The “6th APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security,” hosted by New Zealand, was held via videoconferencing on August 19. Discussion at the meeting focused on the “digitalization and innovation policies for food security in APEC economic entities under COVID-19” and “plans and activities related to the APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030.” At the videoconference, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister, Chen Chi-chung exchanged views on related issues with agriculture ministers from other member economies. Following the meeting, the ministers collectively issued the “6th APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security Joint Statement,” emphasizing that APEC members will work together to implement the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030, and will strengthen cooperation in the five major areas of “digitalization and innovation,” “productivity,” “inclusivity,” “sustainability,” and “public-private partnerships” in order to ensure Asia-Pacific regional food security.
Taiwan shares ideas on how to use digitalization and innovation policies to ensure food security
As the entire world has continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, growing attention has been paid to the issue of food security. At the Ministerial Meeting on Food Security, COA Minister Chen has shared how Taiwan regularly collects data and inventories the supply of important agricultural products, production materials and warehouses such as products and materials, building a food security digital information platform, and does assessments of supply and demand on a rolling basis for the next year. When necessary, Taiwan can adopt adjustment measures such as emergency imports or the release of warehoused goods to ensure a stable supply of food domestically. Minister Chen called on APEC economic entities to share information on food production and sales, and through promotion of trade and cooperation, reducing the risk of an insufficient supply of food, thereby maintaining APEC regional food security.
Taiwan’s plans to coordinate with the APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030
In order to ensure regional food security, APEC members have laid out the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030 in hopes that its member economies can strengthen cooperation in the five major areas of “digitalization and innovation,” “productivity,” “inclusive” “sustainability,” and “public-private partnerships.” At the Ministerial Meeting, Minister Chen stated that Taiwan will fully support and implement the Food Security Roadmap, especially emphasizing the importance of reducing food losses and waste and coping with climate change. Taiwan is a leading economy in APEC’s efforts to reduce food losses and waste, and at the meeting called on all countries to work together to promote capacity building workshops and activities and take necessary measures to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal of reducing food waste by half by 2030. In addition, Minister Chen pointed out that the agricultural sector also includes forest, soil, and marine environments which all have a high carbon sequestration capacity, and these can assist in balancing out carbon emissions from other industries and be significant contributors in moving towards net zero emissions and carbon negative economies. Taiwan government, besides encouraging agricultural industries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and increase carbon sinks, also actively promotes net zero emissions programs in the animal husbandry industry. Moreover, to move towards the goal of net zero emissions, Taiwan is in the midst of planning a “Net Zero Emissions Roadmap” for the agricultural sector, and hopes to strengthen cooperation with other APEC members to jointly create a future of sustainable development.
The adoption of the “6th APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security Joint Statement”
The COA notes that the Meeting adopted the “6th APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security Joint Statement,” which calls on all APEC economic entities to take measures to support small and medium enterprises, such as small producers in the agriculture and fisheries sectors, to facilitate economic recovery. The statement also emphasizes that APEC will continue to engage with other international organizations, including the UN and the World Trade Organization, on important international food security issues. At the same time the statement also promises that APEC members will collectively implement and promote major tasks on the basis of the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030.The goal is to ensure that the people of the Asia Pacific region can enjoy sufficient, safe, nutritious, accessible, and affordable food for all.