Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asean mulls ways to improve agriculture

Asean mulls ways to improve agriculture

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A young woman looks at produce at the Phutawen Farm in Borikhamxay province's Naxay village in Laos. VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN

Asean mulls ways to improve agriculture

ASEAN is recognised as a top exporter of agricultural and food products, of which fresh fruit and vegetables top the list, but the region is faced with many challenges in terms of food production and safety.

Producers need to ensure the quality and quantity of yields and minimise pre-and post-harvest losses. Member countries also need to ensure food security and increase resilience to changes in climate.

These were among the topics discussed at the 14th meeting of the Asean Technical Working Group on Agriculture and Development (14th ATWGARD), which took place from May 30-31 in Vientiane.

The meeting considered ways to improve the performance of the agriculture sector in Asean countries.

Participants sought to boost cooperation between researchers in the Asean network when assessing the agricultural potential of each country in order to ensure the quality and quantity of production, said Khamphone Mounlamai, the Deputy Director-General of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute who chaired the meeting.

It is imperative to improve and promote agricultural research and development among all Asean member states, Khamphone said. This will help to enhance the quality of agricultural products of member countries, ensure food safety and increase competitiveness in regional and international trade.

Agriculture continues to play a major role in Laos’ economy but is still facing many challenges, especially from weather extremes, limited funding and a lack of technical know-how.

Climate change is already impacting agricultural production and the long-term future of agriculture and food security is at risk.

The sector is expected to expand by 2.5 per cent this year and next, which will be 0.4 per cent less than last year, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank.

The main crop grown in the region is rice. Other important products include vegetables, fruit, sweet corn, cassava, bananas, coffee, sugarcane, cotton, tea and peanuts.

Livestock grazing is also an important component of rural livelihoods, with water buffalo, pigs, cattle and chickens being the principle livestock.

The government, especially the agriculture, forestry and rural development sector, is encouraging domestic and foreign entrepreneurs to invest in and help develop the agriculture sector and give a boost to commercial livestock farming.

The sector is also working with development partners and international organisations to further fund advances in growing commercial crops and pursuing livestock farming as one of the main contributors to poverty eradication. VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway