Los Baños, Laguna — Ministers and dignitaries from 11 Asian countries will visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) headquarters tomorrow, 12 September. The visit is part of the 37th meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), in addition to the 15th AMAF Plus Three Meetings with China, Japan, and South Korea hosted by the Philippine Department of Agriculture, led by Secretary Proceso Alcala, this year. India will also participate.
“IRRI supports ASEAN members in their national rice and food security programs by providing the necessary scientific research as well as technical support and capacity-building,” said Robert S. Zeigler, IRRI director general.
The ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework, along with the Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN Region, enables sharing of any agricultural commodity. A careful assessment of the various ASEAN+3 countries reveals extensive variation in natural resources for rice production. This is also the case for other crops and agricultural commodities.
“In effect, each ASEAN nation has a country food security agenda. Each country’s national strategy is linked to the ASEAN regional agenda, bound together by shared aspirations, and facilitated by trade. ASEAN countries could look at exporting high-quality rice to Europe, for example. And Africa is a major growth area because of its rising demand for rice. All these topics, including IRRI’s support to the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program will be part of the discussions during the ASEAN event,” Zeigler noted.
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