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The Second ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting On Agriculture And Forestry 17 October 2012, New Delhi, India

October 18, 2012

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

1. The Second ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry was held on 17 October 2012 in New Delhi, India and co-chaired by H.E Mr. Vilayvanh Phomkhe, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR and H.E Mr. Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries of India.

2. The Ministers reaffirmed their support to enhance cooperation on food security through various activities, among others, including research and development, capacity building, and technical cooperation as guided by the ASEAN-India Leaders during their 9th ASEAN-India Summit, held on 19 November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia. The Ministers noted that these areas of cooperation have already been incorporated under the ASEAN-India Medium Term Plan of Action (2011-2015).

3. The Ministers noted that the long term partnership between ASEAN and India has resulted in notable increase in their total trade from US$ 55.3 billion in 2010 to US$ 68.4 billion in 2011, making India the sixth largest trading partners of ASEAN. The Ministers also noted that the trade in agriculture commodities account for 16.7% of the total trade in 2011 amounting to U$$ 11.4 billion. The Ministers further noted that the foreign direct investment from India to ASEAN has also increased by 28.6% from US$ 0.8 billion in 2009 to US$ 2.8 billion in 2010.

4. The Ministers welcomed the significant progress made in the implementation of activities under the ASEAN Cooperation in Agriculture and Forestry, including training in agricultural equipment for productivity enhancement, processing and value addition of soy products and coarse cereals, production and processing technology for value addition of horticultural products; workshop on adaptation/mitigation technologies for climate change; and the publication of ASEAN-India newsletter.

5. The Ministers expressed their concern over the small number of young farmers’ involvement in the agriculture sector. The Ministers agreed on the importance of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among young farmers to achieve more sustainable agriculture development in the region. The Ministers commended the launching of ASEAN-India Farmers Exchange which will create greater awareness among the young and innovative farmers on the promising career in the agriculture sector. The Ministers also noted that the 1st Exchange Visit will be conducted in Malaysia in conjunction with the 2012 ASEAN Farmers Week and the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro-tourism (MAHA) International in November 2012, while the 2nd Exchange Visit will be conducted in India in December 2012.

6. The Ministers agreed that the ASEAN-India Agri Expo provides a venue for farmers and private sectors to keep abreast with the achievements and new innovations in agriculture sector. The Ministers also agreed that the ASEAN-India Agri Expo will provide opportunities to create new and at the same time strengthen existing business networks to explore possible investment collaboration in the development of agriculture sector.

7. The Ministers welcomed the development of the ASEAN-India Roadmap on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Agriculture Sector to address the impact of climate change in the agriculture sector. The Ministers noted that the development of relevant coping technologies and risk management practices, and the sharing of knowledge will help both ASEAN and India to enhance agriculture production and productivity towards food security in the midst of addressing the impacts of increased frequency of draughts, floods and heavy rainfall in the region.

8. The Ministers also expressed their concern on the price volatility of food commodities and their impacts on developing countries. The Ministers resolved to strengthen cooperation through the widening of food production base and exchange of expertise between ASEAN and India to enhance their resilience in food security planning. The Ministers also agreed to task the Senior Officials to develop collaborative projects to cover all aspects related to production enhancement programmes, maintenance and management of stocks, adequate availability of grains, access of food to vulnerable population and inducing transparency in markets.

9. The Ministers welcomed the significant progress in the implementation of the on-going ASEAN-India Medium-Term Plan of Action (2011-2015) which form part of the key deliverables for the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit which will be held on 20-21 December 2012, in New Delhi, India to celebrate ASEAN-India dialogue relations.

10. The Ministers agreed to convene the Third Meeting of ASEAN India Ministerial Meeting in Malaysia in September/October 2013.

11. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of India for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.

The Meeting was attended by:

i. H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam

ii. H.E. Mr. Kith Seng, Under Secretary of State, Ministery of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia

iii. H.E. Dr. Rusman Heriawan, Vice Minister of Agriculture, Indonesia
iv. H.E. Mr. Vilayvanh Phomkhe, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR

v. H.E. Dato’ Mohd Hashim bin Abdullah, Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Malaysia

vi. H.E Mr. Ba Hla Aye, Charge d’Affairs, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to India

vii. H.E Ms. MA Agnes Cervantes, Consul General of the Embassy of Philippines to India

viii. H.E. Ms.Tan Poh Hong, Chief Executive Officer, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore

ix. H.E. Mr. Theera Wongsamut, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand

x. H.E. Mr. Diep Kinh Tan, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam

xi. H.E Mr. Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, India

xii. H.E. Mr. Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community

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