On August 25, Council of Agriculture (COA) Chief Secretary Hu Jong-I led a delegation to participate in the conference entitled “High-Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change,” held in Can Tho City, Vietnam. Food security ministers and representatives discussed cooperative strategies for Asia-Pacific regional food security, and the meeting also adopted the Can Tho Declaration. The results of the multi-year plan to reduce food losses promoted by Taiwan were affirmed by the other members, and this was listed as one of the five main axes of the Can Tho Declaration, pledging a better future for the people, farmers, and societies of the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, Chief Secretary Hu used the conference period to engage in bilateral meetings with the ministers of agriculture or representatives of various countries, to deepen and broaden areas of bilateral agricultural cooperation, and to promote the Agricultural New Southbound Policy, creating win-win situations.
APEC economies jointly discuss cooperative strategies on urban and rural development, food security, and climate change in the Asia-Pacific region
The COA states that for 2017 the main theme for APEC is “Creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future.” The host country Vietnam listed “enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change” as one of the four priority areas. Seeing as food security is a subject of pressing importance for international society, on August 25 Vietnam held, in Can Tho City, a ministerial-level meeting called the “High-Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change,” chaired by Vietnam’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha. The ministers and representatives of economies in attendance undertook discussions of three main themes: “food security in a changing environment,” “innovation, technology and applied research,” and “public-private partnerships in enhancing sustainable agricultural investment,” and collectively discussed cooperative policies for food security and sustainable agricultural development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Taiwan shares innovative achievements in coping strategies to promote food security
In remarks at the conference COA Chief Secretary Hu Jong-I pointed out that Taiwan has been promoting policy measures aimed at sustainable use of resources and innovative technologies, and has guided farmers to change the varieties of crops they grow and their operational patterns, in order to ensure food production and farmers’ incomes. In addition, recently Taiwan has been promoting the “New Agriculture Program,” related to a variety of food security coping measures, including upgrading agricultural production capability, encouraging agricultural investment, and reducing losses and costs in the food supply chain, as well as agricultural production and innovation in response to climate change, and sustainable development. Taiwan has rich experience and success in these areas, and looks forward to working with other APEC member economies to promote cooperation in, research and development of, and use of agricultural technologies, and to the taking shape of a facilitation-friendly trade and investment environment, as well as taking into account both consumer food safety and maintaining a sustainable agricultural environment, to put into practice APEC food security action plans, ensure regional food security, and create a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific area.
Taiwan’s promotion of regional food security action plans wins profound approval of other APEC members
The COA emphasizes that public-private cooperative partnership is an innovative model for resolving the long-term food security problem. In response to the challenge of climate change, Taiwan has since 2013 been promoting a multi-year APEC program “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain.” That program has already held eight conferences and meetings of experts on international capacity-building, established a methodology for estimating food losses in the Asia-Pacific region, and created a “toolkit” website on ways to reduce food losses. It has effectively raised understanding of food losses and waste in both the public and private sectors of APEC economies, and established a model for cooperation between the public and private sectors and between economies, making concrete contributions to regional food security. APEC countries have highly praised Taiwan’s promotion of the APEC multi-year plan to reduce food losses, have affirmed that plan’s importance and contribution to food security, and have incorporated it into the Can Tho Declaration.
APEC Can Tho Declaration maps out the cooperative direction and structure for responding to climate change and ensuring regional food security
Food security is an existential problem. A number of challenges, including climate change, population growth, urbanization, exhaustion of natural resources, trade obstacles in food markets, inadequate investment in agricultural trade, and food losses and waste, have generated a severely negative impact on international food security. In respect to this, APEC ministers and representatives all emphasized the importance of regional cooperation, or recognized that through public-private partnership, the implementation of all regional food security action plans cannot be delayed. This ministerial conference adopted the Can Tho Declaration, which made known the five main strategic axes of “addressing the food security-climate change relationship,” “sustainable natural resources management,” “sustainable urban-rural development,” “facilitation of trade and investment in agriculture and regional food markets,” and “food loss and food waste management.” The conference also adopted two other documents, one a multi-year action plan for “food security and climate change” and the other an action plan for “urban-rural development to strengthen food security and quality growth”. The conference called on APEC members to work together to put into practice all APEC action plans related to food security, and through APEC public and private sector cooperation, to ensure regional food security and create well-being for the whole region.
Encouraging agricultural cooperation and exchanges, expanding agricultural diplomacy
The COA points out that Chief Secretary Hu used his time in attendance at the APEC high-level dialogue on food security to also undertake bilateral meetings with ministers from Vietnam and other APEC members. He exchanged views with them on APEC regional cooperation plans and on issues of mutual concern, encouraged agricultural cooperation and exchange between Taiwan and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and promoted the Agricultural New Southbound Policy, to create win-win situations.
Council of Agriculture (COA) Chief Secretary Hu Jong-I led a delegation to participate in a conference entitled “High-Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change,” in Can Tho City, Vietnam.