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Building Food Security and Managing Risk in Southeast Asia

image of Building Food Security and Managing Risk in Southeast Asia

This report explores effective policy solutions to the current and future challenges related to food security in the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). While robust GDP growth, rising agricultural productivity and output, and strong growth in agricultural incomes have all contributed to vast improvements in the food security of the region, 60 million people remain undernourished. ASEAN governments have therefore justifiably kept food security as a policy priority. The regional policy architecture set out in ASEAN frameworks provides sound guidance, yet some of the current policies adopted by members are not helping to address food insecurity and its causes, including the formidable challenges related to climate change and the need for continued growth in sustainable food production to feed growing populations. This report puts forward a number of policy recommendations to ensure that the ASEAN agricultural and fisheries sectors contribute effectively and efficiently to ensuring regional food security.

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Executive summary

Over the course of the last two decades, the countries that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have transformed into a region described by The Economist in April 2016 as “at the forefront of the emerging markets success story”. The features of this success – including strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth, rising agricultural productivity, output and agricultural incomes, aided by the increasing prominence of the region in global agro-food markets – have in turn spurred vast improvements in food security. These improvements are expected to continue over the 2015-24 period, with projections indicating that the number of undernourished people in the region as a whole will decline by almost 13 million.

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