Home » Efforts Underway To Beef Up Eaga As Asean’s ‘Food Basket’

Efforts Underway To Beef Up Eaga As Asean’s ‘Food Basket’

News From : DagangHalal.com (29 May 2010)

KOTA KINABALU, May 29 (Bernama) — Key officials from the government and private sector of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) met recently to consider efforts to make it ASEAN’s “food basket”.

The initiative was broached at the 8th BIMP-EAGA Natural Resources Development (NRD) meeting in General Santos City, Mindanao last month.

A statement issued by the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), here today said, developing the EAGA’s potential as a regional food basket through innovative strategies and strengthened collaboration, was a major directive during the 6th BIMP-EAGA Leaders Summit in December last year.

According to Dr. Rolando Dy, Executive Director of the Centre for Food and Agri-Business, the BIMP-EAGA’s rich and diverse marine and terrestrial resources, can contribute to the achievement of the food basket initiative.

“The BIMP-EAGA can aspire to be the mariculture centre, aquaculture centre, niche chicken supplier (halal) and supplier of primary and intermediate products,” he said.

He said that the BIMP-EAGA must improve the supply-value chain, strengthen collaboration and move on to logistics initiatives.

The three-day NRD cluster meeting discussed sub-regional concerns in the areas of agro-industry, fisheries development, environment and energy.

The meeting agreed to adopt the list of commodities for the food security agenda, which includes food crops, fruits, vegetables, rootcrops, livestock, fisheries, and vegetables.

Meanwhile, seaweeds, fisheries and vegetable oils comprised the export development agenda.

Likewise, the fisheries working group also identified flagship commodities under the food basket initiative and agreed to prioritise bangus, tilapia and pangasius for food security and expansion of trade.

Under the fisheries cooperation working group, the NRD meeting identified for 2010, joint venture and cooperation initiatives in the areas of seaweed production, development of high-value aquaculture through business matching activities among others, and the BIMP-EAGA Fisheries Consortium.

On joint cooperation for the development of high-value aquaculture, the meeting reported that 26 private sector delegates participated in the business matching sessions and explored business partnerships.

Results of the business matching will be monitored by the BIMP-EAGA National Secretariat, with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) as the Philippines’ Coordinating Office.

The meeting was held along with the Mindanao-Palawan Business Forum and Matching where six proposals between the private and government sectors in the BIMP-EAGA were explored.

During the meeting, MI Noos Manufacturing of Butuan City and PYKES Corporation of Brunei Darussalam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the production of coconut sugar and marketing of the same to international markets.

For the environment sector, the BIMP-EAGA will focus on sustainable forest and biodiversity management in Borneo, climate change adaptation and ecotourism development.

The energy sector will focus on completing the study on the establishment of the West Kalimantan-Sarawak Transmission Line for the conventional energy component, as well as developing a common approach to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

A product exhibit on major Mindanao agricultural products and an on-site tour of a mango plantation in Malungon, Sarangani, were also conducted as part of the three-day BIMP-EAGA meeting.

— BERNAMA

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