Farmers Summit affirms shared agri goals
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (23 May) -- The huge turnout of participants to the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Farmers Summit affirmed the commitment of ASEAN countries to realize shared goals for the agricultural advancement in the region.
The ASEAN Farmer's Summit is an annual celebration aimed at hastening the farmers' adoption of modern and sustainable agricultural technologies to increase their productivity and income.
ASEAN is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos Peoples Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo told participants to the summit to join forces and unite to address vital issue on food security.
"Our meeting this week is timely because of the global clouds on the horizon driving up the price of oil and food, particularly rice which is a staple food in ASEAN," President Arroyo said.
The President emphasized that by working hand in hand, this will help prevent any global food crisis in the longer term.
"We must work together to resolve this. Work together as a country, work together in ASEAN," President Arroyo said as she emphasized that in order to address concerns on rice production, her government will work with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) "to explore ways of meeting the future needs for rice in the Philippines and that of the other rice-producing countries in ASEAN".
She said the IRRI has techniques in planting rice and harvesting which it could impart to farmers here and in the ASEAN.
The President expressed hope that with this summit, the stakeholders and participants would come up with agricultural information and updates on new technologies and opportunities for agri-business venture within and beyond the ASEAN region which would in turn help bring down the price of rice and other commodities. (PIA) [top]