Dialogues on food systems and sustainable agriculture will take centre stage when the 2018 APEC Food Security Week begins this weekend, with preparations all in order, according to a press release from the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) on behalf of the stakeholders.
The focus of the week-long agriculture and food security meetings and agriculture and fisheries exhibition from August 4 – 10 is on “enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture through ICT in response to climate change, promoting women in agriculture and fisheries, and sustainable fisheries management and development”.
The FSW theme is “Engaging in Productive and Sustainable Food Systems”.
DAL, PNG National Fisheries Authority (NFA) and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) will jointly host the FSW, which commences on Saturday with the Women in Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Dialogue, and on Sunday, the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS). Other agriculture related meetings will continue next week.
Acting Secretary for DAL and Chair of the PPFS, Francis Daink, in welcoming delegates from the other 20 APEC economies who have started arriving in Port Moresby, says the FSW is a significant event to promote and create awareness on the importance of food security and how the economies can work together to deal with food security concerns and issues and all related factors such as climate change.
Mr Daink said that besides the PPFS and Women in Agriculture and Fisheries Dialogue, other key agriculture related meetings will also be the 17thHigh Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB) meeting, Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) meeting, 22ndAgricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) meeting, and ABAC Food Security symposium. Japan economy will also sponsor a seminar on “enhancing market entry for MSMEs including smallholders in Asia-Pacific region.”
Mr Daink said between 60 – 70 companies, SMEs, institutions, farmer groups and others have registered for the agriculture and food show which will focus on the displays of food products for trade, new farming innovation and technologies and information. The show will provide an opportunity for value chain actors (farmers, fishers, marketers, buyers, entrepreneurs, etc) from APEC economies to display their products, technology, information, etc, and meet each other and establish contacts to do business in trade and marketing of food products in agriculture and fisheries and other related food services activities.
He said two APEC economies, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines, have indicated their willingness to put up displays at the show which should be one of the highlights.
He urged the delegates to take time off from their busy schedule to visit and interact with the exhibitors and have a chat with them.
Mr Daink said the show, to be held at the International Convention Centre, provides an opportunity for PNG-based companies, industries, SMEs, farmers and stakeholders to showcase their products to the APEC delegates and in doing so PNG may attract investment, trade and marketing opportunities.
Commenting on the related agriculture and fisheries meetings, Mr Daink explained that the PPFS was a policy oriented forum that deliberates and set policy direction for food security for APEC economies. He said the main objectives are sustainable agriculture and fisheries production, facilitation of investment and infrastructure development, promote trade and marketing of food products, reduce food loss and waste, enhance food safety and nutrition, and promote climate resilience food systems.
The HLPDAB, to be chaired by NARI Director-General, Dr Sergei Bang, was a policy forum to set policies on agricultural biotechnology. The key objective was to promote development and responsible use of agriculture biotechnology as a tool to enhance food security, improve protection against pest and diseases, and improve resilience against adverse climatic conditions.
ATCWG was to facilitate technical cooperation between APEC economies, and this is delivered through capacity building, studies, workshops, information sharing and promote collaboration within APEC and outside of APEC. The main objective was to enhance agriculture’s contribution to the region’s economic growth and social well-being.
Mr Daink said the Policy Dialogue on Women in Agriculture and Fisheries was to generate discussion about the importance of including women in the agricultural and fisheries value chains (the potential) and explore some of the practical ways of doing this. The objectives are to identify, seek and explore innovative ways to address constraints that impede effective and full economic and social participation of women in the agricultural and fisheries sectors, and identify sector specific actions to enhance work on the Policy Partnership on Women in the Economy five pillars and identify gaps in the program for future exploration and discussion.
The ABAC symposium, organized by ABAC, will address key issues including the growth outlook for fisheries and agriculture; in-depth discussions on global supply and demand, prices, consumption pressures and trends, through two concurrent workshops for fisheries and agriculture. The fisheries workshop will discuss policies, enhancing value chain, opportunities for investments, and agriculture workshop will consider technical innovation and digitisation in enhancing productivity, mobilisation of resources, supply chain management, opportunities for investment.