Jumat, 16 Desember 2011

The Cassava Business in ASEAN - Introduction

By: Mr. Suharyo Husen
Chairman, Indonesian Cassava Society (ICS)

Background .

ASEAN countries mostly are developing countries in the tropical areas with two sessions during the year, dry session and wet or rainy session. It rich with biodidersity of plants and animals. It rich with volcanous mountain and with long beach, especially in Island Developing Countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Natural resources are aboundant in ASEAN Region as a whole.

All ASEAN countries, except Singapore, are agrarian countries, which are the income of the people mostly come from agriculture. From about 500 million people life in ASEAN region, not less than 60% are farmers and peason , where their life very depending on agriculture. There are some very important crops to ASEAN People in supporting their life, such : rice as a staple food, cassava as a staple food when the food crisis is occured in the regian, corn mainly for animal feed, soybean as a source of protein ( to make tempe and taufu for human consumption ), and many other local food crops are available and varied from place to another place in ASEAN countries.

The increase in population and the growing urbanization of the developing world, including ASEAN, will lead to significant global changes and new challenges for feeding the increasing population. On the basis of current projections, it is expected that by 2020 cassava will be increasingly used in processed form for food, feed and starch-derived products. From a global perspective, non-food and non-feed uses of cassava will also grow in volume as a result of biotechnology research that enhances varietal characteristics and lowers its cost as a source of raw material. Thus, business opportunities for the uses of cassava as a human food, animal feed and industry raw material exist both in the domestic as well as export markets and, if well exploited could, offer good returns and investment.

ASEAN countries should be regionally integrated — it’s about time. But the process should consider the following:
  1. more power should be given to farmers’ groups; we should be able to influence and participate in policy-making processes, both at the national and regional levels. For this, we have to build the capacities of farmers’ groups to the governments
  2. need for a transparent process
  3. there must be a subsidizing mechanism like the CAP of EU
  4. integration must be a collaboration of government, private sector ,grassroots groups, including farmers’ groups, and other civil society organizations
  5. must be pursued, but based on common interests, common principles, mutual benefits, and mutual respect
  6. should enhance voice of small countries
  7. integration must start with sub-region cultures first understanding each other; promoting common language (Malay language for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines)
  8. implement common projects and programs, share information and resources
  9. should be pursued in all aspects, not only in industry or post-industry, but also in other important ones, i.e. Agriculture, economy, etc

ASEAN is embarking on building an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, which will be a single market and production base. In the process of working towards the AEC, the enhancement of competitiveness of food, agricultural and forestry products in international markets, and the empowerment of farmers through the promotion of agricultural cooperatives has become regional priorities. Emerging and cross-cutting relatedissues such as food security, mitigation and adaptation of climate change to the agriculture and forestry sector, and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) are also part of the priorities.

Initiatives towards the Realisation of ASEAN
Through the harmonisation of quality and standards, assurances of food safety, and standardisation of trade certification, ASEAN agricultural products are expected to be ready to compete in the global market by offering safe, healthy and quality foods. ASEAN has been developing good agricultural practices (GAP), standards for the production, harvesting and post-harvest handling of agricultural produces, the ASEAN maximum residue limit of pesticides, criteria for the accreditation of livestock and livestock products establishments, guidelines on good management practices for shrimp, and a code of conduct for responsible fisheries to be used as references for developing national priorities and means to support the agro-industry.

Ensuring food security continues to be the fundamental goal of ASEAN. In response to the increasing concern on food security in the region recently, the ASEAN Statement on Food Security, ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and Strategic Plan of Action on ASEAN Food Security (SPA-FS) have been adopted to ensure long-term food security and to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the ASEAN region. One of very important and very demanding Food Crops, by ASEAN Cummunity, in supporting the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS), is CASSAVA .

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