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    Amb Ong Keng Yong opened both the World Agricultural Forum (WAF) 2017, and the Youth Engagement Event in the morning. At the Youth Engagement Event, Amb Ong shared the desire to draw more of the youth’s attention to agriculture, while at the WAF 2017, he shared RSIS long-term foresighted research in food security and the importance of regional cooperation in ensuring food security.

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    “Going forward, we must address trade issues with a wider lense if we are to achieve long-term success. We must address four inter-locking issues: the environment, economic policy, population growth, as well as trade. The most important is the environment, the protection of the earth where we all live… mother earth doesn’t need humans, but we humans need mother earth. If we accept that, then the most important new element in trade agreements is how countries weight up whether a given trade policy damages or enhances the environment we live in.” – Rt. Hon. James Bolger, Chairman, WAF Advisory Board, as he sets the scene for the panel, Agriculture and Food Trade in the New World Order

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    During the Keynote Address, Mr Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Investment Officer of Credit Suisse, shared future scenarios for globalization, what a “multi-polar world” could mean for agriculture.

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    Assoc. Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head, Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, RSIS, NTU led the Panel on “Imperatives for Securing the Food Production Base.”

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    “…partnerships must be cross-sectoral; public, private, the poor farmers, the rich farmers, let’s work together, because as a community, all of us here, we have to lead innovation, we have to catalyse that impact to scale, and we need to transform our agri-food systems through good governance, through partnerships, to improve productivity, and therefore, improve food and nutrition security” – Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Deputy Director General for Research, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), as she sets the scene for the panel, Good Governance, Partnerships and Agricultural Productivity

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    The ASEAN Perspective was presented by Dr Rangsit Poosiripinyo, Deputy Secretary General, Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE), on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Thailand (Chair Country of the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry).

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    Ms Tan Poh Hong, CEO, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Republic of Singapore, shared about the country’s strategies to maintain food security.

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    Guest of Honour, Senior Minister of State, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry (centre), was welcomed by Conference Hosts (From left to right): Amb Ong Keng Yong; Rt Hon. James Bolger; Dr Kenneth Baker; Assoc. Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony.

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    The Guest-of-Honour Address was by Senior Minister of State, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry during the Gala Dinner, who shared about the importance of agriculture to Singapore, along with technological developments and best practices applied in the city-state.

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    Gala Dinner.

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    Booths provided students and delegates alike with opportunities to learn about ways by which technology is transforming agriculture.

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    “…the next global step-change in agriculture will be through innovations driven by technology, taking advantage of the latest developments in the biological, chemical and data sciences in order to develop new solutions that better meet the needs of the world’s farmers, big and small.” – Bernd Naaf, Head of Business Affairs & Communications, Crop Science Division, Bayer AG, as he sets the scene for the panel, Technologies to Promote Sustainable Farming and Food Security

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    “…partnerships must be cross-sectoral; public, private, the poor farmers, the rich farmers, let’s work together, because as a community, all of us here, we have to lead innovation, we have to catalyse that impact to scale, and we need to transform our agri-food systems through good governance, through partnerships, to improve productivity, and therefore, improve food and nutrition security” – Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Deputy Director General for Research, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), as she sets the scene for the panel, Good Governance, Partnerships and Agricultural Productivity

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    Mr Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Regional Project Director, Better Rice Initiative Asia, GIZ, shared how profits from public-private partnerships in agriculture can be socialised.

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    Dr Kenneth M. Baker, Chairman of the World Agricultural Forum, delivered some parting words towards the end of the conference.

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    The Bayer booth is visited by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong (centre) together with Mr Darren Ho, Head of Partners at Citizen Farm (right of centre), and student participants at the Youth Engagement Event, held alongside the World Agricultural Forum.

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    During the Youth Engagement Event, students had in-depth discussions on topics such as Agriculture in the Digital Age, Future Food, and Agriculture and You. Dr Suthad Setboonsarng (right most), a speaker at the World Agricultural Forum, sat in to observe and share his expert insights, together with a few practitioners, namely, Ms Chelsea Wan, Director at Jurong Frog Farm (second from right), Mr Darren Ho, Head of Partners at Citizen Farm (third from right), and Mr Terence Kok, Spring Innovator and Technology Consultant (second from left).

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    Insights and take-aways of students participants during breakout sessions were summarized by the facilitators, namely, Mr Darren Ho, Head of Partners at Citizen Farm (left); Ms Manda Foo, Executive Secretary of the Kranji Countryside Association (centre-right); and Mr Allan Lim, Co-Founder of Comcrop (right), during the Youth Engagement Event’s Closing Plenary session. This was chaired by Dr Tamara Nair, Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), RSIS (centre-left).

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SUMMARY AND CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Please click here to download the Summary of Conference Proceedings.
Please click here to download the Chairman’s Statement