The overall objective is that the framework conditions for the implementation of sustainability standards in agricultural value chains within the ASEAN region are improved.
The free movement of goods and services is a key aspiration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a cornerstone of the common market of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Many of ASEAN Member States (AMS) rely on the agricultural sector as the backbone of their economies and the main source of income for their population. However, the limited implementation of food standards on quality, safety and sustainability is not only a challenge within most AMS, but also a major obstacle to economic integration and, by extension, to linking up with global value chains.
Agriculture sector plays an important role in the context of regional integration, as outlined in the Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (SP-FAF), 2016-2025 and the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Crops (SPA-Crops), 2016-2020 and 2021-2025.
ASEAN and its Member States continue joint effort in strengthening its agricultural production and trade in accordance with regional and international standards on quality and sustainability.
Supported by the BMZ, the Promotion of Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains in ASEAN (ASEAN AgriTrade) project addresses a regional issue with respect to overcoming barriers to cross-border agricultural trade. The project’s implementation is carried out at regional level in collaboration with ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat. Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam are the focus countries of national level implementation, under the purview of the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Crops (ASWGC).
APPROACH/FIELD OF INTERVENTION
Enhancing cooperation between relevant ASEAN bodies and the private sector;
Mainstreaming Gender aspects in relevant ASEAN strategy documents;
Improving conditions for private sector engagement in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV);
Conducting awareness-raising campaigns on the health and ecological benefits of sustainable agricultural products in the CLMV countries;
Actors along the agricultural value chains in ASEAN supported by the project, members of ASWGC, and other relevant public, private and civil society actors in the ASEAN Member States, particularly in CLMV countries.
Between August 2019- June 2021
The Agrinnovation Fund in ASEAN (AIF) was launched in January 2021 to seek and to foster market driven innovations in the production, processing, marketing, and market access in agricultural value chains while meeting quality and sustainability standards. The Fund creates opportunities for investment through public-private partnerships CLMV countries. Specific value chains of focus for AIF were selected together with project partners and stakeholders.
Strengthened awareness on the importance of gender mainstreaming in agriculture and integrated gender aspects in the SPA-Crops and implementation of project activities.
The Regional Workshop on Promoting Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Gender Mainstreaming in Crop Sector of ASEAN was held by end of September 2020. The workshop provided overview on existing tools—frameworks and guidelines to facilitate public-private partnerships in crop sector within the region. The workshop highlighted the importance of gender and shared a know-how to integrate gender aspect in the crop sector activities in ASEAN.
Through the Butterfly Model, participants brainstormed and identified challenges faced at four level: human resource development, organisational, network, and institutional. Results derived from the workshop include recommendations to integrate gender aspects in future activities of the ASEAN AgriTrade particularly on public-private partnership. This is in line with the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Crops 2021-2025.
Some thirty-five representatives from seven AMS participated in the workshop, consisted of focal points of ASWGC, project steering committee of the ASEAN AgriTrade project, the Food, Agriculture and Forestry Division of ASEAN Secretariat, and expert consultants.
Agrinnovation Fund in ASEAN (AIF)
The Agrinnovation Fund in ASEAN (AIF) was established under the AgriTrade project with the objective to support innovative practices and solutions to improve safety, quality, and sustainability in agricultural value chains. Two workshops in October and November 2020 were held virtually with public partners and private sector representatives from CLMV countries to discuss and agree on the AIF concept.