27 May 2016
Despite its declining contribution to the GDP of ASEAN economies, agriculture remains a major source of employment for rural populations and provides much value add for agrifood industries. The ASEAN region needs to tap more public-private synergies so that agriculture’s contribution to economic growth is fully utilized.
Agriculture is vital to most ASEAN economies and provides livelihoods to a large segment of the population. In some ASEAN countries, agriculture employs over 60 per cent of the workforce and is an essential driver for growth and poverty alleviation. In others, the value creation from agriculture has a multiplier effect. Analyses by the University of Asia and the Pacific, Philippines, show that while agriculture there contributes only 12 per cent to GDP, agribusiness amplifies that to 35 per cent, thereby effecting a multiplier value of about 2.9. The private sector is key to enabling this effect, which permeates throughout the value chain and benefits the entire economy. Figures for other ASEAN economies confirm the value of agriculture.
A recent Policy White Paper titled “Efficient Agriculture, Stronger Economies in ASEAN” produced by a consortium headed by the Business Council for Sustainable Development, and released on 26 April 2016 in Jakarta at the Responsible Business Forum highlights the importance of ensuring that agriculture is efficient so that it can fully contribute to the goals espoused in the ASEAN Vision 2025 and to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
… Paul Teng is Professor and Principal Officer, NIE, and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Andrew McConville is Head of Corporate Affairs for Syngenta Asia Pacific. They contributed this jointly for RSIS Commentary.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 30/05/2016