Agricultural Technical Cooperation
Agriculture makes a substantial economic contribution to most APEC member economies, and the issues of food security and safety are of critical importance to the region.
The objective of the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) is to enhance agriculture's contribution to the region's economic growth and social well-being by promoting agricultural technical cooperation between APEC members. The ATCWG's objectives are to improve the capacity of agriculture and its related industries and to share information and experiences in the areas of agriculture, biotechnology, and animal and biogenetic resource management. The group prioritizes projects and activities that build members' capacities to increase trade in agricultural products.
This work contributes to APEC's trade facilitation agenda by reducing business transaction costs, enhancing marketing capacity and improving the implementation of agriculture-related provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs).
In recent years, APEC Leaders have charged the ATCWG with:
- Strengthening food safety standards
- Responding to food security challenges
- Promoting the development of next-generation sustainable biofuels
- Enhancing agriculture's ability to adjust and mitigate the impact of climate change
- Strengthening technological cooperation in the strategic planning of ATCWG projects.
The development of capacity building programs in these areas is now a core ATCWG activity.
The ATCWG is composed of government officials and experts from academia.
The latest APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group meeting (ATCWG22) took place on 7 August 2018 during APEC Food Security Week in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. In this meeting, the ATCWG endorsed its annual work plan and deliberated on the importance of agricultural science, technology and innovation, and of the role of the ATCWG in promoting regional and global food security. Discussions focused on implementation of technical projects for 2018–2019.
Delegates also took stock of their activities. They discussed how to improve the quality and quantity of their projects, and revisions to the ATCWG Terms of Reference. They also selected the group’s next lead shepherd.
The next annual ATCWG meeting will take place on 18 August 2019 at Puerto Varas, Chile, during APEC Food Security Week.
ATCWG Strategic Plan (2015–2019): The strategic plan has the following objectives:
- To improve agricultural production and distribution through increased use of the new tools of science and institutional innovations
- Strengthen human and institutional resource capacities in agriculture through education and training
- Improve environmental and natural resource management, infrastructure development related to food security and safety
- Strengthen agricultural information systems including their analysis and utilization
- To improve preparedness for natural disasters and cross border diseases
Projects implemented during 2017–2018:
- Expert Consultation on Food Losses and Waste Reduction (M SCE 02 2013A, Chinese Taipei)
- Urbanization and Agricultural Modernization Development Conference in the Asia-Pacific Region (ATC 01 2017S, China Self-funded)
- Capacity Building Workshop on Food Losses and Waste Reduction for a sustainable APEC Food System (M SCE 02 2013A, Chinese Taipei)
- Conference on Mycotoxin Prevention and Control in Food and Feed Commodities in Asia-Pacific Region (ATC 01 2016A, China)
- Workshop on Food Security – Climate-Resource Nexus (ATC 02 2017S, China, self-funded)
- Workshop on Pathway Exploration on Agricultural Sustainable Development (ATC 03 2017S, China, self-funded)
- Workshop on Wildlife Rabies Management (ATC 04 2017S, Chinese Taipei Self-funded)
- APEC Symposium on Agricultural Science Data Sharing and Service (ATC 05 2017S, China Self-funded)
- High Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Public and Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses and Waste for a Sustainable APEC Food System (M SCE 02 2013A, Chinese Taipei)
- Workshop on Greater Cooperation on Scientific and Technological Innovation for Higher Added Value in Food Production Chain (ATC 02 2018S, China, self-funded) (To be implemented)
- Workshop on Rice Landscapes and Climate Change (ATC 01 2017A, Japan) (To be implemented)
- Workshop on the Integrated Rural-Urban Development Strategy, Connecting Approaches and Policy Choices in the APEC economies (ATC 01 2018S, China, self-funded) (To be implemented)
Activities for 2018/2019:
The ATCWG 2018 work plan will focus on
- Climate-smart cultivation technology
- scientific and technological innovation to increase value of the food production chain
- agricultural innovation for smallholder farmers
- The establishment of agricultural information centers in rural areas
- The concluding phase of the Multi-year Project on food losses and waste reduction (MYP SCE 02 2013A).
Notable projects may include:
- World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Veterinary Statutory Body Twinning: Improving trade and market access in animals and animal products by strengthening veterinary statutory standards (Australia)
- Workshop on Poverty Alleviation through E-commerce Training (China)
- Symposium on Organic Agriculture Market Demand in the APEC Economies (Papua New Guinea)
- The establishment and management of agriculture information centers in rural areas through ICT to enhance food security in the APEC region (Papua New Guinea)
- Workshop on Development of Women’s Roles in Technology and Information Technology Utilization for Agricultural Community Enterprises Management (Thailand)
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Ms ZHANG Yahui
Director General of Department of International Cooperation
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)
12 Zhongguancun South Street
Beijing 100081, China
Mr Krirkbhumi CHITRANUKROH