High-Level Delegates from Across Asia-Pacific Met, Discuss Ways of Improving Livelihoods After Pandemic

- 11 March 2022 15:38 WIB
Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo (Photo courtesy of FAO)
Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo (Photo courtesy of FAO)

JAKARTADAILY.ID – Ministers and high-level delegates from across Asia and the Pacific met on Friday, March 11, to discuss issues with a focus on improving nutrition, lives and livelihoods in the wake of the global pandemic.

The world leaders also took aim at ongoing climate and severe weather-related threats, and tackling diseases and pests that are affecting crops and livestock in the world’s most populous region.

Improved ecosystem responses in the Pacific Islands is another key topic.

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The 36th Asia and Pacific Regional Conference (APRC), convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, is taking place in the capital, Dhaka on Friday. 

Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo attended the conference virtually representing Indonesia as the Head of Delegation. In his speech he highlighted the lessons learnt from the global COVID-19 pandemic and stressed the importance of building a resilient and sustainable national agri-food system.

"The global COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of building a resilient and sustainable national food and agriculture system," said Limpo.

The Minister also added that in the context of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, the food and agriculture system development would focus on three priorities, namely building resilient and sustainable food and agriculture systems, encouraging the creation of open and predictable cross-border trade, and developing agricultural entrepreneurship and digitalization.

"We believe that this proposal will contribute to creating  better economic growth in the region," said Minister Limpo.

Food security and nutrition in the real sense

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina highlighted her country’s achievement of self-sufficiency for several essential foods and noted that agriculture remains the “backbone” of the economy, providing livelihoods for 40 percent of the labour force.

She appealed for “achieving food security and nutrition in the real sense,” and she called for collaboration among countries in the region in areas such as education, biotechnology and green investments. 

The FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, attending the regional conference in person, acknowledged the toll the global pandemic has inflicted on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Asia and the Pacific.  He noted there was a long way to go for the region to eliminate hunger and improve nutrition, pointing to a FAO report from last year that found 40 percent of the population were unable to afford a healthy, nutritious diet.

Reversing many years of progress, hunger in Asia and the Pacific is on the rise again, and inequalities are increasing, particularly between rural and urban populations, while too often women and youth are being left behind.

“The pandemic has forced us to reconsider our priorities and approaches and has highlighted the importance of more sustainable and resilient societies, as well as of the urgency to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to secure food, health, education, a healthy environment, and a decent life for all,” the Director-General said in his Statement to Conference.

This has led to a movement to transform the region’s agrifood systems and make them more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable, he added.


Editor: Suksmajati Kumara


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