1. The Seventh Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on, Agriculture and Forestry was held on 12 – 13 December 1985 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Meeting was officially declared open by His Excellency, General Prem Tinsulanonda, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand.
2. The Meeting was attended by H.E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Development of Negara Brunei Darussalam; H.E. Mr. Achmad Affandi, Minister of Agriculture, Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Anwar lbrahim, Minister of Agriculture; Malaysia; H.E. Dr. Orlando Sacay, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food, Philippines; H.E. Mr. Teh Cheang Wan, Minister for National Development of the Republic of Singapore; and H.E. Mr. Narong Wongwan, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand and their respective delegations. H.E. Mr. Phan Wannamethee, the Secretary General of the ASEAN Secretariat, was also present.
3. In his Opening Address, the Prime Minister cited that the ASEAN Concord signed in Bali at the First Summit Meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government in 1976 especially called for intensified cooperation in the production of basic commodities, particularly food and energy in the individual member states of the region. In this connection, he expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the ASEAN region as now a net exporter of both food and energy and that there, were few regions in the world that could make such a claim.
4. With respect to the global economic situation, the Prime Minister stated that the world was under the threat of a rising tide of protectionism, in the developed countries. He further stated that normal economic forces could be further distorted in a world where trade barriers were constantly being erected. Therefore, ASEAN as a group needed to take common action in the GATT and other international fora to convince those nations acting in constraint of fee and fair trade to relax their protectionist policies in the interest of the world economy as a whole.
5. With regard to ASEAN cooperative under takings in the field of food and agriculture, the Prime Minister expressed the view that the ASEAN Common Agricultural Policy (ACAP) was a noteworthy accomplishment. The establishment of the ASEAN Plant and Animal Quarantine Ring under this policy not only helped reduce economic losses but also increased farm income, which was of vital importance to the vast majority of the populations in the region.
6. Finally, he expressed the hope that by working closely together and sharing their experiences and knowledge, ASEAN could attain their common goal of peace, freedom, and economic well-being.
HE.Mr. Narong Wongwan and H.E. Mr. Achmad Affandi were elected Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively.
7. The Ministers reviewed the progress of the various projects undertaken by the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Forestry (COFAF) in the fields of Food Handling, Fisheries, Livestock, Crops, Forestry, and the Food Security Reserve arrangements. The Meeting also discussed other areas of agricultural cooperation including cooperation in agricultural cooperatives.
8. The Ministers noted with appreciation Negara Brunei Darussalam’s decision to participate in the ASEAN Food . Security Reserve (AFSR) Agreement. With Brunei Darrussalam’s participation the size of the Emergency Rice Reserve stands at 53,000 tonnes.
9. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on Specific Animal Disease Free Zone and the ASEAN Declaration to Eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which were signed by the Ministers in their previous Meetings. In this connection, the Ministers approved Negara Brunei Darussalam’s application to declare the country free from FMD.
10. The Ministers noted the progress made in the implementation of cooperative undertakings in ASEAN countries in the field of agricultural extension covering activities such as exchange of visits of key farmers, organizing a Farmers Week, training courses etc. To further strengthen the cooperation in this area, the Ministers approved the project proposal on “Modular Training on Farm Mechanization Programme in ASEAN”. The project aims at the standardization of the training packages in farm mechanization training programme in the ASEAN region.
11. The Ministers also approved the project proposal on “ASEAN Fruit Research and Development Centre” and “ASEAN Timber Bureau” for implementation.
12. The ASEAN Fruit Research and Development Centre, to be established in Thailand, aims at conducting multidisciplinary research and development activities in the field of fruit production so as to improve the quality well as the quantity of fruits in ASEAN countries.
13. The establishment of the ASEAN Timber Bureau (ATB) is in line with the aspirations contained in the Jakarta Consensus on ASEAN Tropical Forestry to strengthen ASEAN cooperation in the field of forestry. The ATB would provide ASEAN with appropriate and timely timber market information essential for strengthening ASEAN cooperation in trade and marketing of tropical hardwood products.
14. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Ministerial Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation, signed by the Ministers at their Fifth Meeting in Singapore in October 1983. The Ministers also agreed in principle to the establishment of an ASEAN Fisheries Development Centre (AFDC) and directed COFAF to take necessary action to have a detailed study of the project made.
15. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress made in the implementation of projects and activities in the field of food handling. The Ministers felt that there vas an urgent need for ASEAN countries to solve the problems of aflatoxin contamination in several food commodities and feed stuffs.
16. In this connection, the Ministers approved the project proposal on “ASEAN Aflatoxin Control Programme”. The programme aims at providing research and development in aflatoxin prevention and control in the region.
17. The Eighth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry would be held in Indonesia in 1986.
18. The delegations from Negara Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore expressed their sincere appreciation and thanks to the Government and people of the Kingdom of Thailand for the warm hospitality accorded them and for the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.
19. The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and cordiality.