide campaign by a broad range of CSOs anchored by the World Rural Forum (WRF) and actively participated in by AFA.

She pointed out that in the discussion of One Health paradigm, a multi-sectoral collaboration to address health concerns integrating human-animal-environment dimension, participation of small-scale farmers is crucial.

She also asserted that small-scale women and men farmers feed 70% of the world’s population while ensuring environmental sustainability through agro-ecological farming systems that also ensure a diverse source of micronutrients that support sustainable diet.

Click here for more information about the panel


Primacy of strong FO presence in GAFSP project affirmed in KM session

With support from Agricord, through AsiaDHRRA and CSA, AFA hosted a knowledge session focused on drawing out key lessons on farmers’ engagement in  the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), particularly through the project entitled “Supporting Inclusive Planning of country projects financed by the GAFSP” last November 8-10, 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The learning session was participated by FOs and NGOs from four countries, namely, Mongolia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia.  It was also an opportunity for South-South learning exchange with the participation of Mamadou Cissokho, a key leader of ROPPA, a strong regional farmer federation from Senegal.

Results of the activity will feed into efforts at strengthening FO involvement in government agri policies and programs as well as in future project proposals that may be developed to support FO involvement in policy making processes for GAFSP.

One of the major lessons learned was the primacy of a strong farmers’ organization with capacity to constructively engage government and other stakeholders as key to the success of any food security program like GAFSP.

Click here to download the workshop results

AFA members in Cambodia and Bangladesh hold consultation dialogues on national GAFSP projects

National Farmers’ Organizations (FOs) Farmer and Nature Net (FNN), AFA member in Cambodia, and Kendrio Krishok Moitree ( KKM), AFA member in Bangladesh, convened consultation workshops cum dialogues with government implementers of national projects financed under the Global Agriculture for Food Security Program or GAFSP.

In Cambodia

The consultation in Cambodia was held last November 8, 2012, with 43 participants (32 male, 11 female) representing farmers from 8 GAFSP project areas, 2 other national FOs (Farmer and Water Net and CFAP), and 3 national NGOs (CEDAC, FLIFLY, Irrigation Service Center). The meeting was observed by representatives from national FOs in Nepal and Mongolia, Mr. Mammadou Cissokho of  ROPPA in Africa, Ms. Marlene Ramirez from AsiaDHRRA and Mr. Marek Poznanski from CSA, both of which are Agricord members. AFA was represented by Mr. Marciano Virola Jr., Ms. Lany Rebagay and Ms. Esther Penunia.

The farmer participants appreciated the presence of HE Vong Sandap, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Economics and Finance, HE Srun Darith, Deputy Secretary General of CARD, and Ms. Nao Ikemoto from ADB, which is the Supervising Entity of the project.

During the dialogue, the farmers were able to get a copy of the 100 communes that will be covered by the Project. The farmers also asked the government officials to adopt processes that will include the voices of the farmer leaders in the covered areas, and build the self-reliance of farmers groups. They also asked for participation of CSOs in the steering committee at the national level.

In Bangladesh

The consultation in Bangladesh was held last December 12, 2012, with 23 participants (18 male, 5 female), including 7 leaders of farmers groups in Kurigram and Patuakhali districts, leaders of 13 civil society organizations, and 1 journalist. Ms. Esther Penunia represented AFA.

Mr. Imanum Nobi Khan from FAO-Bangladesh gave updates on the Technical Assistance Component of the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP), which is funded by the GAFSP. He said that FAO’s mapping study revealed there are around 163,000 farmers groups organized by various government agencies; as well as 82,853 legally registered farmers cooperatives. However, Mr. Alauddin, Secretary General of KKM, said that many farmers were organized into groups for the purpose of project design fulfillment, and many of these groups cease to function when the project ends. He said that it is important for farmers groups to have a long-term vision and an ethical, political and economic orientation from its beginning/formation.

The participants welcomed FAO’s plan in 2013 to conduct, among others, (1) leadership training activities to leaders of farmers groups in the project areas, and (2) exchange visits among farmers inside the country as well as among farmers groups in India and Cambodia.

The participants also called for representation of FOs and CSOs in the project’s national and regional management/steering committee and the use of local experts in the various training and capacity building activities.

The workshop was co-convened by Action Aid, and was supported financially by Agricord through AsiaDHRRA.

Click here for the workshop report

AFA asserts farmers rights to land, seeds and markets in sustainable development dialogues

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Farmers need to have secure land tenure, control over their own seeds, support for agro-ecological approaches, access to markets for their products, and meaningful participation in governance processes at all levels, in order to effectively play their role in ensuring food and nutrition security and reduce poverty in the countryside.

This was one of the main messages delivered by AFA during the Rio+20 UNCSD “Dialogues for Sustainable Development” held in Riocentro, in Riode Janeiro, Brazil last June 16 – 19, 2012.

Specifically, AFA directly participated in the Sustainable Development Dialogues on the topic “Food and Nutrition Security” last June 17, where Secretary General Esther Penunia was one of the panelists.

