PRESS RELEASE: Sustainable Agriculture Principles for food security and more income for farmers presented to the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry
Chiang Mai / 28 September 2017 – The ASEAN-German principles for sustainable agriculture in ASEAN are shown today at the “ASEAN Ministerial Exhibition on Sustainable Agrifood Systems: Towards Food Security and Sustainable Development” which is presented at the 39th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (39th AMAF) in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the 39th AMAF welcomes over 300 high level decision makers from all 10 Member States to discuss regional cooperation to increase the international competitiveness of ASEAN’s food, agriculture and forestry products. It also aims to strengthen the food security in the region and joint positions in international fora.
The four principles are composed of a) multi-level policy linkages, b) multi-stakeholder and Public-Private Partnerships, c) farmer inclusivity in the value chain and d) leadership and capacity building. The principles come from the collective efforts through the ASEAN-German partnership project, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS), from 2014-2017 to advance future sustainable agrifood systems in ASEAN.
It is part of the German-ASEAN Programme on Response to Climate Change in Agriculture and Forestry (GAP-CC) which being implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and ASEAN partners. The project received 15 million euro initial funds from the German government with an additional 15 million euro leveraged from public and private partners. As a result, 125,000 farmers were able to generate an estimated 98 million euro of additional income.
Ms. Claudia Ebach, Counsellor for Food and Agriculture, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangkok said: “Currently, ASEAN is facing great challenges in the agricultural and food sector: enabling everyone to have access to safe, healthy and affordable food, to meet an ever increasing demand by people while, at the same time, protecting a shrinking natural resource base.”
In order to tackle these issues, the ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) project has brought together different stakeholders to impart knowledge, lessons learned and experiences. I am confident that this German–ASEAN cooperation will be a valuable contribution to higher and more sustainable standards of living for the farmers, producers, traders and distributors, as well as to enhanced competitiveness in the agricultural sector,” she said.
Dr. Surmsuk Salakpetch, Deputy Director–General of the Department of Agriculture (DoA), Thailand, said: “The ASEAN–German cooperation on agriculture has played a key role in enhancing the capability of stakeholders in developing a sustainable production system. Thailand, as the host of the ASEAN SAS and ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (CRN), is happy that results and recommendations of the projects have been approved and supported by the ASEAN ministers of agriculture and forestry for further action.”
Mr. Stefan Helming, Country Director of GIZ Thailand and Malaysia: “The partnership focuses not only on achieving tangible results on the farms, but also supports regional dialogues and consultations in formulating strategic policy frameworks for the food and agriculture sectors. Most important, it helps to expand public–private partnerships in the region. The latter is very crucial not only to generate more income for farmers and secure food security in the region, but to increase competitiveness of the whole value chains.”
The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry consists of 10 ASEAN member countries, following up on previous results of implementation of agricultural policies, standards and best agricultural practices. It also aims to make the ASEAN region as the producer of safe and sustainable agricultural products that are highly competitive, well integrated into global market and trading systems, and resilient to challenges facing the sector.
GIZ and its partners have been implementing sustainable development in various sectors in Thailand and other ASEAN countries. In the food and agriculture sector, the partnership focuses on disseminating knowledge and good practices on sustainable agriculture as well as developing capacity and leadership among the key stakeholders, namely public agencies, private sectors and farmers. This is done through, among others, the Sector Network Natural Resources and Rural Development Asia (SNRD Asia), and the ASEAN SAS project.
In the exhibition, “ASEAN Ministerial Exhibition on Sustainable Agrifood Systems: Towards Food Security and Sustainable Development”, at the 39th AMAF on 28 September 2017, the ASEAN-German partnership provides opportunities for participants to exchange ideas and experiences based on ASEAN Member States success and recommendations.
The projects contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include poverty eradication (SDG1), hunger eradication (SDG2), support for good health and good living conditions (SDG3), sustainable production and consumption (SDG12), enhancing soil nourishment and reducing erosion (SDG15), strong cooperation among the public and private sectors, international organisations, civil society and farmers (SDG17).
GIZ is owned by the German government with operations around the globe. GIZ provides services in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and also works on behalf of other public and private sector clients both in Germany and overseas. These include the governments of other countries, the European Commission, the United Nations, World Bank and other donor organisations. GIZ operates in more than 130 countries and employs approximately 18,000 staff worldwide.