The latest APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group meeting (ATCWG 20), which took place on 21-22 September 2016 during APEC Food Security Week in Piura, Peru, endorsed a revised ATCWG Strategic Plan for 2015-2019 and the annual Work Plan. Delegates also deliberated on project outcomes during the past year and engaged in discussions about the importance of agricultural science, technology and innovation, and of the role of the ATCWG in promoting regional and global food security.
The next annual ATCWG meeting will take place in the city of Can Tho, Viet Nam, during APEC Food Security Week in August 2017.
ATCWG Strategic Plan (2015-2019): The Strategic Plan focuses on the following objectives:
●To improve agricultural production and distribution through increased use of the new tools of science and institutional innovations;
●Strengthen human and institutional resource capacities in agriculture through education and training;
●Improve environmental and natural resource management, infrastructure development related to food security and safety;
●Strengthen agricultural information systems including their analysis and utilization; and
●To improve preparedness for natural disasters and cross border diseases.
Activities for 2017: ATCWG will conduct activities in response to APEC priorities aimed at implementing the Piura Declaration on Food Security, promote agricultural information sharing and cooperation in the region with regard to agricultural technology, and strengthen communications and capacity building in agricultural technology. Notable projects will include:
- The Expert Consultation on Food Losses and Waste Reduction (June);
- Urbanization and Agricultural Modernization Development Conference in APEC (June);
- Advanced Capacity Building Workshop for Mycotoxin Prevention and Control in Food and Feed Commodities in APEC (August/October); and
- The Capacity Building Workshop on Food Losses and Waste Reduction for a sustainable APEC Food System (August)
The ATCWG provides strong technical expertise to related APEC fora. The working group provides recommendations to the APEC Ministerial Meetings on Food Security. It also provides direct advice and support to Senior Officials Meetings, Ministers and APEC bodies aimed at improving the food security of the region.
Through workshops and projects, the ATCWG played an important role in enhancing agricultural and food production. The ATCWG also seeks to strengthen agriculture’s contribution to the region’s economic growth, sustainable agriculture, food security, sustainable development, and enhanced social well‐being of rural populations.
Notable ATCWG projects that were implemented in 2014-2016 include:
Conference on Enhancing Global Value Chains in the Asia-Pacific Agriculture and Food Sector (ATC 01 2014S - Japan)
APEC is working to enhance value chains of production, processing and marketing in the Asia-Pacific agriculture and food sector in order to increase the industry’s competitiveness. A two-day conference was held in June 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, to foster awareness of global value chains in the sector and to encourage APEC member economies to develop their own initiatives. The conference included an overview of the development of value chains in the Asia-Pacific food and agriculture industry from empirical research. The experience of several economies in integrating the food and agriculture industry, particularly in Southeast Asia, was also shared, highlighting key factors required to develop value chains, including productive capacity, infrastructure, institutionalization and business environment. The experience of the private sector was also discussed with a view to identify potential constraints in the region.
Summary of the Conference outcomes can be viewed here.
Scientific Workshop on Measurement and Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases in Livestock Systems for Green Production and Environment of APEC Members (ATC 01 2013A - Thailand)
Greenhouse gas emissions from the global agricultural sector is around 14 per cent of total emissions. One of the priorities for climate change in livestock production is to build the capacity to measure and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from livestock systems. A three-day technical training workshop was held in December 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, to improve understanding of the diversity of livestock management systems in APEC member economies, greenhouse gas emissions and the special characteristics of those systems. The workshop also aimed to identify opportunities for future collaboration and coordinated capacity building activities in livestock mitigation research across member economies.
Report and outcomes of the workshop can be viewed and downloaded here.
Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Training and Symposium (ATC 01 2015S - China)
Food security remains an important challenge to the APEC economies. It is affected by climate change, energy security and other non-traditional factors. The promotion of a shared experience, of strengthening of coordination, of better research and of monitoring methods on food security issues, would enable APEC economies to better respond to the regional and global food security challenges. A three-day symposium was held on 7-9 September 2015 in Beijing, China, to promote communications among APEC economies’ food security researchers and experts, build up interest in food security strategies, enhance research capacity and offer policy recommendations to improve food security. During the training and workshop sessions, existing methodologies, tools and best practices of food security research were identified. Output included a food security experts’ database, a compendium of research papers, methodologies, tools, and best practices, a workshop report and more than 30 trained researchers.
A report and outcomes of the symposium can be viewed and downloaded here.
Collaborative Research, Development and Extension Program on Climate Change among APEC Member Economies (ATC 02 2015S - Philippines)
APEC recognises climate change as one of the biggest global challenges, and its impact on agriculture and food security has always been given much importance in APEC Leaders and Ministerial Declarations. A two-day symposium was held on 16-17 September 2015 in Makati City, the Philippines, to explore possible collaborative research, development and extension work on the development of climate change-resilient agriculture in the ecosystems of APEC economies. Discussions focused on the economy’s reports of priority concerns and current technologies/strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation for the agriculture sector, existing institutional platforms/frameworks, gaps in research development extension and other limitations. There were also presentations on the Umbrella Programs on Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Southeast Asia, and the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) program of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
A report and outcomes of the symposium can be viewed and downloaded here.
High Level Public-Private Forum on Cold Chain to Strengthen Agriculture and Food's Global Value Chain (ATC 01 2014A - Japan)
The establishment and upgrading of cold chains contribute to food security by reducing food losses as well as to empowering agriculture and food producers by linking them to the global value chain. A three-day forum was held during 28-30 October 2015 in Kagoshima, Japan, to assess the current situations, share experiences and knowledge, and identify best practices on establishment of cold chain system among APEC economies. Fiscal burden for the investment for cold chains infrastructures and technical transfer on knowledge and know-hows on cold chains management were highlighted as common challenges. Participants also welcomed Japan’s proposal on a creation of a “Cold Chains Forum” to discuss any issues regarding cold chains, including policy, technology, and new products. This web-based one-year trial project will be conducted by Japan with the support of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA).
Report and outcomes of the conference can be viewed and downloaded here
Wisdom Agriculture Development and Application Training and Symposium (ATC 01 2016S – China)
Wisdom agriculture, represented by intelligent agricultural information sensing, extensively interconnected agricultural information and intelligent agricultural information processing can provide important contributions to attaining food security. The symposium established a platform for APEC economies and international organizations to communicate, share and discuss advanced technology of wisdom agriculture, policies to expedite wisdom agriculture development, and good case studies on wisdom agriculture research, in order to find ways to address wisdom agriculture challenges. The topics of the symposium include
●Wisdom agriculture technologies;
●Case studies of wisdom agriculture research
●Policies and environment for wisdom agriculture development, and
●Foresights of wisdom agriculture research key issues and trends.
Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain (MYP SCE 02 2013A – Chinese Taipei)
According to the United Nations, roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally--about 1.3 billion tons per year. Implemented since 2013, this five-year project aims to address post-harvest losses at all stages of the entire food supply chain in the APEC region by strengthening public-private partnerships. As part of the first phase of the project, a workshop was held in 2013 in Chinese Taipei that identified key issues and challenges in post-harvest food losses, formulated a preliminary methodology on food crops, and deliberated on strategies and action plans for APEC economies. Building on these outcomes, expert consultations and capacity building workshops on reducing food losses were held in Chinese Taipei and corresponding Hosts of APEC for the following topics: Fruit and Vegetable (2014); Fishery and Livestock products (2015); and Food wastes issues related to Food Consumption (2016). Based on outcomes from these workshops, the project will continue to revise the drafted methodology of APEC food losses assessment. The final phase of the project in 2017 will generate policy recommendations, action plans, toolkits and datasets, and a consolidated methodology of APEC food losses assessment--culminating in a high-level policy dialogue meeting in order to achieve APEC food security goals.