ASIA PACIFIC INFORMATION PLATFORM ON AGRICULTURAL POLICY (YEAR 2)
In the era of globalization, the move of the agro-food sector towards a more market-oriented industry with less protection creates more pressure to compete. The challenge therefore of the agro-food industry is to produce excellent quality and high-value products. Given this situation, policy support for agro-producers is imperative in order to face the demands of 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.
The EU has created and implemented a Comprehensive Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to set the conditions allowing the farmers to fulfil their multiple functions in society such as security of food supply, provisions of a safe, healthy choice of food at affordable prices and sustyain 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. This deficiency is 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, FFTC expanded the scope of its information network activities and embrace issues regarding agricultural policies 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.
In the first year of operations, the AP Project covered the agricultural policies of Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan. The collection of information is being done through the support of FFTC’s contracted partners in the said countries, which the Center selected after a careful screening process. Agricultural policies collected in each country are divided into nine topics namely 1) Overview of agricultural policy; 2) trade liberalization countermeasures; 3) agricultural land policies; 4) farmers’ retirement system; 5) agricultural disaster insurance; 6) food security; 7) production and marketing policies; 8) agricultural science and technology policies; and 9) others. FFTC’s contracted partners had agreed to regularly submit full-length or feature articles based on the abovementioned topics which wil then be edited, published and/or uploaded in the AP website.
To further enhance the website’s content, a regular seasonal advisory group meeting has also been formed to become part of the project’s think tank. This is comprised of experts in the fields of agricultural policy, agricultural economy and information technology. They have been tasked to give advice and steer the overall direction of the project
The second year of the AP project saw the development of the AP website, with more agricultural policy articles submitted by the contracted partners uploaded to the website. As of November 28, 2014, there have been 301 articles uploaded, with 40 articles translated into Chinese and published in the COA magazine. Total accumulative number of hits is over 223,00, and average no. of hits is 1,002 per day within the last three months. A major highlight of the project was when the AP contracted partners met for the first time on June 23-27 in Taipei to attend a conference on “Collection of Relevant Agricultural Policy Information and Its Practical Use” and discussed ways on how to further improve the AP website.
Major findings and recommendations:
Asia Pacific information platform on agricultural policy (Year 2)
Database and network project on its second year (January-December 2014)
No. of participating countries: Contracted socioeconomists and partners from selected countries in the Asian Pacific region
Co-sponsor: Council of Agriculture (COA), ROC, Taiwan
For further information, contact Dr. Chan-Ik Chun, Agricultural Economist, FFTC
FFTC’s AP website http://ap.fftc.agnet.org is gaining popularity especially among its target audience: policymakers, academicians, scholars, researchers, students and agriculturists.
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