The Tenth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) was held on 20 – 22 October 1988 in Kuala Lumpur. The Meeting was attended by H.E. Pengiran Dato Dr. Haji Ismail bin Pengiran Haji Damit, Minister of Development of Brunei Darussalam, H.E. Mr. Wardoyo, Minister of Agriculture of Indonesia, H.E. Datuk Seri Sanusi bin Junid, Minister of Agriculture of Malaysia, H.E. Mr. Carlos G. Dominguez, Secretary of Agriculture of the Philippines; H.E. Dr. Lee Boon Yang, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Home Affairs of the Republic of Singapore, H.E. Dr. Charoen Kanthawongs, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand and their respective delegates. H.E. Mr. Roderick Yong, the Secretary General of the ASEAN Secretariat and a member of his staff, were also in attendance.

The Tenth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry was declared open by the Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. In his speech the Prime Minister stated that whilst ASEAN could justly be proud of the notable achievements that have been made in technical as well as economic cooperation in the region, there was nonetheless a need for ASEAN to strengthen their cooperation in the areas of agricultural practices and trade. There was a need for ASEAN countries to learn from each other and present a more united front when dealing with developed countries as they were getting closer together and would soon adopt a single policy or approach in their trade with developing countries including ASEAN.

In this connection he stated that he was happy with the efforts made by the Cairns Group, of which Malaysia is a member as there was good prospects that its proposals would be acceptable to the developed countries. He urged ASEAN countries to use the current round of meetings of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) to get a fair deal.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Forestry’s new initiatives to enhance cooperation in the field of food, agriculture and forestry as approved by the Third Meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government in December 1987, particularly, the mechanism for greater ASEAN cooperation through the generation of funds from within ASEAN and the participation of the private sector in their activities. He expressed the hope that COFAF would address itself to translating the Programme of Action into meaningful activities to ensure the achievement of the immediate and long term goals of ASEAN.

H.E. Datuk Seri Sanusi bin Junid, Minister of Agriculture of Malaysia, and H.E. Dr. Lee Boon Yang, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Home Affairs of Singapore, were unanimously elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman for the Meeting, respectively.

The Ministers reviewed the progress of the various projects and activities undertaken by the ASEAN Committee on Food, Agriculture and Forestry (COFAF) in the fields of fisheries, livestock, crops and forestry including the ASEAN Food Security Reserve.

The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress of implementation of activities in Plant Quarantine. To further strengthen cooperation in this area, the Ministers approved the following project proposals:

  1. Study on Resistance in Stored Product Insects to Common Fumigants and Residue Levels in Exported and Imported Agricultural Commodities;
  2. ASEAN Integrated Fruit Fly Management; and
  3. Acquisition of an Electron Microscope for Accurate Identification of Plant Viruses and for Training purposes.

The Ministers noted that further activities are being undertaken as follow-up action on the ASEAN Ministerial Understanding on Standardization of Import and Quarantine Regulations on Animals and Animal Products. In this connection, the Ministers approved the revised “Regulations for Importation of Recreational Animals” and Regulations for Importation of Zoo/Wild Animals”.

In the field of agricultural extension, the Ministers noted that a number of activities including the activities of the project on “Strengthening and Sharing Development Support Communication (DSC) Resources in ASEAN” and the programme on exchange of visits among ASEAN farmers are being undertaken satisfactorily. To further enhance ASEAN cooperation in this field particularly with regard to Human Resources Development, the Ministers approved the following project proposals:

  1. Integrating Farm Mechanisation into the Agricultural Extension Services in ASEAN Countries (FARMEX);
  2. ASEAN Regional Programme for Farm Women in Agricultural Development and
  3. ASEAN Regional Cooperation in Training of Trainers in Agricultural Extension.

The Ministers noted with satisfaction that the construction of Phase 11 of the ASEAN Poultry Disease Research and Training Centre located in lpoh, Malaysia has been completed. To strengthen the cooperation in this field, the Ministers approved the following project proposals:

  1. Development of High Protein Forage as Animal Feed in the ASEAN Region and
  2. ASEAN Goat and Sheep Development Programme.

With regard to cooperation in crops, the Ministers approved the project proposal on “Pilot Production Modules on Multi-Storey Cropping Systems of ASEAN”. The Ministers were informed that the Seventh ASEAN Orchid Congress would be held in Jakarta from 4 – 9 November 1988 and would consist of an Orchid Exhibition and Contest, a Seminar and an ASEAN Delegates Meeting.

The Ministers also took note of the satisfactory progress in the implementation of the programmes under the “ASEAN – US Watershed Project”, “ASEAN Timber Technology Centre” and “ASEAN Institute of Forest Management”.

The Ministers also took note of the successful completion of the “ASEAN – New Zealand Afforestatio,n Project” located in Tarlac, Philippines, and the fact that the Philippines and New Zealand would continue the project under their bilateral cooperation arrangements. The Ministers welcomed the Philippines’ offer to use these facilities for the benefit of ASEAN countries.

The 11th AMAF Meeting will be held in Singapore in 1989.

The delegations of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand expressed their sincere appreciation and thanks to the Government and people of Malaysia for the warm hospitality accorded them and for the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.

The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of solidarity and cordiality.