Supporting the endeavors of the Governments of ASEAN Member States to strengthen the supply capacity of the main food commodities produced and processed in the region by assessing and comparing the political, economic and technological framework governing food production and processing as well as reasons and locations of post harvest losses of main food commodities in ASEAN countries were the aims of a workshop held in Jakarta today.

The event was co-organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the ASEAN Secretariat.   The workshop is attended by development practitioners, decision makers, private sector operating on the ground, will reinforce efforts and future direction on food management, inventory and stock management systems.

The workshop highlighted that due to limited attention given to the constraints of farm inputs, food preservation and distribution, mechanization/productivity, processing, packaging, handling, storage and marketing infrastructure lends to huge post-harvest losses – with studies indicating:

  1. Post-harvest losses vary from 35 to 50% of the total production, which is equivalent to over 100 million tons of food lost per year;
  1. In Asia post-harvest losses are estimated at around 30% or 5 billions of USD a year;
  1. Rodents contribute to the PHL in the rice sector of Asian countries by 6 %, an amount equivalent to the rice consumption of about 225 million people in this region.

The workshop featured presentations by country representative experts from ASEAN Member States and UNIDO experts.  The workshop was also attended by the ASEAN Technical Working Group on Agricultural Research and Development (ATWGRD), which provides recommendation to the policy making body in the ASEAN Member States.

Highlighting the importance of the PHL workshop, the Director of Finance, Industry and Infrastructure Directorate, ASEAN Economic Community Department, ASEAN Secretariat – Dr. Somsak Pipoppinyo mentioned that “the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), as tasked by the Leaders, has placed priority and renewed their commitment over the past year in ensuring contribution of food and agriculture and forestry sectors towards realisation of ASEAN Community and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as addressing food security and other emerging and cross-sectoral issues. Consultation with stakeholders in the region and in partnership with dialogue partners and international organisations in particular UNIDO on issue of reduction of postharvest looses will not only support ASEAN in addressing the concerns on food security but also enhance competitiveness of agriculture products”.

“This joint UNIDO-ASEAN Secretariat PHL Workshop has demonstrated the critical need of addressing the improvements of food supply chain with specific emphasis on the reduction of post harvest losses and allow building on experience and success stories existing in the region for strengthening productive capacities leading to quantitative expansion and qualitative upgrading in the performance of economic agents along the full food value chain systems” says UNIDO Representative Imran Farooque.

The Joint ASEAN Secretariat and UNIDO workshop titled “Post Harvest Losses (PHL) of Main Commodities in ASEAN Countries” was a two day event and a third day 18 July involved visit to factory and storage facilities.

For further information, please contact:

UNIDO:
Mr. Imran Farooque
UNIDO Representative
Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 03,
Jakarta Pusat
Tel: (62 21) 3148689
Fax: (62 21) 390 7126
Email: I.Farooque@unido.org” style=”color: rgb(0, 0, 153); text-decoration: none; “>I.Farooque@unido.org

ASEAN Secretariat:
Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn
Assistant Director and Head
Agriculture Industries and Natural Resources Division
Finance, Industry and Infrastructure
ASEAN Economic Community Department
70A, Jl. Sisingamangaraja
Jakarta 12110, Indonesia
Tel: +62-21 726 2991 Ext. 367
Fax: +62-21 739 8234
Email: suriyan@asean.org” style=”color: rgb(0, 0, 153); text-decoration: none; “>suriyan@asean.org