The Council of Agriculture (COA) said September 20 that the 3rd APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security successfully concluded in China’s Beijing International Convention Center on September 19. With this year’s theme of “strengthening regional cooperation to promote food security,” the ministers from different economies issued the “Beijing Declaration on APEC Food Security” during the meeting. They particularly commend Taiwan for implementing the APEC Multi-Year Project on Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Loss in the Supply Chain, mention it in the Declaration’s no. 15, and recognize the Project’s important contributions to food security. COA Minister Chen Bao-ji noted that in the future, Taiwan will continue striving to implement the APEC regional action plan on food security, making concrete contributions to food security in the Asia-Pacific region continuously.
Beijing Declaration maps out direction and framework on food security
The COA highlighted food security as the most important issue in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia is home to 65.6% of the global hungry population, and has the largest number of hungry people across all regions: 552 million or 13.5% of its total population. The percentage of the hungry population in one region is the highest among all global regions. Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen partnership among APEC member economies for the support of food security. During the period of ministerial meeting, the ministers from different economies presented solutions to the current challenges of regional food security and issued the “Beijing Declaration on APEC Food Security” to map out responsive policies. They call on members to strengthen knowledge sharing, promote successful practices, and construct an open, inclusive, reciprocal, sustainable and win-win partnership among members. All can contribute to the long-term Asia-Pacific and global food security.
Members affirm Taiwan’s devotion to regional food security action plan
Minister Chen spoke in the meeting, emphasizing public-private partnership as an innovative model to solve the long-term problems on food security. He added that Taiwan’s implementation of the APEC Multi-Year Project on Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Loss in the Supply Chain is the first agricultural multi-year project approved by APEC. The project aims to organize workshops every year, develop a methodology for data collection, establish baseline data, toolkits and best practices to reduce post-harvest loss, and exchange technologies on reducing food loss among APEC members. Moreover, it aims to establish a cooperative model between the public and private sectors as well as between economies, thus making concrete contributions to regional food security. APEC ministers praise Taiwan for implementing the APEC Multi-Year Project on Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Loss in the Supply Chain, mention it in the Declaration’s no. 15, and recognize the Project’s important contributions to food security. In addition, in the face of complicated problems on food security, Taiwan shares its experiences of policy implementation that integrates manpower, land and water resources for sustainable development. Recently, the nation implements the free economic pilot zones plan with value-added agriculture, which creates a new value chain in agriculture. Furthermore, the nation promotes the Fallow Land Reactivation Program, Small Landlords Big Tenant-Farmers Program, Rural Regeneration Program and established a Farmers’ Academy.
Boost agricultural cooperation to expand agricultural diplomacy
The COA further noted that Minister Chen had held bilateral talks with food security ministers or representatives from APEC economies, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. They exchange opinions on APEC regional cooperation plan and agricultural issues of mutual concern, which boosts agricultural cooperation and exchange between Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region in a win-win situation. By means of ministerial meetings, Taiwan can raise its concern about trade issues of agricultural products with other countries, so as to eliminate trade barriers, creating a fair trade and business opportunity for the nation’s agricultural products export.