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Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 15:00 HKT/SGT

Source: CropLife Asia
Crop Protection Regulatory Harmonization in ASEAN Promoted by CropLife Asia at Recent Sustainability Event
Sustainability Development Conference 2015 in Bangkok Brings Presentation from CropLife Asia on Industry & AEC 2015 Regulatory Harmonization Efforts

BANGKOK, July 22, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - At the Sustainable Development Conference 2015 held at the AETAS Lumpini Hotel in Bangkok, CropLife Asia's Science and Regulatory Affairs Director Dr. Vasant Patil spoke about the benefits a common regulatory framework for crop protection products would bring to the member states of ASEAN - among them, providing farmers with greater access to the tools and technology to ensure future food security across the region.

"The farmers of Thailand and ASEAN are among the world's best at what they do. But the challenges they face are great," remarked Dr. Patil in his presentation. "We have a shared responsibility to help them find safe and sustainable agricultural solutions in the face of worsening environmental realities, disease, and pests. Providing a harmonized regulatory framework in ASEAN for crop protection products will go a long way in ensuring our farmers are equipped with the 21st Century tools and technology they need to meet these challenges and deliver agricultural sustainability and food security across the region."

ASEAN is often recognized as the world's most productive food basket. However, among the top eight agro-producing countries in ASEAN, agriculture accounts for around 20% of the national GDP on average while the labor force working within the industry stands at a staggering 46% average[1]. Meanwhile, agriculture makes up 12% of the GDP in Thailand, while 38% of the nation's labor force works within the industry[2]. The disparity between these two figures seems to suggest much greater potential for the sector in Thailand and ASEAN which could be realized.

"For agriculture in ASEAN, the sky is the limit - and AEC 2015 will play a big role in determining if the region can seize the opportunities on the horizon," added CropLife Asia Executive Director Dr. Siang Hee Tan.

"We know that in 10 short years, it's projected that the collective GDP for ASEAN will exceed that of the UK and Japan; but at the same time, the world's population will grow by one billion and ASEAN's by about 60 million. Will agriculture in Thailand and ASEAN be positioned to meet the challenge of feeding the region and world while also making the most of the opportunity presented by the region's growth? If we arm our ASEAN farmers with the latest plant science technology, it will go a long way in unleashing their potential, helping ensure food security and sustainability across the region, bringing a 'rising tide' to the agricultural sector of ASEAN, and taking the food basket of ASEAN to a different level."

With AEC 2015 at hand, the ASEAN crop protection community is advocating the inclusion of regulatory harmonization for the industry as a means to support the region's countries in their pursuit of unique national agendas and agricultural goals. This important step will have a positive impact in this respect by:

- Ensuring ASEAN farmers have greater access to the latest in crop protection technology and innovations;

- Easing the burden for the Governments of ASEAN by enabling shared regulatory capacity, knowledge, and data among ASEAN members states - leading to minimized costs, redundancy, and waste;

- Helping fuel the ASEAN economic engine of agriculture by reducing barriers to trade and investment while protecting farmers from poor quality, illegal, and/or counterfeit chemicals which can reduce yield and harm the environment; and

- Positioning ASEAN member states to better meet the food security challenges of the next decade and beyond through the benefits of crop protection advancements.

The three-day Sustainable Development Conference 2015 gathers key delegates from governments and NGOs around the world together to discuss the latest in green technology, renewable energy and environmental protection, and concluded on 7 July.

[1] Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. 26 May, 2015
[2] Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. 26 May, 2015

About CropLife Asia

CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry. We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture. CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by eight member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development. For more information, visit us at www.croplifeasia.org.

Duke Hipp
Director, Communications and Outreach
CropLife Asia
Tel: +65 6221 1615
[email protected]

Source: CropLife Asia

Topic: Press release summary
Sectors: Food & Beverage, Environment, Speciality Chemicals
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