Taxonomic Capacity Building to Support Market Access for Agricultural Trade in the ASEAN Region – Phase 2
|Proponent||:||ASEAN Plant Health Cooperation Network (APHCN), Malaysia|
|Implementing Agency||:||ASEAN Plant Health Cooperation Network (APHCN), Malaysia|
One of the impediments to ASEAN Member States (AMSs) taking full advantage of the benefits of the international market when it comes to their agricultural produce is the challenge to comply with relevant regulations and international standards, in particular international plant health and safety standards. It is said that a country’s ability to access markets for its agricultural produce is based on its ability to effectively manage its agricultural pests and diseases, report its plant health status, and protect itself from incursion by exotic pests or diseases. Some AMSs have weaker or less developed plant health and safety systems with poor infrastructure, poor access to required knowledge, and limited capacity to support compliance with these standards. Others, however, have the infrastructure and capacity in place, which could be leveraged to assist the former.
Endorsed by the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Crops, the ASEAN Regional Diagnostic Network (ARDN) has been established. It is “envisaged as a system that would provide identifications of organisms of agricultural importance (especially plant pests, diseases, and weeds) detected in the Southeast Asian region. Among other activities, the ARDN would support the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Crops’ goal to reduce trade impediments by harmonising phytosanitary measures within the ASEAN region.” It is against this backdrop that an initiative supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) started—the Taxonomic Capacity Building to Support Market Access for Agricultural Trade in the ASEAN Region. It aims to carry out a taxonomic capacity building program urgently needed to support the implementation of the ARDN Strategic Plan by improving the capacities of ASEAN plant health officers in diagnostic skills for accurate and timely diagnosis and identification of pests and diseases while also providing key skills needed in monitoring and surveillance, and border inspection systems. Phase 1 concluded in early 2019 and contributed to the training on various topics of 75 ASEAN plant health officers, where nine (9) of which participated in an attachment program. In addition to the training component, Phase 1 also developed an expertise register, a website, and promotional materials. The project also highlighted the participation of Japanese experts as resource persons for the trainings and also conduct of study visits and attachment programs at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Nara Women’s University respectively.
What is the project aiming for?
This project serves as the Phase 2 of the Taxonomic Capacity Building to Support Market Access for Agricultural Trade in the ASEAN Region. Building on the earlier achievements, Phase 2 aims to carry on with the training component, including an attachment program, to increase further the capacities of ASEAN plant health officers, this time focusing on the following topics:
- Training on diagnostics of plant parasitic nematodes;
- Training on diagnostics of begomovirus and the use of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) kit; and
- Attachment program on diagnostics of plant parasitic nematodes.
The project also intends to continue on the activities in relation to the website and promotional materials.
The Phase I of the project “Taxonomic Capacity Building to Support Market Access for Agricultural Trade in the ASEAN Region” supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) has drawn positive response from all AMSs. At the recently-concluded 18th Meeting of ASEAN Expert Working Group on Harmonisation of Phytosanitary Measures (EWG-PS) held in Vientiane, Laos, in 2016, AMSs endorsed a proposal to request a second phase to the project, so that the positive outcomes from the first project can be built upon to realize safer and smoother trade within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its major trading partners.
18th Meeting of ASEAN Expert Working Group on
Harmonisation of Phytosanitary Measures (EWG-PS)
18-19 July 2016
Vientiane, Lao PDR
Part of the ASEAN’s vision is to have “a competitive, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Food, Agriculture, and Forestry (FAF) sector integrated with the global economy, based on a single market and production base contributing to food and nutrition security and prosperity in the ASEAN Community.” As a subset of the support for the Agriculture sector, this project aims to contribute to the “ASEAN Cooperation on Crops” as guided by the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Crops 2016-2020, in particular the Action Programme to streamline and improve quarantine systems and procedures, and harmonize standards and regulations, under its Strategic Thrust: Enhance trade facilitation, economic integration and market access.
Taxonomic Capacity Building to Support Market Access for Agricultural Trade in the ASEAN Region – Phase 2 is slated to be implemented in one year, from 2019-2020.
As of 30 November 2019