1. EAERR PARTICIPATES IN AFSIS NATIONAL SEMINAR IN KOTA BHARU, MALAYSIA.
As a reflection of close cooperation between ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) and EAERR, Management Team of EAERR was invited to participate in AFSIS National Seminar conducted in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. Seminar was held on 19-22 September 2005 and attended by more than 50 officials of Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry from 13 states. Most of them were in charge of statistical data collection and analysis and some of them have been involved in AFSIS Project. Representative from FAO Regional Office in Bangkok was also in attendance at the seminar. Data and information related to food security collected from ASEAN Plus Three Countries and analyzed under AFSIS Project are of importance to support EAERR in performing its activities. During this seminar EAERR presented a paper concerning food reserve as strategy to strengthen food security and also briefly informed the participants on the functions and activities of EAERR.
2. ASEAN PLUS THREE MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY AGREED TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF CONVERTING EAERR INTO PERMANENT SCHEME.
The 5th Meeting of ASEAN Agriculture and Forestry Ministers Plus China, Japan and Republic of Korea has noted a good progress made by EAERR and they agreed to emphasize the importance of converting EAERR into permanent scheme. Such an agreement would give a strong political support towards the establishment of EAERR as permanent institution under full fledged rice reserve system. The Ministers also endorsed the Report of Joint Meeting of AFSRB-PSC EAERR, held in Bangkok in September 2005, particularly on the need to draft a new agreement on East Asia rice reserve as a legal foundation for future scheme of EAERR. The outline of the new agreement has been adopted by the Joint Meeting of AFSRB-PSC and requested Management Team assisted by ASEAN Secretariat to draft full agreement for submission at the incoming 6th PSC EAERR meeting scheduled for 16-17 January 2006. Another important decision made by AMAF+3 was to task MT EAERR to test and implement the Guidelines for the Release of EAERR Stocks as a means to attain concrete benefits that can be evaluated in order to determine the future scheme of EAERR under full fledged arrangement. The establishment of EAERR has been recognized as an important and forward looking strategy by ASEAN+3 to prepare and respond to the possible occurrence of devastating disaster such as Tsunami.