Policy Partnership on Food Security
Food security has become an increasing concern among many APEC economies due to rising food prices and periods of price volatility. APEC economies face challenges related to the supply and demand for food.
On the demand side, economies must feed a global population that will reach an estimated 9.7 billion in 2050. Income growth and urbanization have also resulted in changing food consumption patterns in the Asia-Pacific.
On the supply side, constraints to natural resources will become more stringent in the coming years, adversely impacting crops and aquaculture yields as well as the capacity to expand food production, such as fishing in the wild.
Agricultural land per capita is projected to decline from its 2012 level of 0.22 hectares to 0.18 hectares in use per person in 2050, while the proportion of the population living in urban areas is projected to rise from 50 per cent to 70 per cent. In addition, increased cycles of adverse weather conditions associated with climate change will cause yield declines for some important staple food crops, particularly rice, wheat and fish products.
APEC members recognize that in the absence of any policy intervention, the cost of food could rise substantially due to increasing demand and reduced production.
In response, the APEC Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) was established in 2011 to strengthen public–private cooperation to address food security issues in the region.
The ministers of APEC economies responsible for agriculture and food met for the first time in Niigata, Japan, in 2010 and issued the Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security—the first comprehensive APEC plan for promoting regional food security.
Subsequent APEC ministerial meetings on food security were held biennially in Kazan, Russia (2012), Beijing, China (2014), and Piura, Peru (2016), which led to the Kazan Declaration, the Beijing Declaration and the Piura Declaration which outline APEC’s new plans for tackling food security.
The latest Policy Partnership on Food Security Meeting (PPFS14) was held on 19–20 August 2019, at Puerto Varas, Chile. At this year’s meeting, PPFS members provided updates on their domestic policies to achieve food security and initiatives involving private-sector participation. Economies made brief updates on food security policies and initiatives on rural development, women’s empowerment, indigenous agri-business, smart agriculture, water management, food services, food loss and waste, as well as climate change and ICT, emphasizing the four priority areas of the PPFS in 2019
- Sustainable food systems
- Digital opportunities for food security
- Enhancing food trade in the region
- Rural development as a place for opportunities
The meeting also discussed and highlighted the importance of these topics for the promotion of sustainable and efficient food systems to ensure food security in the region.
The meeting took place during the 2019 APEC Food Security Week (FSW), during 15–24 August 2019. FSW 2019 comprised of several activities:
- 5th Food Security Ministerial Meeting
- Five different food security fora meetings
- Workshop on Rural Development through the Lens of Indigenous Communities and their Agribusinesses (led by New Zealand)
- Women in Agriculture and Fisheries: Workshop on Sharing Information on Best Practices and Policies (led by Papua New Guinea)
- Workshop on Strengthening Regulatory Cooperation and Alignment for Agricultural Biotechnologies (led by the United States)
- Seminar on Sustainable Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas in the Asia-Pacific Region (led by Japan)
- Workshop on Understanding and Addressing Marine Debris Impact in the APEC Region (led by Chile and the United States)
Activities for 2019
The PPFS aims to conduct activities and projects to meet the objectives of the 2019 priorities. Possible projects include:
- A High-Level Symposium on Food Losses and Waste Reduction (cross-collaboration with the ATCWG) (M SCE 02 2013A, Chinese Taipei)
- Workshop on Smart Agriculture Practices using ICT for Sustainable Growth (PPFS 02 2017S, Korea)
- Assessing and stocktaking on economy-level policies relating to sustainable and climate resilient agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture (PPFS 01 2018, Papua New Guinea and the MYAP Core Team)
- A meeting on Reducing Food Waste by Using Information and Communications Technology and Innovative Technologies (PPFS 02 2018, Japan)
- A Workshop on Sharing Information on Best Practices and Policies on Women Participation in Agriculture and Fisheries to Enhance Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods in the APEC Region (PPFS 03 2018, Papua New Guinea)
- Efficient and Sustainable Use of Water for Agriculture under the New Climate Scenarios as a Contribution to Food Security (PPFS 04 2018, Chile)
- Strengthening Rural Areas as a Contribution to Food Security in the Asia-Pacific Region (PPFS 05 2018 Chile)
- Research on Regulatory Environment within APEC Economies and its Impact on Trade in Services in Food Value Chains (APEC Policy Support Unit and New Zealand)
Notable Ongoing PPFS Frameworks
Multi-year Framework on Food Security and Climate Change
The Multi-year Framework seeks to promote a coordinated regional effort for addressing the closely linked challenges of food security, development, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Utilizing APEC’s existing infrastructure, the program is expected to be a joint effort of multiple APEC working groups, including the Policy Partnership on Food Security, the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, and the Oceans and Fisheries Working Group to foster cooperation among policy and technical-level experts on the food security – climate change relationship.
APEC food security groups also have the opportunity to collaborate with and utilize the related expertise of the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology, and Innovation (PPSTI) and the APEC Climate Center. The program also intends to engage and draw upon expertise from the private sector, academia, and other regional and global multilateral organizations.
The objectives of the framework are to:
- Enhance the capacities of APEC economies in developing and disseminating approaches to addressing the food security – climate change relationship
- Increase knowledge of adaptation, mitigation and sustainably increasing productivity and incomes through targeted capacity building activities
- Utilize the current APEC structure to provide APEC economies a means to better share experiences and promotes cooperation in the development of approaches to addressing the food security – climate change relationship, based on identified capacity gaps.
Strategic Framework on Rural – Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth
The strategic framework aims to enhance rural – urban development linkages to advance food security and inclusive growth, which will benefit both rural and urban areas. Developing such linkages will require a comprehensive approach while taking into consideration of a variety of factors such as farming typology, sustainable development, place-based approach, inclusive value chains, and gender and social inclusion.
The objectives of the framework are to:
- Improve the farm and off-farm income of farmers and fishers through capacity building, diversifying crops and improving infrastructure, trade facilitation, financing, and better connectivity
- Conserve and enhance natural resources and promote their sustainable use by applying policies for their integrated management to areas such as soil, biodiversity, forestry, marine and aquatic resources, and landscapes—particularly in response to climate change and natural disasters
- Close the gaps in access to services between rural and urban areas by improving the quality of social infrastructure, rural social capital and fostering the welfare of vulnerable populations, such as the poor, the ageing, women and the youth
- Promote urban – rural administrative efficiency through approaches that emphasize inter-institutional management, multisector and multi-level coordination and cross-cutting development policies
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The long-term goal is the attainment of a regional food system structure by 2020 which will provide APEC member economies with lasting food security, as well as enhance their food supply efficiency and provide more affordable food for lower income consumers.
Through the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum and together with the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance, APEC is working to enhance food safety standards and food testing capacities in the region through laboratory training
Together with the APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, APEC is strengthening public-private partnerships to reduce food losses in the supply chain (an initiative led by Chinese Taipei).
Mr Philip HOULDING
Director - International Policy | Policy & Trade
Ministry for Primary Industries
Mr Teddy Edmund PAVON