ASEM forum seeks solutions to food security
Co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the meeting was initiated by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and was approved at the seventh ASEM Summit in Beijing , China , in October 2008.
The forum brought together more than 60 delegates from Vietnam ’s ministries and agencies, as well as diplomats and experts from ASEM member countries, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong said that Vietnam attaches a great deal of importance to international cooperation to ensure food security as the global agricultural product market faces many adverse difficulties, especially after the recent global financial-economic crisis.
ASEM members can share their experiences, discuss possible solutions and increase cooperation to deal with the issue, he said.
Bong told the participants that Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world to be the hardest hit by rising sea levels, therefore the country has worked out an agricultural development strategy and changed its food security policy to bring it in line with the country’s socio-economic development and industrialisation, to reduce poverty and ensure that rice growers are protected.
At the forum, the delegates will evaluate the impacts of the global financial crisis on food security as well as the challenges posed by the increasing cost of agricultural products, epidemics, the decrease in farming land and the lack of water.
They will also discuss how to ensure food security and measures to enhance cooperation amongst ASEM member nations by speeding up the transfer of technologies in agricultural production, foster public-private partnership and how to coordinate national and regional policies more effectively.
On July 6, the delegates are scheduled to make a field-trip to a high yielding rice area that applies good agriculture practices (GAP) and a rice processing plant in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang./.
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