Working with the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF) and ASEAN Secretariat Food, Agriculture and Forestry Division, the project will assess the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food and agriculture trade for ASEAN members. The study will identify the cumulative and likely impacts of the pandemic on the trade of representative agricultural products and the challenges experienced and solutions undertaken by ASEAN Member States in addressing these issues. The study will provide recommendations on actionable items at the national and regional levels while taking into consideration environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation and mitigation actions. The analysis will also consider the differentiated impacts of disruptions on male and female producers as part of its gender equality and social inclusion recommendations. The results of the study will be disseminated through a targeted marketing strategy.
From a policy perspective, this project supports the Statement of ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry in Response to the Outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) to Ensure Food Security, Food Safety and Nutrition in ASEAN issued on April 15, 2020.
Problem Being Addressed by CTIF
With over a hundred million hectares of agricultural land, ASEAN is a major producer, supplier, and exporter of various crops, grains and livestock. Growth in jobs with the increased competitiveness of these subsectors is being threatened by the impact of the pandemic on the ability of firms to benefit from trade. This project aims to improve ASEAN government officials’ understanding of the impact of the pandemic, and aid their decision-making through evidence-backed recommendations on how agricultural trade could recover from this pandemic as individual countries and as a region.
An assessment of COVID-19’s impact on agricultural trade and the corresponding proposed recommendations would have implications on socio-economic issues such as food supply and food security, especially among the region’s vulnerable groups. Supporting the recovery of agricultural trade in the region would also have a pronounced impact on women in agriculture, as women comprise over 50% of the agriculture labor force in the ASEAN region (many of whom are involved in crop production), and the majority of the agricultural labor force in small-scale and subsistence farming.