Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia 2014-2019

The Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia is envisaged to serve as a platform for collaborative research on food security among the University Consortium members and partner universities/ institutions from the other Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) member countries. It aims to align the program of work on food security of SEARCA and the University Consortium to the development needs in the region and to support ongoing ASEAN-level programs on improving food security. The priority areas for collaboration shall be addressed through three integrated components: research and development, capacity building through graduate education and training, and knowledge management.

Participatory and bottom-up approach was observed in the development of the Umbrella Program including consultations with the SEARCA senior fellows; benchmarking, scoping, and policy reviews; survey of UC members and other potential partners in the region; and regional consultation-workshop. Consistent with the currently accepted international food security frameworks and the Food and Agriculture Organization’s definition, which in itself subsumes nutrition security and food safety, this Umbrella Program highlights the interrelations of the dimensions of food security as follows:

  • FS Dimension 1 - Food availability
  • FS Dimension 2 - Physical Access
  • FS Dimension 3 - Economic Access
  • FS Dimension 4 - Utilization
  • FS Dimension 5 - Stability

The Umbrella Program’s work scope will directly contribute to ASEAN-level initiatives on food security. It is guided by the strategic thrusts of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework, specifically Strategic Thrust 2: Promote Conducive Food Market and Trade; Strategic Thrust 4: Promote Sustainable Food Production; Strategic Thrust 5: Encourage Greater Investment in Food and Agro-based Industry to Enhance Food Security; and Strategic Thrust 6: Identify and Address Emerging Issues Related to Food Security.

In general, the Umbrella Program is guided by the following principles: inclusiveness and participation, collaboration, sustainability, supply and value-added chains, ecosystems approach, partnership with private sector, link to policy, climate change risks, and vulnerability management. In its present form, the Umbrella Program considers current global issues and trends which recognize, inter alia, the ecological foundation of food security; Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Post MDG or Sustainable Development Goals; a Green Economy; and equitable development pathways.

The criteria for the Umbrella Program include the following: value-add– addresses gaps or under-researched areas; relevance and importance for the region; benefits from collaboration; balance of R&D, capacity building, and knowledge management; and convergence with donor institutions.

Research and StudiesPartner(s)
Safeguarding and Sustaining the Integrity of Halal Food Universiti Putra Malaysia
Enhancing Human Resource Development in Agriculture: Imperatives for Regional Food and Nutrition Security University of the Philippines Los Baños
Post-harvest System Improvement – Best Practices in Fresh and Dried Chili in Southeast Asia: Quality and Safety Aspect Kasetsart University
Indigenous Crops – Food Production, Food Safety and Process Development of Indigenous Crops to Strengthen Food and Nutrition Security Institut Pertanian Bogor
Implications of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and Trade and Investments on Regional Food Security Universitas Gadjah Mada
Food Reserves: A Comparative Study on Food Reserve Management and Policies in Southeast Asia Center for Non-Traditional Security Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University (RSIS/NTS)