Also in the panel were:
• Mr. Paulo Prada (Brazil), Reuters, Moderator;
• Dr. Vandana Shiva (India), Director, Research Foundation for Science
• Mr. Carlo Petrini (Italy), Founder, Slow Food Movement
• Ms. Hortensia Hidalgo (Chile), Indigenous Women Network of Latin America and the Caribbean for Biodiversity (RMIB)
• Ms. Josette Sheeran (United States of America), Vice-President, World Economic Forum
• Dr. Luísa Dias Diogo (Mozambique), Former Prime Minister of Mozambiqu
• Mr. Marco Marzano de Marinis (Italy), Executive Director, World Farmers Organisation
• Dr. Martin Khor (Malasia), Executive-Director, South Centre
• Dr. Mary Robinson (Ireland), Director, International Institute for the Environment and Development (IIED)
• Dr. Renato S. Maluf (Brazil), Coordinator, Center for Food Security, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)

The Dialogue’s session on food and nutrition security dialogue came out with three recommendations that were eventually presented to the official Rio+20 Summit:
1. Promote food systems that are sustainable and contribute to improvement of health.
2. Develop policies to encourage sustainable production of food supplies directed to both producers and consumers.
3. Eliminate misery and poverty-related malnutrition. Empower women farmers, small holder farmers, young farmers and indigenous people. Ensure their access to land, water and seed as well as their full involvement in public decision making regarding food production and food and nutrition security.

The first recommendation was voted by those who participated in an online voting conducted prior to the Dialogue session; the second was voted by the audience during the Dialogue session itself while the third was the synthesized recommendations from all the panelists.

These three recommendations, along with other three recommendations for each of the nine other topics (Unemployment, decent work and migrations; Sustainable development as an answer to the economic and financial crises; Sustainable development for fighting poverty; The economics of sustainable development, including sustainable patterns of production and consumption; Forests; Sustainable energy for all; Water; Sustainable cities and innovation; Oceans) were conveyed directly to the Heads of State and Government present at the Summit.

The government of Brazil organized the four day Sustainability Development Dialogues, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The Dialogue Initiative was launched through a digital platform in order to provide the wider public a democratic space for discussion.

The online debates on each of the ten themes of the Dialogues, facilitated by researchers from renowned academic institutions around the world, resulted in ten concrete recommendations that were viewed and voted for in a public website. The ten recommendations in each theme, ranked by the votes received in the public website, were then presented to the Panelists of each theme as well as to the audience during the face-to-face interaction.


Click here for more information on the Sustainable Development Dialogues
Click here for the fact sheet on the Sustainable Development Dialogues
Click here for the final recommendations on the ten topics of the Sustainable Development Dialogues

AFA participates in Global South-South Development Expo 2011

With 925 million people going hungry every day, the food insecurity crisis in the South cries out for solutions for long-term and sustainable food security.

Thus, this year’s Global South-South Development Expo, being held at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy on December 5-9, brings together country, civil society, private sector and UN agency representatives to allow sharing of success stories and exploration of new ideas to achieve food security.

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Development joins the expo as it taps into South-South Cooperation, which is based on solidarity and sharing of solutions and expertise among developing countries.The expo features a series of “solution exchange forums” covering: agriculture, food security and capacity development; social protection, agriculture and food security; environment, agriculture and food security; nutrition, HIV/AIDS, agriculture and food security; and health, agriculture and food security and agribusiness, food security and education.

These fora aim to help countries move towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through the sharing and discovery of solutions that are adapted to each country’s realities.The expo also includes a Leadership Roundtable on food security moderated by BBC news presenter Zeinab Badawi.

AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia participates in this roundtable, which is being webcast live.

Click here to go to the Global South-South Development Expo website

Click here to watch the live webcast of the Leadership Roundtable on food security

OXFAM, SEAFISH, AFA co-organize forum on food security and climate change adaptation

Esther Penunia, Secretary General, AFA

A forum-workshop entitled “Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation of Small Scale Farmers and Fishers in Southeast Asia” was held in Quezon City, Philippines, last Nov 24-25. The workshop was co-organized by Oxfam International’s East Asia office, Southeast Asia Fisheries for Justice (SEAFISH), a regional alliance of NGO and fisher groups, and Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), a regional alliance of national farmers organizations.

AFA participants included Oun Sophal and Meas Somica from Farmer and Nature Net (Cambodia), Lutfiyah Hanim from Aliansi Petani Indonesia, Rene Cerilla from PAKISAMA (Philippines),Vicky Serrato and Esther Penunia from the secretariat.

Small scale farmers and fishers are trying to adapt to climate change as much as they can. In this workshop, participants shared various adaptation strategies. Here are some of what they shared:

Continue reading OXFAM, SEAFISH, AFA co-organize forum on food security and climate change adaptation

Cambodian farmers learn natural farming in India

Natural/organic food mean to our lives and nature friendly, especially it reflects a responsiblity of producers for themeselves and for customers

(written and translated into English by Pan Sopheap, FNN)

Karnataka, India — Farmer and researcher representatives from 12 countries paid a 4-day field visits plus a one-day reflection workshop in Karnataka state, south of India, in order to expose ideas and experiences on food sovereignty.

