Crown Prince opens 31st AMAF
By James Kon

Harmonisation of quality and standard, food security, the implementation of Asean Integrated Food Security framework and Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security will be among the main topics on the agenda at the 31st Asean Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Meeting (31st AMAF) that commenced yesterday following the opening ceremony by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office at the Grand Hall Ballroom of Empire Hotel and Country Club.

The agriculture and forestry ministers from Asean will also be identifying a number of documents related to the achievement of a number of sectoral working groups under the observation scope of AMAF. The documents include the List of 7 Asean MRLs for five pesticides - Carbendazim, Chlorpyrifos, Phosalone, Ethion and Deltamethrin.

Other documents are Asean standards for young coconut, banana, garlic and shallot; Accreditation of the Veterinary Biologics Assay Division, Pakchong Thailand; Asean criteria for accreditation of milk processing establishment; Asean criteria and indicators for legal use of timber; Asean guideline on phased approach to forest certification and MoU on Asean cooperation in the Agriculture and Forest Products Promotion Scheme.

Upon Arrival, His Royal Highness was welcomed by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources.

Also present were Dato Paduka Haji Hamdillah bin Hj Abdul Wahab, the Deputy Minister of MIPR, and Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Hamid bin Hj Mohd Jaafar, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.

The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources in his welcoming remark said, "Though we have a long agenda waiting for deliberation and endorsement, going forward in the traditional spirit of Asean solidarity and with your valuable insight and guidance, I am confident that our meeting will produce substantive results in promoting the growth of agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors in the region. I also believe that AMAF and its task will continue to be relevant in leading Asean towards a more action oriented and better connected Asean Community in 2015."

Asean member countries take turn in hosting the Asean Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Meeting, and this year is Brunei's turn to be the host.

Among the fields of cooperation between Asean member countries in agriculture and forestry include food security, handling of food, plants, poultry, fishes, training and development of agriculture, agriculture and forestry cooperation and promoting agricultural as well as forestry products. - Borneo Bulletin (11th November 2009)