Philippines joins Asean in agriculture boost to mitigate COVID-19
Agriculture Secretary William Dar underscored the importance of digital technology as an asset to every country’s socio-economic recovery effort amid the pandemic.
The STAR/ File
Philippines joins Asean in agriculture boost to mitigate COVID-19
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - October 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — The Philippines has committed to collaborate with Southeast Asian countries for a cohesive response to the pandemic in terms of agriculture and food.

During the 42nd Meeting of the Asean Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), the 10-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) discussed their response and strategies to assuage the ongoing threat of the coronavirus disease and zero in on specific areas of cooperation to support post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, who led the Philippine delegation, said the government has made sure to keep the gears of the food supply chain moving within and across borders.

“The Philippines expresses its commitment in keeping the Asean market open for trade and investment, continuing efforts to ensure stable and sustainable food sources, and reaffirming support to food safety through evidence-based food safety measures in the region,” Dar said.

At the 20th AMAF Plus Three Meeting, Dar reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment with China, Japan, and Korea to utilize existing mechanisms to ensure food security.

The Philippines also  manifested its support to the International Rice Research Institute’s continued constructive engagement with the Asean +3 rice-producing countries on its Asean RiceNet project.

Dar underscored the importance of digital technology as an asset to every country’s socio-economic recovery effort amid the pandemic.

He called on the region to remain open, inclusive, transparent, and outward-looking and to address common challenges.

“Let us formulate economic recovery plans with novel measures as we try to cope with the ‘new normal’ and reaffirm Asean’s central role to ensure that it will continue to be an integral component of the evolving regional landscape,” Dar said.

DAR
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