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ERIA Talks Sustainable Agriculture at ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting

22 August 2023

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Video conference, 22-23 August 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) participated in the Special Senior Officials Meeting of the 44th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (Special SOM-44th AMAF) and related meetings, including the Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN-Japan Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AJMAF). The meetings were hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR.

At the Special SOM-44th AMAF held on 22 August, Masanori Kozono, ERIA’s Policy Fellow on Food and Agriculture, presented the results and recommendations of ERIA‘s Scoping Study for Building and Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in ASEAN.

In his presentation, Kozono summarized the current status of sustainable agriculture in the region. He said the enhancement of soil health and fertility and the reduction of agrochemical input are already broadly implemented as priority actions for sustainable agriculture. However, actions with emerging technologies such as digital agriculture have not yet been disseminated well across the region. In particular, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam, collectively known as CLMV countries, are lagging behind in the application of digital technology. He also proposed recommendations for development of the Action Plan of the ASEAN Guidelines for Sustainable Agriculture.

These recommendations included: supportive policies and actions in the application of digital technologies, and carbon measures for CLMV should be considered and described in the action plan; a financing mechanism to bolster sustainable action in agri-food systems, and capacity building for stakeholders should be considered and included in the action plan; and practical actions with feasible targets, the key performance indicators (KPI), timelines and potential partners for collaboration should also be outlined in the plan.

Kozono stressed ERIA’s continuous support for the development of an action plan for the implementation of ASEAN Guidelines for Sustainable Agriculture. He also took the opportunity to introduce ERIA's Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (DISC), which will serve as a regional open innovation hub and contribute to strengthening regional food security by providing a platform for knowledge sharing and training for agricultural stakeholders.

At the SOM-AJMAF held on 23 August, Kozono outlined the Concept Note for the ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation 50th anniversary symposium, Promoting Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems through Innovation, which will be co-hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat and Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, with technical support from ERIA.

The symposium will be held in late November and attended by high-level officials, agri-businesses, universities in ASEAN and Japan and international organizations including ERIA, to discuss ASEAN’s initiatives and partner cooperations for promoting resilient and sustainable agriculture. 

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