AFSIS or ASEAN Food Security Information System is a project led by Thailand to provide the reliable information on food security as well as to harmonize regional information system in the concern of food security in ASEAN region to ensure the short and long term food security in region.
The Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry of the ASEAN Member States plus China, Japan and Korea approved the AFSIS Project in their meeting held in October 2002 in Lao PDR. The 1st phase of the AFSIS Project had the period of five years, from 2003 to 2007. It is led and coordinated by Thailand, in particular, the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The 2nd phase of the Project had the period of five years from 2008 – 2012. Since 2013, later, AFSIS had been perform its functions as a transition period to be a permanent mechanism. However, the 38th Special SOM AMAF and the 16th SSOM AMAF+3 agreed AFSIS to maintain as a “PROJECT” led by Thailand with support from Plus Three Countries since 2016 onwards.
Organization of AFSIS comprises of AFSIS Focal Points, AFSIS Secretariat, and ASEAN Secretariat. The AFSIS Focal Points are responsible for managing and assisting in carrying out Project activities. The AFSIS Secretariat coordinated with ASEAN+3 Member States for activities, workshops or projects related to AFSIS Project. The ASEAN Secretariat acts as the overall coordinator and provides necessary assistance and guidance in all aspects related AFSIS implementation. In addition, ACO Committee, which consists of experts designated from Member States, was established to provide necessary assistance to the working group and scrutinized the ACO Report before publication.
AFSIS Project coordinated with the representatives from ASEAN+3 Member States which officially called “AFSIS Focal Points”. The Focal Points are responsible for managing and assisting in carrying out the Project activities, ensuring cooperation among national personnel/officers concerned, and promoting cooperation with other related projects to ensure and provide the data and information regarding the food security information in the country.
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries or MAFF, Japan is the donor through ASEAN Trust Funds to provide financial support to the AFSIS Project. China, Japan, and South Korea supported training workshop to ASEAN Member States. The Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand provided in-kind support and office to the AFSIS Secretariat. In addition, ASEAN+3 Member States provided the data, meetings and related activities to AFSIS Project.
The AFSIS Project objective is to strengthen food security in the region through the systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of food security related information. The AFSIS Project has two main components, which are information network development and human resource development.
The Information Network Development emphasizes on the enhancement of database and data analysis of 5 crop commodities by providing complete information needed for planning and implementation of food security policy in the region. The 5 crop commodities including rice, maize, sugarcane, soybean, and cassava are necessary to ensure food security in the ASEAN region as rice, sugarcane, and soybean are main foods for people, while maize and cassava are necessary for livestock feeding. The Project has continued dissemination the database and reports via AFSIS website (http://www.aptfsis.org/) i.e. ACO report, EWI report, RGO report, and Statistics Database.
The Human Resource Development aims to increase the capacity of ASEAN Member States through a combination of activities i.e. trainings, workshops, national seminars and mutual technical cooperation. These activities have been organized to provide related personnel in ASEAN Member States with knowledge and skills in Statistics and the development of food security information system. It is to ensure that ASEAN Member States will be capable of providing accurate, reliable and timely information at the same standard.
The AFSIS Project outputs are as follows; 1) The Statistics Database of 5 crop commodities, namely rice, maize, sugarcane, soybean, and cassava, can be accessed via: http://www.aptfsis.org/statistics 2) The publication of ASEAN Agricultural Commodity Outlook or ACO report and ASEAN Early Warning Information or EWI report can be accessed via: http://www.aptfsis.org/publication 3) The Rice Growing Outlook or RGO report can be accessed via: http://www.aptfsis.org/publication/rgo 4) Project to report and disseminate the information regarding the serious disaster can be accessed via: http://www.aptfsis.org/news-events 5) Knowledge Base can be accessed via: http://www.aptfsis.org/knowledgebase
The AFSIS Project has operated an online database through AFSIS website (http://www.aptfsis.org/statistics). The website provides users with a time series data and information needed for assessment of food security situation and policy planning in the region. The data covers the 5 crop commodities, namely rice, maize, soybean, sugarcane and cassava, in ASEAN+3 countries from 1983 to present. The system consists of production, crop calendar, farmgate price, wholesale price, population, labor force, GDP in total amount and per capita, balance sheet, land use, irrigated area and cost of production. The Statistics Database is official data provided by the AFSIS Focal Point of each country.
The ASEAN Agricultural Commodities Outlook or ACO Report is a situation analysis report of both supply and demand of food crops in current year and the next year forecast. It has been issued in June and December. The June issue provides an updated annual outlook for the current year. Meanwhile, the December issue provides an annual outlook for the following year for the focus commodities. The outlook covers the supply-demand balance (beginning stocks, production, imports, exports, utilization, other uses, and ending stocks), as well as data on supply-demand balance for the past years. The ACO reports were prepared by the working group of AFSIS Secretariat, Office of Agricultural Economics and scrutinized by the ACO Committee, which comprises experts nominated from member states.
The ASEAN Early Warning Information Report or EWI report is an analysis report of crop situation and production of the current year and subsequence harvesting season particularly in damaged areas including evaluation of the impacts of natural disasters, diseases and pests as well as policies that may have impacts on the production. The EWI report is an input for monitoring food security situations in the region. In case of irregular phenomena which may affect food production, the AFSIS can immediately inform concerned agencies to be aware of possible impacts in advance. The EWI is available biannually in March and September.
The Rice Growing Outlook (RGO) report is the activity to report situation of rice growing in seven countries of ASEAN Member States, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Besides, AFSIS in collaboration with RESTEC supports this information to Asian Rice on GEOGLAM and disseminates this information on AFSIS website (http://www.aptfsis.org/publication/rgo) to support agricultural monitoring and forecasting.
The project to report and disseminate the information regarding the serious disaster aims to report and disseminate the information of the serious disaster that may affect food security in the ASEAN countries. The information included affected area, affected production, the countermeasures or policy, assistance from other countries and so on that related to effects of the disaster. The report will be published occasionally when a serious disaster occurs.
AFSIS Secretariat is located on 2nd Floor, Office of Agricultural Economics (Innovation Building), Kasetsart University Complex, Phahonyothin Road, Ladyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok Thailand.
Mutual technical cooperation has the objective to share knowledge and viewpoints among ASEAN Member States. Under this activity, the countries were matched up into pairs of recipient and resource countries according to the need and expertise of each country. The experts from resource countries will go to recipient countries to be the instructors in the training courses. After training, recipient countries will send staff to visit resource countries to follow up what they have learned in the training course.