Vietnam, ASEAN colleagues discuss response to food security concerns

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of Vietnam, in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), on June 1 organised a forum themed “Transforming the Food System in ASEAN post COVID-19: Responding to Food Security and Inclusiveness Concerns”.
Vietnam, ASEAN colleagues discuss response to food security concerns
Vietnam, ASEAN colleagues discuss ASEAN response to food security concerns. (Photo: VNA)

The forum was part of the Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration (ATMI) in ASEAN countries: Responding to food security and inclusiveness concerns” programme funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The programme, which mainly targets Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, is designed to strengthen the institutional capacity of ASEAN member states, facilitate the integration of smallholders in agriculture, participate in the market and formulate and implement policies to support inclusive transformation and market integration.

SEARCA Director Glenn B. Gregorio said that with rapid development and transformation of food systems, ASEAN countries have made significant progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on ending hunger and food insecurity and malnutrition.

However, challenges remain, including some worsening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, he stressed the need to synchronise food transformation models in each country.

Speaking at the forum, Director of Vietnam’s Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Cong Thang said that Vietnam has a developed agricultural sector that plays an extremely important role, especially during the pandemic.

Agricultural transformation is leading to an improvement in the quality of agricultural products, he said, adding that exports hit a record high of 48.6 billion USD last year.

However, the country still faces several shortcomings, such as the quality of farm produce, yet to meet international standards and low incomes for farmers.

Therefore, the Government approved the Strategy on Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050.

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(Source: VNA)