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ASEAN needs more comprehensive use of technology, digital economy in agrofood sector

A more comprehensive use of technology and the digital economy in the agrofood sector is one of the priorities that ASEAN countries need to address to enable its member states to handle future uncertainties in the sector, according to Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI).

The ministry said priority should also be given to improving the resilience of food systems and ensuring sustainable food resources.

MAFI said this in a statement issued in conjunction with its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee’s participation at the 43rd Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) and the 21st Meeting of AMAF Plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) (AMAF+3) by video conferencing today.

The ministry said among the important issues raised at the AMAF Meeting were the post – COVID – 19 economic recovery efforts and resilience of member countries under the ASEAN comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), including national – level efforts related to food, agriculture and forestry.

The meeting also covered the implementation progress of the policy framework related to ASEAN cooperation in food, agriculture and forestry, as well as collaborations and key projects to support the vision and strategic plan for ASEAN in the sector for 2016 – 2025.

MAFI said another item on the agenda was the updating of the list of ASEAN essential goods under the ACRF based on proposals from the Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) to incorporate staple food items such as rice, corn and sugar.

“The Malaysian delegation and its ASEAN counterparts have also supported and endorsed the AMAF+3 Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) report on the programs and activities presented during the AMAF+3 meeting.

“In this regard, Malaysia welcomes the involvement of and closer cooperation between ASEAN and the three countries in efforts to accelerate the process of economic recovery and development for regional prosperity,“ the ministry said.

MAFI also stressed that Malaysia is committed to realising the ASEAN policy framework on food, agriculture and forestry under AMAF and AMAF+3.

In line with this commitment, Malaysia has launched the National Agrofood Policy 2021-2030 (DAN 2.0) on Oct 25, 2021, which will make the agrofood sector a sustainable, resilient and high-tech sector, added MAFI.

— Bernama