The ASEAN Plus Three Food Security Information System (AFSIS) is implemented under the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation. The AFSIS was initially established as a Proj
ect with the funding from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan and a substantial contribution from the Office of Agricultural Economics, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand. The AFSIS Project was operated under two phases. The 1st Phase began from 2003 to 2007 and was extended into the 2nd Phase from 2008 to 2012.
Due to the project’s success and potential, the 12th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministers of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (AMAF Plus Three) in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic on 28 September 2012, endorsed the Project’s transitional period to become a permanent mechanism.
During the establishment period from 2013 to 2015, the continued operations and major progress were made. In relation to this, the 15th AMAF Plus Three Meeting, Makati City, Philippines on 11 September 2015 recognized a commencement of the AFSIS as the permanent mechanism from 2016 onwards.
The Project is implemented under ASEAN + 3 Cooperation and led by Thailand, in particular, the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The Statistics Department (SD), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Japan is the donor through ASEAN Trust Funds.
The 1st Phase of the ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) Project started in 2003 and terminated in year 2007. Prior to the termination of the Project, the AMAF +3 Meeting approved the Implementation Plan of the Project – 2nd Phase in November 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. The 2nd Phase Project has the period of 5 years from 2008 – 2012. It has the objective to strengthen regional food security and continue on the main activities of the 1st Phase to enhance regional food security information system and increase capacities of Member States in providing required information. The additional elements including: Early Warning Information Report, Agricultural Commodity Outlook report and Mutual Technical Cooperation were included in the 2nd Phase.
Establishment and Objective
Due to the growing concern on food security in regional communities, the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry of the ASEAN Member States plus China, Japan and Korea approved the AFSIS Project during the meeting held in October 2002 in Lao PDR. The overall objective of the Project is to strengthen food security in the region through the systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of food security related information. The 1st Phase of the Project has 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 Statistics Department (SD), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Japan is the donor through ASEAN Trust Funds.
Prior to the termination of the 1st Phase, in the AMAF +3 Meeting in September 2005 in the Philippines, the Ministers expressed their commitments of contribution to AFSIS Project with respect to the promotion of regional food security and the importance of continued improvement in the details of food security data and information among Member States and the regional cooperation. Accordingly, the Implementation Plan of the 2nd Phase Project was endorsed by the AMAF +3 Meeting in November 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. The implementation of the 2nd Phase had the period of 5 years from 2008 - 2012 with financial support from MAFF Japan, with objective to strengthen food security in the region and continue implementing core activities of the 1st Phase. The additional elements including: Early Warning Information, Agricultural Commodity Outlook and Mutual Technical Cooperation were also included in the 2nd Phase
To achieve the objective in strengthening regional food security, the implementation of the Project contains 2 main components, which are:
- Human Resource Development The Project aims to raise the capacity of Member States through a combination of activities i.e. trainings, workshops and national seminars. These activities were planned to provide related personnel in Member States with knowledge and skills in statistics and the development of food security information system to ensure that they will be capable to implement Project's activities competently and at the same standard. In the 2nd Phase, the Project has introduced the activity for mutual technical cooperation to replace the national seminars of the 1st Phase. The objective is to share the knowledge and views among ASEAN Member States through the organization of training courses and technical visits. Under this activity, the more advanced Member States are requested to help improve the capacity of the others as necessary for the implementation of Project's activities.
- Information Network Development Under this component, the development of regional food security information network including the database were included in the plan so that concerned organizations in Member States can disseminate and acquire food security related data required for policy planning and implementation. The Project also planned to provide Member States and the Project management unit with the sets of computer hardware with printers and necessary application soft wares including annual operating costs to develop information networks at national and regional levels.
In the 2nd Phase, the Project emphasizes on the enrichment of database and data analysis. The development of Early Warning Information and Commodity Outlook was included to monitor and analyze food security situation in the region. In addition, the Project plans to provide a number of network equipment to some Member States as considered necessary for Project implementation.
The outputs from the implementation of the Project in both Phases can be expected as follows:
- Member States will be capable of providing accurate, reliable and timely information required for the construction of regional food security information at the same standard.
- The Project will be able to provide complete information needed for planning and implementation of food security policy in the region.
- The development of early warning information and commodity outlook will facilitate the management of food security policies and programs. These activities will help to assess food security situations in the region and identify the areas where food insecurity is likely to occur as well as the degree of seriousness.
- The responsible agencies to be better aware of the problem in food security, so that affected people will receive better responses and support to release their difficulties.
The Focal Point Meeting (FPM) which consists of representatives from Focal Point Agencies in every Member State is body responsible for managing and assisting in carrying out the activities of the Project. The FPM is the decision-making mechanism of the Project and to be held at least once a year to discuss, review and decide on the following matters:
- Work plans of the Project
- Implementation of Project activities at the regional and national levels
- Other important matters relevant to the implementation of the Project
In addition, the Project has the plan to organize the Meeting of Directors-General of Agricultural Statistics and Information in ASEAN+3 Countries (DG-ASI) back to back with the FPM in some years to exchange views and explore current problems regarding regional food security and find appropriate solutions.
The ASEAN Food Security Information and Training (AFSIT) Center, which was established under the Project at the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), Thailand, has the function as a secretariat of the FPM, as a center for regional training and as a hub of information on regional food security. It provides services necessary for Project activities of Member States.
At present (March 2009), Mr. Montol Jeamchareon, the Deputy Secretary-General of OAE is the Project Manager. For the list of national Focal Point Persons in Member States, please click