The 21st AFSIS Focal Point Meeting was held on 17-18 May 2023 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. It was organized by the AFSIS Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR, the host country. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Thatsaka Saphangthong, Director General of the Department of Planning and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR.
The distinguished participants included AFSIS Focal Points from 10 ASEAN Member States, as well as, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. Representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, APTERR Secretariat, Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan (RESTEC), AFSIS Secretariat, and observers from EGIS Global Development Cooperation Center, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Lao PDR were also present.
The 21st AFSIS Focal Point Meeting is a great opportunity for the AFSIS Focal Points and all participants to share, discuss, and extend the knowledge and innovation on agricultural statistics, challenges of food security in the region, and sustainable development goals. The main objectives of the meeting are to inform the ASEAN Plus Three Countries about the outcomes and achievements of AFSIS in 2022 and to consider the work plan in 2023, and related issues.
Particularly, during this year’s AFSIS Focal Point Meeting, the draft concept note of AFSIS new framework, which was prepared by AFSIS Secretariat between October to November 2022 and jointly reviewed and discussed in the Bilateral Meeting between AFSIS Secretariat and ASEAN Plus Three countries, including the ASEAN Secretariat from December 2022 to May 2023, was endorsed in the meeting for further action.
Furthermore, AFSIS Secretariat will present the endorsed concept note of AFSIS new framework to the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) and the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Plus Three (AMAF+3) via the Special Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SSOM-AMAF) and Special Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Plus Three (SSOM-AMAF+3) scheduled for August 2023 with the aim to seek their approval and direction of AFSIS’ position in the long-term.
The Meeting expressed appreciation toward the roles of the AFSIS Secretariat in strengthening food security and vowed to continually cooperate and support the projects under AFSIS implementation. It successfully ended with great collaboration from all participants. The next 22nd AFSIS Focal Point Meeting will be hosted by Malaysia on 11-12 June 2024 in Putrajaya, Malaysia as a physical meeting.
On 19-20 September 2023, the AFSIS Secretariat attended the Satellite Applications for Societal Benefit Working Group (SAWG) which was a working group session of APRSAF-29 that was jointly organized by the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) of Indonesia, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The APRSAF-29 was held in Jakarta, Indonesia this year.
According to the ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS), the southwest monsoon brings heavy rainfall over Lao PDR causing flooding and landslide incidents since 4 August 2023. Regarding the water level across Lao PDR, a warning has been issued since 1 August regarding water levels across Lao PDR.
On 31 August 2023, the AFSIS Secretariat with the collaboration of the Regional Office of Agricultural Economics 7 at Nongmuang District in Lopburi province and Nakhon Sawan Field Crops Research Center attended the maize field trip in Nakhon Sawan provinces, Thailand.
On 29-30 August 2023, the AFSIS Secretariat with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan held the Regional Workshop on the Strengthening ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) Function for Emergency (SAFER) at Novotel Sukhumvit 20 hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.