Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council or ASEAN BAC, Arsjad Rasjid, said that food exports to fellow ASEAN member countries are still minimal. In fact, he said, ASEAN is one of the largest food exporters in Asia.
“From Vietnam, Thailand, they are exported abroad, but among ASEAN there are still a few, even though we have a market of 665 million,” said Arsjad when met on the sidelines of the 2023 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit agenda at the Sultan Hotel, Central Jakarta on Monday , Sept. 4, 2023.
Therefore, ASEAN BAC will encourage cooperation between ASEAN countries to increase food security in the region. The chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said that in the future members will prioritize food exports to fellow ASEAN countries.
“The government and private sector will discuss how food security is the key, they can help each other,” he said.
Nevertheless, Arsjad emphasized that in this collaboration we must not forget the welfare of farmers. So, he encourages food companies to help farmers to become mentors in carrying out production. For example, in choosing the best seeds.
The company that will mentor farmers, said Arsjad, will provide education to farmers about the market. Then the company will also provide funding assistance through financial institutions with cheaper interest.
The commodities that are the focus of this cooperation are food staples, such as rice, corn, and fish. For example, cooperation between Indonesia and Vietnam in the field of fisheries. According to Arsjad, the two countries have great potential to collaborate in investing in the food sector.
Arsjad also hopes that this cooperation will enable ASEAN member countries to help and benefit each other. “So as an example, don’t just compete but collaborate,” said Arsjad.
Source : Tempo.co