MAP and FMD Help Sponsor First Summit on ASEAN Aquaculture
For three days in June 2015, more than 100 representatives from governments, academia, trade associations, industry, and investor groups met in Singapore for the 1st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Aquaculture Industry Summit, hosted using MAP and FMD funds by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the American Soybean Association / U.S Soybean Export Council (ASA / USSEC), along with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). The summit’s two primary goals were to bring key stakeholders to the table to address constraints on the aquaculture sector and to work together to find common ground for developing a roadmap towards the harmonization of regulatory and certification issues among ASEAN members. Summit sessions addressed: (1) best practices in ASEAN aquaculture farm management; (2) strategies and future of ASEAN feed management; (3) regulation and legislation related to aquaculture; and (4) investment prospects in aquaculture.
H.E. Kirk Wagar, Ambassador of the United States to Singapore, was a keynote speaker at the summit, and noted the extraordinary 7.8 percent annual growth rate for aquaculture in the region in the past two decades. At the end of the summit, a dossier containing seven proposed action items was presented to the ASEAN secretariat. The action items encouraged the harmonization of efforts in Southeast Asia’s aquaculture industry, including the establishment of the ASEAN Community of 2015 to help boost the development of the aquaculture community and trade in aquaculture products, the welcome and support of ASEAN’s implementation of programs and activities, the development of a strategic plan of action for ASEAN Cooperation on Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2016-2025, and ASEAN’s effort to promote public-private sector participation in the aquaculture sector, particularly suggesting coordination in Indonesia. By 2050, Asia is expected to account for about 90 percent of global aquaculture production, feeding a population totaling 9.2 billion. Southeast Asia is a big contributor to the aquaculture industry, with 54 percent of ASEAN seafood production in 2012 coming from aquaculture.