ASEAN and CGIAR Launch Joint Program on Accelerating Innovation in Agri-Food Systems

The ASEAN-CGIAR Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security Regional Program was officially launched during the recent 45th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) in Kuala Lumpur.

This program aims to scale up and scale out integrated innovations in order to enhance the resilience of ASEAN’s agri-food systems to climate change.

The Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) has been working with the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Member States, and a range of funding and other partners to develop this multi-year research and innovation program.

“Over the next 10 years, the program envisions delivering better livelihoods for food producers and stakeholders, while ensuring affordable, nutritious, and healthy food for consumers. Additionally, it seeks to foster a healthier natural environment for all,” said Dr. Jongsoo Shin, the ASEAN-CGIAR Regional Program Director.

The Program aims to be bottom-up, cross and trans-disciplinary. It is being co-created and, therefore, is fully co-owned by ASEAN partners.

H.E. Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Malaysia, who is also the AMAF Chair, extended his gratitude to CGIAR for developing the Intervention Packages (IPs) that are in line with the thematic areas to address comprehensively, the needs of the country’s food, land and water systems.

He stressed that the ASEAN-CGIAR Regional Program “underscores the dedication and commitment of AMS towards achieving a competitive, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food and agriculture sector in our region.”

Representing the Asian Development Bank, (ADB) Dr. Md. Abul Basher said that the Program and ADB share the same cause of “addressing the issues concerning food and nutrition insecurity in the evolving environment.” He also shared that ADB is already in discussion with ASEAN and CGIAR teams on “how to work out the most appropriate way to support this Program.”

With eight intervention packages, the Programme hopes to catalyse transformative change, enabling it to adapt to the evolving needs of the ASEAN region, particularly with the impact of climate change.

Under the ASEAN-CGIAR Innovate for Food Regional Program, the following eight IPs were developed:

  • Regenerative Agriculture/Aquaculture Practices and Judicious Agrochemical Use
  • Climate Neutrality and Circular Agriculture
  • Enhancing ASEAN Agrobiodiversity Use and Landscape Biodiversity
  • Enhancing Value Chains and Regional Trade
  • Transboundary Pests and Diseases
  • Private Sector Investment and Sustainable Financing
  • Farmer-Led Irrigation for Climate-Resilient Agri-Food Systems
  • Food Systems Transformation for More Nutritious and Healthy Diets