Food security amid COVID-19 highlighted in APEC meet

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Virtual Ministerial Policy Dialogue on Food Security yesterday.

Malaysia’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Dr Ronald Kiandee chaired the dialogue.

APEC ministers and high-level representatives responsible for food security expressed condolences in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on livelihoods, food security, agriculture and fisheries, as well as food supply chains in the region.

They also acknowledged the efforts by economies in combatting the virus spread.

APEC ministers urged economies to strengthen cooperation and ensure global food systems remain open, innovative and sustainable due to the disruption to trade and supply chains as well as a sudden change in consumer demand.

They urged economies to focus on meeting vulnerable groups’ needs and building resilience to be prepared to respond to future pandemics. APEC ministers reiterated their commitment to supporting a swift economic recovery in line with the APEC 2020 theme, as well as achieving a sustainable food system in the region.

They took note of the APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020, the APEC Action Plan for Reducing Food Loss and Waste, the APEC Food Security Business Plan, and the Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance.

Member economies took note of the review of the APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020 and look forward to progressing the development of a new roadmap post-2020 next year. The next APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security will be hosted by New Zealand in 2021.

Permanent secretary and senior officers from the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, and Department of Fisheries were also present.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong during the dialogue. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF PRIMARY RESOURCES AND TOURISM