Building Resilience in Asia-Pacific’s Food Value Chain

Published November 9, 2017

#EATapac, Jakarta - Addressing the challenges tackled by EAT Asia-Pacific Food Forum, this panel debated with optimism, offering various views on the solutions in the pipeline and the concrete shift towards transdisiplinary collaboration.

Panelists, from left: Masakazu Ichimura, Director of the Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture, CAPSA.; Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, President, Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development; Dr. Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director, CropLife Asia; Dr. Bruce Tolentino, Deputy Director General, International Rice Research Institute; Beverley Postma, CEO, HarvestPlus; To the right, Moderator Dr. Martin W. Bloem, Senior Advisor United Nations World Food Programme.

The importance of technology for farmers, smallholders and the food system was also raised.

Dr. Siang Hee Tan asked how many of us are waiting for the new Samsung mobile or the iPhone 10, contrasting with the fact that the average farmer needs to wait 7 years until new technology goes to market. This must change. And it will; Beverly Postma summed up that momentum is going in the right direction.

‘I believe that these problems are fixable, we have all the tools we need to reach the SDG No Hunger goal by 2030. We have all the tools to innovate our way out of the problem and there is a very strong economic reason to fix this problem… This is the era of the rise of the silo breakers. I’m confident that the right leaders are emerging and those silo breakers are putting us all in the room together to drive change.’

The panel discussion is moderated by Dr. Martin W. Bloem, Senior Advisor United Nations World Food Programme.

Panelists are:

Dr. Bruce Tolentino, Deputy Director General (Communication and Partnerships), International Rice Research Institute.

With more than 35 years of progressive experience in governance, management, analysis, and planning socioeconomic development reforms and initiatives, Dr. Tolentino has served as a consultant on development issues for the Philippine Government and international policy research and donor agencies, including CGIAR institutions and various UN agencies, the World Bank Group, and ABD.

Beverley Postma, CEO, HarvestPlus

Beverly leads HarvestPlus, an international agriculture and nutrition research program that tackles hidden hunger on a global scale by breeding vitamins and minerals into everyday food crops. Ms. Postma has 25 years of experience as a policy expert in international food systems, nutrition and food security and has fostered partnerships between major food companies and public sector institutions, including the World Bank, FAO and the World Health Organization.

Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, President, Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD)

Shinta sits as Vice Chairwoman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), as Deputy Chairwoman of the Employers’ Association of Indonesia (APINDO), as well as President of Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD), and as Executive Board Member of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International. She also sits in the steering committee of Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund (ICCTF).

Dr. Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director, CropLife Asia

Dr. Siang Hee Tan is currently Executive Director of CropLife Asia, where he is responsible for directing regulatory, crop protection, seeds, intellectual property, biotechnology as well as communications and outreach programs. Dr. Tan holds a BSc in Plant Pathology from the Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, an MSc in Genetic Engineering from Universiti Putra Malaysia and a PhD in Molecular Biology (Plant Virus) from Okayama University in Japan.

Masakazu Ichimura, Director of the Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture, CAPSA

In his current capacity, Mr. Ichimura engages in the promotion of regional cooperation for achieving sustainable development in Asia-Pacific region, with particular focus on integration of environmental and socio-economic dimensions in policy approach to food security, climate-smart/resilient agriculture and sustainable livelihood of agricultural communities. Prior to joining CAPSA, Mr. Ichimura worked with UNDP, UNESCAP and other development policy bodies over a period of 20 years.