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ASEAN Dynamism: Agricultural Transformation & Food Security 2040
Source: web.worldbank.org
Source Date: Monday, November 05, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Created: Nov 13, 2012

November 5, 2012 - A side event of the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank on the theme of "Agriculture Transformation & Food Security Strategies 2040” was held on October 11, 2012 at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo. The objective of the event was to discuss the findings of a study conducted by JICA focusing on food security strategy in three counties in ASEAN, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The event brought together ministers, senior policy makers, officials of multilateral and bilateral development assistance agencies to realize agricultural transformation that is vital in the region in order to enhance food security by 2040. How should governments and the private sector respond to new challenges in the region to enhance food security?

Mr. Hideaki Domichi, the Senior Vice President of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) expressed his expectation in his opening remarks that this event will serve as a starting point for an extensive policy dialogue as well as a road map in the region for food security.

Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank, emphasized the necessity of new policies to respond to the new constraints such as increase in population and urbanization under region’s common characteristics such as scare water resources and land. She explained that boosting agriculture research and extension system, modernizing water management system, resolving land-related issues as well as to promote effective public interventions in the sectors are important to raise productivity.

Mr. Harinder Kohli, Chief Leader, Centennial Group then presented the study conducted by JICA. He pointed out several fundamental drivers that will affect the future prospects for agricultural production in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) such as 1) Increase in population; 2) Increase in income; 3) Changing in the demand for food production; and 4) Scarcity of land and water. To respond to these drivers, there is a need for major transformation to move to higher-value crops. Furthermore, greater cooperation among the countries is necessary.

A panel discussion participated by six panelists followed the keynote address by Mr. Kohli. Mr. Hiroto Arakawa, Vice President of JICA took the role of moderator for the session.

Mr. Arsenio M. Balisacan, Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning, Director General, National Economic Development Authority, the Philippines explained that the concept of food security consists of food availability, accessibility, utilization and stability. He emphasized that the concept of “food accessibility” is important considering history of famines and hunger in Asia due to inequity of purchasing power in spite of food supplies at the national level. Furthermore, he explained that increase in agriculture productivity by itself will not lead to sustained poverty reduction in rural areas. Policies need to address the issues though fostering dynamic linkage between the farm and the non-farm sectors of the economy. Priority of various options should be determined based on the impact.

Ms. Armida Alisjahbana, State Minister of National Development Planning, Chairperson of the National Planning Agency in Indonesia agreed that the issue of linkages between agriculture sector to the rest of the economy is important. In addition, she emphasized on sustainability and necessity of new varieties that adapt to the new climatic condition in the region.

Mr. Dang Kim Son, Director General of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam mentioned that bringing small scale farmers into the new reform of market integration is essential. A Public and Private Partnership approach is important to bring more private sector in the economy of the country to connect production to the market to have higher value added products.

Mr. Klaus Rohland, Country Director for China, Mongolia and Korea at the World Bank mentioned that synergy of factors, such as urbanization and climate change should be considered. He also explained that some cooperative mechanisms are necessary to raise the scale of operations. Finally, he concluded his intervention mentioning that credibility and trust is important in ASEAN region.

Mr. Pierre Jacquet, President of Global Development Network, Former Executive Director and Chief Economist of Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), mentioned that food security should include concept of ability to mitigate risks and to manage risks. He emphasized that we need to move from crisis management to risk management. He also pointed out the importance of coordination among donors.

Mr. Masayoshi Honma, Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resources Economics, Graduate School of Agricultural and life Sciences at the University of Tokyo mentioned that a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down approach should be taken for food security policy. The private sector should play a bigger role. He also emphasized that common rules and institutional harmonization would be very important for more efficient use of regional and global resources.

Finally, Mr. John Roome, Director of Sustainable Development, East Asia and the Pacific Region, at the World Bank concluded that the shape of agriculture over the next 30 years is going to be very different from 30 years ago. Therefore, adaptation to the change is critical and food security has to be within the context of transformation of agriculture over the next 30 years. He also emphasized that applying this discussion into practical implementation is important. For the implementation, precise strategies will be needed. At the end, he concluded the event emphasizing that all the factors, such as the public sector, civil society need to work together to enhance food security in ASEAN by 2040.
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