The event hosted by Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), in cooperation with La Via Campesina (LVC) from November 2-6, 2011. The participants learned vast experiences from the Indian farmers regarding food sovereignty through application a method of Zero Budget Natural Farming and had also exchanged experiences with other participating countries.

Farmer leaders from 9 national level organizations in South and Southeast Asia, as well as 3 partner countries (researchers) from Latin America, Europe and North America shared their experiences and analysis of a common issues and challenges of the farmers and came up with some recommendations for the farmers, governments, inter-government bodies, and civil society organizations.

Continue reading Cambodian farmers learn natural farming in India

AFA joins ASEAN food security conference

AFA participated in an ASEAN food security conference held in Manila, Philippines last July 18-19, 2011.

The conference aimed to enable the private sector to participate in efforts to address food security in the region and focused on food production, post-harvest, and rural-market linkages.

AFA was represented by Mr. Uon Sophal (FNN President) and Mr. Pan Sopheap (FNN Executive Director) from Cambodia; Mr. Vicente Fabe (PAKISAMA National Council Chairperson) and Mr. Raul Socrates Banzuela (PAKISAMA National Coordinator) from the Philippines; Ms. Victoria Serrato (AFA Marketing Ofifcer) and Ms. Ma. Estrella Penunia (AFA Secretary General).

Mr. Sophal delivered a presentation on the the topic “Improving Food Security through Improving Productivity: Perspectives from Producers,” while the rest made interventions during the sessions.

Through the conference, an action agenda was developed for discussion at the first-ever ASEAN Private Agrifood Sector Consultation with the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), which will meet on October 3-8, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Click here to download Uon Sophal’s powerpoint presentation.

Click here for more information about the conference.

AFA to join ASEAN food security conference in Manila

AFA will participate in an ASEAN food security conference to be held in Manila, Philippines on July 18-19, 2011.

The conference will enable the private sector to participate in efforts to address food security in the region and will focus on food production, post-harvest, and rural-market linkages.

AFA will be represented by Mr. Uon Sophal (FNN President) and Mr. Pan Sopheap (FNN Executive Director) from Cambodia; Mr. Vicente Fabe (PAKISAMA National Council Chairperson) and Mr. Raul Socrates Banzuela (PAKISAMA National Coordinator) from the Philippines; and Ms. Victoria Serrato (AFA Marketing Ofifcer).

Mr. Sophal will make a presentation on the the topic “Improving Food Security through Improving Productivity: Perspectives from Producers,” while the rest will make interventions during the sessions.

Through the conference, an action agenda will be developed for discussion at the first-ever ASEAN Private Agrifood Sector Consultation with the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), which will meet on October 3-8, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

For more information about the conference, visit the conference blogsite at:

AFA attends GAFSP steering committee meeting

AFA attended the 5th meeting of the Steering Committee (SC) of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), conducted last June 6-9, in Washington, DC.

The meeting was attended by Soc Banzuela, who stood in for Dr. Sang Yang Koma (the regular CSO Asia representative), and Esther Penunia, for technical backstop to Soc as the support organization for Asia rep.

In the meeting, AFA was able to get some good feedback to its report and the work it is doing for GAFSP, get positive response to the CSO proposal on how to enhance CSO participation in the GAFSP, and get approval of the proposed GAFSP budget for FY 2012 in the amount of $85,000.

It was also able to come face to face with the members of the GAFSP SC, particularly the CSO reps and Northern CSO colleagues who are engaging in GAFSP processes.

Click here to get more information from the GAFSP – Asian CSOs website

AFA joins regional conference on food security

Nov 16, Bangkok – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held a “Regional Conference on Food Security” last Nov 15-16, in Bangkok, Thailand.

AFA was represented by its Marketing Officer, Vicky Serrato. During the break-out groups, AFA participated in the “policy reforms and private sector investments in food supply chains”.

During this consultation, the progress of the operationalization and implementation of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework, Strategic Plan of Action – Food Security (SPA-FS) and the Convergence Matrix was reviewed.

The consultation took note of the on-going challenges in achieving food security and various food security initiatives developed and implemented at the global level and in the ASEAN region. During this consultation the following were recognized among others:

1) need to look into diversifying staple food sources aside from rice and protein sources, which could be done through linking small farmers to community based production for food safety net programs;

2) need for monitoring action plans for transboundary pest and disease movement, pesticide policy and bio technology and food security policy dialogues;

3) establishing regional regular public-private sector dialogues showcasing farmers’ organization and empowerment;

4) need to establish a regional institutional mechanism with involvement from key stakeholders to coordinate and monitor Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN region; and,

5) need to strengthen and coordinate the various on-going food security initiatives of key stakeholders, including civil society organizations.

Several issues were raised during the small group workshops and plenary sessions, among them :

1) soaring food prices that contribute to food insecurity;

2) addressing issues related to securing land versus private sector investment that lead to landgrabbing issues which are detrimental to small scale farmers; and,

3) need to balance utilization of land for food production, bio-energy or bio-fuel production and animal feed production.

Click here for the adopted Joint Chairs’ Summary

Click here for status of implementation of AIFS, SPA-FS and Convergence Matrix