ASEAN businesses, governments should collaborate for sustainable agriculture

Business, government and civil society in ASEAN should collaborate for sustainable agriculture, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh.

Doanh made the statement during the first day of the second Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture, held on June 23 and 24 at the Melia Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam to discuss the challenges and opportunities of creating sustainable food systems and ASEAN’s role in feeding a population of nine billion by 2050.

“We have been privileged to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam in shaping this agenda, to highlight the many opportunities in enhanced collaboration for a more sustainable and competitive ASEAN agriculture sector,” said Tony Gourlay, chief executive of Global Initiatives.

Under the theme ‘ASEAN Beyond 2015: Collaboration for Equitable Growth’, participants to the forum discussed the benefits of public-private partnerships. "Sustainable agriculture in ASEAN is not a preference nor a hope, it’s a necessity and shared responsibility,” said CropLife Asia’s executive director, Dr. Tan Siang Hee.

Juan Farinati, vice president of Monsanto Asia Pacific, stated that there is “immense potential for collaboration and innovation to enable food and nutrition security, and equitable growth across ASEAN.” 

“In Vietnam, better seed, farming practices and market linkages helped 8,000 farmers in Mekong Delta earn approximately 1 million dollars incremental income, in a Rice-to-Corn Rotation Partnership in 2013-14,” he said.

The Responsible Business Forum series presents practical ways to accelerate solutions for a more sustainable world while increasing business and industry growth. The Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development is held annually in Singapore and in 2014 the Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture was launched in Manila, Philippines. This year it takes place in Hanoi, Vietnam.

By Khanh Tran