Within the context of globalization, the move of the agro-food sector towards a more market-oriented industry with less protection adds up pressure to its very competitive nature. The challenge therefore for the agro-food industry sector to produce excellent quality and high value-added products has never been more pronounced. Given this situation, policy support for agro-food producers is imperative to face the increasingly volatile markets, to ensure the provision of public goods and to facilitate changes in agro-food practices in order to create an agro-food sector that meets societal demands.
In order to meet the challenges, the EU has created and implemented a comprehensive Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to set the conditions allowing farmers to fulfill their multiple functions in society such as security of food supply, provisions of a safe, healthy choice of food at affordable prices, and sustainability of land and rural communities.
Although the countries in the Asia-Pacific region have a series of national agricultural policies to meet the similar challenges, the region lacks the proper agencies or organizations to provide a mechanism or platform for sharing and exchanging the dynamic information on national agricultural policies in the region. This deficiency is even further aggravated by the language barrier.
Based on its core confidence in international cooperation and achievements in serving as a platform for the information exchange on agricultural technologies in the Asia Pacific region, the Food and Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC) plans to expand the scope of its information network activities to embrace agricultural policies issues in the region.
The goal of this initiative is to promote communication between countries in the Asia-Pacific region regarding their respective national agricultural policies, which hopefully contribute to the likely formation of mutually consented agricultural policy at the regional level. The specific objective of AP is to establish a database of agricultural policy information across different countries.