Improving lives after pandemic is like the healing process after taking the beating of the Corona virus these past couple of years. And we think it’s only natural if we decide that it’s time to slowly try and get back on our feet.
However, with the Economy limping here and there, it proves to be a bit difficult to find a rather applicable solution to the problem we are all facing: how could we improve our lives after the pandemic? That is, if the pandemic is really going to an end soon.
As reported on Tempo, ministers and high-level delegates from across Asia and the Pacific have had a meeting on Friday, March 11, focusing on improving nutrition, lives, and livelihoods in the wake of the global pandemic, while taking aim at ongoing climate and severe weather-related threats, and tackling diseases and pests that are affecting crops and livestock in the world’s most populous regions. Improved ecosystem responses in the Pacific Islands was another key topic.
The 36th Asia and Pacific Regional Conference (APRC), convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, took place in the country’s capital town, Dhaka, March 11.
Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo attended the conference virtually, representing Indonesia as the Head of Delegation. In his speech, he highlighted the lessons learned from the global COVID-19 pandemic and stressed the importance of building a resilient and sustainable national agri-food system.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of building a resilient and sustainable national food and agriculture system,” said Limpo.
The Minister also said that in the context of Indonesia’s G20 presidency, the food and agriculture system development would focus on three priorities, namely building resilient and sustainable food and agriculture systems, encouraging the creation of open and predictable cross-border trade, and developing agricultural entrepreneurship and digitalization.
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina highlighted her country’s achievement of self-sufficiency for several essential foods and noted that agriculture remains the “backbone” of the economy, providing livelihoods for 40 percent of the labor force.
The FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu, attending the regional conference in person, acknowledged the toll the global pandemic has inflicted on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Asia and the Pacific.
“The pandemic has forced us to reconsider our priorities and approaches and has highlighted the importance of more sustainable and resilient societies, as well as of the urgency to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to secure food, health, education, a healthy environment, and a decent life for all,” the Director-General said in his Statement to Conference.
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Another key area of interests in this APRC is the digitalization of agriculture and food processes, and the potential they have for the region and the world, to help transform agri-food systems in ways that also benefit smallholder farmers. This would support achieving the “Four Betters”, as set out in the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31: Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment, and a Better life for all – leaving no one behind.
FAO has been a leader in promoting digitalization and innovation in agricultural processes – from producers to processors, transporters, retailers, and consumers – through FAO’s 1,000 Digital Villages Initiative, as one prime example, and the creation of a SIDS Solutions Platform as another.
At its headquarters, FAO was also hosting a Coordination Hub to shepherd follow-up actions on the ground after the UN Food Systems Summit 2021.
Well, we guess we’ll just have to wait and see how they implement the ideas into concrete steps, wouldn’t we? What do you think, do you have anything to say about this? Tell us in the comment section! See you on our next article, stay safe and healthy.