Agricultural Technical Cooperation
Agriculture makes a substantial economic contribution to most APEC member economies, and the issues of food security and safety are of critical importance to the region.
The objective of the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) is to enhance agriculture's contribution to the region's economic growth and social well-being by promoting agricultural technical cooperation between APEC members. The ATCWG's objectives are to improve the capacity of agriculture and its related industries and to share information and experiences in the areas of agriculture, biotechnology, and animal and biogenetic resource management. The group prioritizes projects and activities that build members' capacities to increase trade in agricultural products.
This work contributes to APEC's trade facilitation agenda by reducing business transaction costs, enhancing marketing capacity and improving the implementation of agriculture-related provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs).
In recent years, APEC Leaders have charged the ATCWG with:
- Strengthening food safety standards
- Responding to food security challenges
- Promoting the development of next-generation sustainable biofuels
- Enhancing agriculture's ability to adjust and mitigate the impact of climate change
- Strengthening technological cooperation in the strategic planning of ATCWG projects.
The development of capacity building programs in these areas is now a core ATCWG activity.
The ATCWG is composed of government officials and experts from academia.
The latest APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group meeting (ATCWG23) took place on 19 August 2019 during the 2019 APEC Food Security Week in Puerto Varas, Chile. In this meeting, the ATCWG endorsed its annual work plan and deliberated on the importance of agricultural science, technology and innovation, and of the role of the ATCWG in promoting regional and global food security.
Delegates also took stock of their activities. They discussed how to improve the quality and quantity of their projects. During this meeting, the group also selected the group’s next lead shepherd, which will come into effect from 1 January 2020.
The next annual ATCWG meeting will take place in August 2020 at Malaysia, during the 2020 APEC Food Security Week.
ATCWG Strategic Plan (2015–2019): The strategic plan has the following objectives:
- To improve agricultural production and distribution through increased use of the new tools of science and institutional innovations
- Strengthen human and institutional resource capacities in agriculture through education and training
- Improve environmental and natural resource management, infrastructure development related to food security and safety
- Strengthen agricultural information systems including their analysis and utilization
- To improve preparedness for natural disasters and cross border diseases
Projects implemented during 2018–2019:
- Urbanization and Agricultural Modernization Development Conference in the Asia-Pacific Region (ATC 01 2017S, China, self-funded)
- Workshop on Food Security – Climate-Resource Nexus (ATC 02 2017S, China, self-funded)
- Workshop on Pathway Exploration on Agricultural Sustainable Development (ATC 03 2017S, China, self-funded)
- Workshop on Wildlife Rabies Management (ATC 04 2017S, Chinese Taipei, Self-funded)
- APEC Symposium on Agricultural Science Data Sharing and Service (ATC 05 2017S, China, self-funded)
- Workshop on Greater Cooperation on Scientific and Technological Innovation for Higher Added Value in Food Production Chain (ATC 02 2018S, China, self-funded) (To be implemented)
- Workshop on Rice Landscapes and Climate Change (ATC 01 2017A, Japan) (To be implemented)
- Workshop on the Integrated Rural-Urban Development Strategy, Connecting Approaches and Policy Choices in the APEC economies (ATC 01 2018S, China, self-funded) (To be implemented)
Activities for 2019-2020:
The ATCWG 2019 work plan will focus on
- Women's empowerment and agricultural development
- Science and technology innovation and cooperation for sustainable and inclusive agricultural development
- Strengthening cooperation among APEC Economies on climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices
- The concluding phase of the multi-year project on food losses and waste reduction (MYP SCE 02 2013A).
Notable projects may include:
- Workshop and Training on Capacity Building on Management Technologies for climate smart rice cultivation in the South-East Asian and Latin American Rice Sector (Japan)
- World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Veterinary Statutory Body Twinning: Improving Trade and Market Access in Animals and Animal Products by Strengthening Veterinary Statutory Standards (Australia)
- Workshop on the Integrated Rural-Urban Development Strategy, Connecting Approaches and Policy Choices in the APEC economies (China)
- Workshop on Greater Cooperation on Scientific and Technological Innovation for Higher Added Value in Food Production Chain (China)
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Workshop on the R&D and Promotion of Smart AgricultureVirtual Meeting,
Dr. Su-San CHANG
Mr Clem ARLIDGE