VIENTIANE, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The future of food and agriculture was on top of the agenda for officials gathered here for the 35th Asia and the Pacific Regional Conference (APRC) Informal Country Consultation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday.
Lao Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Phouangparisak Pravongviengkham, and FAO Representative to the Lao People's Democratic Republic Nasar Hayat were joined by representatives from the government and civil society organizations to discuss the timely topics on food and agriculture ahead of the 35th Session of the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 35) in Thimphu, capital of Bhutan from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20, Lao News Agency (KPL) reported on Tuesday.
Speaking at Monday's country consultation meeting in Vientiane for APRC 35, Deputy Minister Phouangparisak said the Lao government was working on key points with its partners to address food and nutrition security which could be shared during the regional conference, according to local daily Vientiane Times on Tuesday.
This included balancing support for the commercialisation of agriculture with food security and access to nutritious food by all communities.
Phouangparisak said the consultation would enhance exchanges among participants in collecting information on the remaining issues in agricultural development to be addressed at next month's conference.
Hayat said the regional conference was a forum where ministers and high-ranking officials from FAO member states in each of the five regions met to discuss issues relating to food and agriculture to obtain regional coherence.
He pointed out that country consultations would be summarised and shared with regional and global teams to provide guidance on areas of regional priority for FAO's work in 2020-2021, based on major trends and challenges in the region, including the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change, and experience with regional initiatives in 2018-2019.
FAO Regional Conferences are an official forum where ministers and high-ranking officials from FAO member states in each of the five regions meet to discuss issues related to food and agriculture in an effort to obtain regional coherence.
While regional conferences typically discuss current and emerging regional trends and challenges, the APRC 35 will also introduce innovation and digital technologies that are helping to improve food security and nutrition across the region.