Delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), who discussed agriculture during Monday’s meeting, put major emphasis on agricultural and technological cooperation, as well as rural development, an agriculture official has said.
Agriculture Undersecretary Segredo Serrano told reporters that they have also put much emphasis on surmounting the challenges posed by climate change on agriculture.
"As you know, the APEC, the Asia-Pacific region, is also the place where you have the Pacific, the biggest ocean," and as such, it cannot be avoided that the region experiences cyclical bouts of El Niño and La Niña, he pointed out.
Other areas of concern include food safety, and improving the agriculture sector’s productivity, he added.
During the 19th Annual Meeting of the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group on Monday, the Philippines reported its recent activities on developing a research and development agenda that will tackle climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Serrano said it could be a network or a joint undertaking by organizations from APEC member economies.
Before the commencement of the high-level policy dialogue on Wednesday, there will be a policy dialogue on agricultural biotechnology during which ministers will discuss, not only the members’ experiences in agricultural biotechnology but also emerging trends and the importance of certain regulatory issues and harmonization.
"We will attempt to harmonize so as not to unduly hamper the trade and development of this technology that can be utilized for agricultural development and improving agricultural productivity," Serrano said.
They will then have a public policy forum on food security, where the senior ministers will focus on blue economy or the fishery sector, he added.
The high-level policy dialogue will be the culminating activity here in Iloilo City, Serrano said, noting that some ministers and senior officials from the APEC economies are expected to attend.
The discussion on agriculture would enable the country to gain from the exchange of information, sharing of ideas, and the development of networks, he added.