Regional, rural and urban development

Building Food Security and Managing Risk in Southeast Asia

Published on May 03, 2017

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This report explores effective policy solutions to the current and future challenges related to food security in the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). While robust GDP growth, rising agricultural productivity and output, and strong growth in agricultural incomes have all contributed to vast improvements in the food security of the region, 60 million people remain undernourished. ASEAN governments have therefore justifiably kept food security as a policy priority. The regional policy architecture set out in ASEAN frameworks provides sound guidance, yet some of the current policies adopted by members are not helping to address food insecurity and its causes, including the formidable challenges related to climate change and the need for continued growth in sustainable food production to feed growing populations. This report puts forward a number of policy recommendations to ensure that the ASEAN agricultural and fisheries sectors contribute effectively and efficiently to ensuring regional food security.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword and acknowledgements
Executive summary
Overview of challenges and opportunities for improving food security in Southeast Asia
Agriculture and food security in ASEAN
Agricultural and food security outlook for Southeast Asia
Stocktake of food security polices in ASEAN
Current approaches and alternatives for managing food insecurity risk in ASEAN
Improving the enabling environment for agriculture in ASEAN
Enhancing food security by improving agricultural innovation systems in ASEAN
Lessons from Indonesia on fishing for food security
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Key Policy Recommendations

1. Provide targeted support to vulnerable households

  • Improve access to food by poor households through conditional cash transfers or other targeted redistributive efforts such as food vouchers.
  • Provide training programmes to enable agricultural and fisheries producers to make better production and investment decisions, including through diversification to alternative activities.

2. Implement trade and domestic support reforms

  • Gradually reduce trade barriers with a view to creating an open and competitive regional market, for rice in particular, and pursue more open markets with greater private sector involvement among a wider set of international trading partners.
  • Reduce distorting forms of domestic support to fisheries and agriculture

3. Promote sustainable agricultural and fisheries productivity growth

  • Strengthen the enabling environment through improving environmental governance; regulations on land, water and biodiversity resources; investments in infrastructure, agricultural R&D and agricultural innovation systems; improving rural land market rights and access, and increasing access to credit for farmers.
  • Improve sustainable resource management of fisheries through the adoption of inclusively defined, science-based and measurable long-term management targets, for example.