SEARCA presents overview of ASEAN Agricultural Innovation System at OECD-ASEAN Conference on Agricultural Policies for Sustainable Food Security

  • 15 October 2015

The delegates of the OECD-ASEAN [i]Regional Conference on Agricultural Policies to Promote Food Security and Agro-forestry Productivity.[/i]

SEOUL, South Korea – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) presented the preliminary results of the review of the agricultural innovation system (AIS) of ASEAN Member States (AMS) during the OECD-ASEAN Regional Conference on Agricultural Policies to Promote Food Security and Agro-Forestry Productivity held on 12-13 October 2015 at the Ramada Hotel, Seoul. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) commissioned SEARCA to undertake the study using the OECD analytical framework on AIS, which covers governance of AIS, investing in innovation, facilitating knowledge flows, and strengthening cross-country supply of agricultural innovation at the ASEAN/regional level. The AIS study is part of a bigger initiative of OECD with ASEAN, titled Building Food Security and Managing Risk: A Focus on Southeast Asia, which aims to identify policy issues and recommendations that could influence innovation, productivity growth, and sustainability in the region’s agri-food sector.

Dr. Burgos and Mr. Justimbaste presenting the Overview of AIS in ASEAN together with the OECD Officials Jared Greenville and Frank van Tongeren.The Conference was attended by high officials involved in the design and implementation of agriculture policies related to food security and agricultural productivity from seven AMS and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat; the OECD and OECD member countries (Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea); Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Asian Development Bank, and SEARCA. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of South Korea hosted the conference. Dr. Bessie M. Burgos and Mr. Bernie Justimbaste, SEARCA’s Program Head for R&D and Consultant on National Innovation System, respectively, presented the overview of the agricultural innovation system in the AMS. They also discussed the information availability and gaps in relation to the elements of the AIS framework and enjoined the AMS Senior Officials to participate in the survey to address the information gaps, to capture their perspectives, and draw upon their opinions as important inputs to final Overview Report.

The Conference comprised four sessions, namely: (1) an overview of OECD-ASEAN cooperation and engagement, (2) the outlook for agricultural commodities and trade in Southeast Asia, (3) managing risks to food security with the use of risk-based framework for analyzing food security policies, and (4) addressing sustainable agro-forestry productivity growth.

The common themes that resonate with the AMS in terms of areas that need policy actions and interventions are as follows: (1) the use of value chain framework to ensure that agricultural products meet the standards and requirements of consumers and export markets; (2) a sound marketing system including market institutions and information system; (3) investments in total factor productivity including innovations; (4) agribusiness development; (5) public-private sector partnerships; (6) climate smart agriculture; (7) institutional reforms to ensure alignment/convergence of efforts among various agencies relevant to food security; and (8) increasing income opportunities (farm, on-farm and off –farm) for small-farmer households.