The Department of Agriculture (DA), represented by senior undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, emphasised “the importance of regional cooperation, robust coordination, and clearly stated goals to continue thriving in the face of pandemic, climate change, and natural disaster risks”
On 26 October 2022, the DA participated in the 44th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), the 22nd AMAF Plus Three (China, Japan, and Korea) meeting, and the 7th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting in Agriculture and Forestry (AIMMAF).
The meetings focused on the pandemic recovery measures; policy frameworks related to ASEAN cooperation in food, agriculture, and forestry; food security and nutrition; food safety, handling and product quality; and sustainable development of the food, agriculture, and forestry sector, among other matters.
“The Philippines notes the achievements of the high-level meetings and recognises the role they play in strengthening the ways forward of the AMAF and its working groups,” undersecretary Panganiban said. He added that the country remains robust in implementing various recovery efforts amid different threats and it puts great importance to public-private and multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaboration for the agriculture and fisheries sector.
During the AMAF Plus Three meeting, the officials discussed priority areas for cooperation and the implementation progress of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Strategy, ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve Agreement, and the ASEAN Plus Three Food Security Information System. The ASEAN ministers also expressed their appreciation to China, Japan, and Korea for their continued support and commitment to enhancing the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry.
Undersecretary Panganiban commented, “We are expressing our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Plus Three countries for diligently sharing resources and expertise to the region towards the attainment of a shared goal under the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.” He further mentioned that such collaborations were critical in ensuring that no one would be left behind.
During the AIMMAF, on the other hand, the participants agreed to further strengthen collaboration in the priority areas to address climate change, sustainable agriculture, conservation and nature positive agriculture, climate resilient agriculture, and sustainable soil management to ensure the sustainability of the agro-ecological system.
“India’s assistance to improve collaboration on digital technology systems and platforms is essential and plays an integral part in our region’s resilience especially since environmental and climate change challenges have become part of our survival,” the DA undersecretary said. He also urged fellow member states to keep pursuing cooperative activities and putting projects and initiatives for the food, agriculture, and forestry sectors into action.