India and Southeast Asian nations commit to climate smart agriculture

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“The journey ahead offers limitless opportunities”, said India’s agriculture minister at a summit in New Dehli yesterday.

Mr. Radha Mohan Singh was bringing to a close the fourth ministerial meeting between India and the ASEAN union of Southeast Asian countries. The meeting, which focussed on agriculture and forestry, concluded with a commitment on both sides to prioritise projects that take early action on climate change.

A joint statement after the summit stated: “we underscore the importance of addressing climate change as it negatively impacts food security and look forward to cooperation…to promote enhanced resilience of natural systems, and improve the adaptive capacities of people to cope with environmental hazards”.

The partnership has already been successful with closer cooperation on vital areas, such as food security, fisheries, and forestry helping to increase prosperity across the region. However, full implementation of the group’s Plan of Action was seen as necessary to achieve the next Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge.

In particular, the group of leading nations in the region highlighted the importance of agroforestry to increase people’s quality of life and to share developments in genetics which will improve crop yields.

They also brought attention to the need for “young and women farmers to learn and develop more efficient farming practices and management skills through information sharing”.

The new Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dato Lim Jock Hoi, recently stated that “the immediate tasks for ASEAN would be to prepare people for the new technological age, and to ensure the region advances towards inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

The 10 members of the ASEAN union are Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.


Image Credit: ASEAN

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