Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains in ASEAN (ASEAN AgriTrade)
Programme title: Promotion of Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains in ASEAN (ASEAN AgriTrade)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021
The free movement of goods and services is a key aspiration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a cornerstone of the common market of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Among other things, ASEAN works to strengthen its position as a producer of organic foods in accordance with international food standards on quality and sustainability.
Many ASEAN member states, including the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam), rely on the agricultural sector as the backbone of their economies and the main source of income for their population. At the same time, the agricultural sector plays an important role in a regional integration context, as outlined in the Vision and Strategic Plan of Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2025 (SP-FAF) as well as the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Crops 2016-2020 (SPA Crops).
While SP-FAF focuses on facilitating ASEAN’s internal and external trade by improving the quality of agricultural production and cooperation amongst member states, SPA Crops concentrates on harmonising standards and implementing accreditation and certification schemes.
Although ASEAN Good Agricultural Practices (ASEAN GAP) for fruit and vegetables were already agreed in 2006, the private sector is still lagging behind when it comes to their application. Moreover, while some member states developed their own standards prior to ASEAN GAP (e.g. Q-GAP in Thailand and Phil-GAP in the Philippines), this does not guarantee access to global markets.
The project addresses a regional issue with respect to overcoming barriers to cross-border agricultural trade. The limited implementation of food standards on quality, safety and sustainability is not only a challenge within most ASEAN member states, but also a major obstacle to economic integration and, by extension, to linking up with global value chains.
The framework conditions for the implementation of sustainability standards in agricultural value chains within the ASEAN region are improved.
The project aims to support the promotion of sustainable agricultural value chains in ASEAN in the following areas:
- Enhancing cooperation between relevant ASEAN bodies and the private sector;
- Gender mainstreaming in relevant ASEAN strategy documents;
- Improving conditions for private sector engagement in three of the four CLMV countries;
- Conducting awareness-raising campaigns on the health and ecological benefits of sustainable agricultural products in the CLMV countries;
- Compiling lessons learned about the implementation of standards on quality and sustainability for decision-makers in the CLMV countries.