MANILA, Philippines (25 October 2023) – Coming after the official launch of the ASEAN-CGIAR Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security Regional Program in Malaysia, representatives for two of the eight Intervention Packages convened for a planning workshop in Manila on 20 October 2023.
The ASEAN-CGIAR Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security Regional Program is a multi-year cross and trans-disciplinary research and innovation program composed of eight Intervention Packages (IPs) that aims to scale up and scale out integrated innovations in order to enhance the resilience of ASEAN’s agri-food systems to climate change. The eight IPs are as follows:
- Regenerative Agriculture/Aquaculture Practices and Judicious Agrochemical Use
- Climate Neutrality and Circular Agriculture
- Enhancing ASEAN Agrobiodiversity Use and Landscape Biodiversity
- Enhancing Value Chains and Regional Trade
- Transboundary Pests and Diseases
- Private Sector Investment and Sustainable Financing
- Farmer-Led Irrigation for Climate-Resilient Agri-Food Systems
- Food Systems Transformation for More Nutritious and Healthy Diets
The planning workshop provided an opportunity for all stakeholders including those from governments, research and development organizations to come together and discuss the best ways to move forward. The recommendations and insights from the workshop are integral to the development of strong, inclusive, and regionally-applicable proposals for IP2: Climate Neutrality and Circular Agriculture, led by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Senior Scientist II Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, and IP5: Transboundary Pests and Diseases co-led by International Livestock Research Institute Regional Representative for East and Southeast Asia Dr. Fred Unger, and IRRI Scientist II Dr. Nurmi Pangesti.
During his welcome remarks, Noel Padre, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Research and Development of the Philippine Department of Agriculture, cited how the ASEAN region is vulnerable to the threats of climate change, saying, “We cannot stress enough how important it is for us to strengthen agricultural research and development and innovation.”
“These workshops like one we are having today offer a great opportunity to develop and further support the ASEAN region’s priorities. I am confident that this program will have a substantial impact on enhancing food and nutrition security in our area,” Padre said.
For his part, Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Head of Agriculture and Forestry Division at the ASEAN Secretariat mentioned four important programs that the ASEAN agriculture ministers would like to focus on such as decarbonization, the implementation of sustainable agriculture, the promotion and utilization of digital technologies, and the promotion of nature-based solutions.
“We hope that through this program, we can give ASEAN recommendations on how to move forward with programs on transboundary pests and diseases, and some solutions to address climate change,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jongsoo Shin, IRRI-Asia Regional Director and ASEAN-CGIAR Regional Program Director highlighted how the program seeks to help ASEAN member states address region-specific challenges in their agri-food systems.
“So we launched the program in Malaysia, now it’s time to move it forward… The most important thing from the program management office is how we can integrate eight IPs to bring real synergy to the member states – how we can efficiently integrate the eight IPs to bring better solutions to the countries,” said Shin.
Citing the importance of the planning workshop, he concluded, “Every single comment of everyone in this room is a big contribution and adds to the value of this program.”