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Biblioteca Trusting Trade and the Private
Sector for Food Security in Southeast Asia

Trusting Trade and the Private
Sector for Food Security in Southeast Asia

Trusting Trade and the Private
Sector for Food Security in Southeast Asia

Resource information

Date of publication
Março 2012
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

This book challenges policy makers who
oversee the rice sector in Southeast Asia to reexamine
deep-rooted precepts about their responsibilities. As an
essential first step, it calls on them to redefine food
security. Fixating on national self-sufficiency has been
costly and counterproductive. In its stead, coordination and
cooperation can both improve rice production at home and
structure expanding regional trade. To enhance regional food
security through quantitative and qualitative gains in rice
production, policy makers cannot solely rely on government
programs. They need to also enlist private investors both as
entrepreneurs and as partners who can bring capital, energy,
modern technology, and experienced management into sustained
efforts to reduce losses and heighten efficiency in supply
chains. For such investors and participants to enter
vigorously into the rice sector from which they have long
held back, they will need a number of incentives, among them
a confidence that the regional market for rice will evolve
toward a structured, liberalized market shielded from the
unilateral government interventions that have distorted it
in the past and continue to do so in the present. The
study's findings make it clear that current rice sector
policies are not achieving their desired goals. Its
examination of the 2007-08 food crises found, in fact, that
government policies and panicky responses were the primary
factors behind soaring (and later diminishing) rice prices.
Those policies vary, but they share a common premise: food
security depends, first of all, on self-sufficiency in rice.
That premise has driven government intervention for decades,
and unpredictable government intervention, in turn, has been
a significant factor in making the rice sector too risky to
attract significant private investment. The transition that
this study urges will be difficult and, of necessity, slow
to gain momentum. Nevertheless, it is already beginning. The
members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) are working to liberalize trade in the region. The
study is, in fact, intended to assist in implementing policy
objectives outlined in the ASEAN Integrated Food Security
(AIFS) framework and in the strategic plan of action on food
security in the ASEAN Region 2009-2013, in which the heads
of member states pledged to embrace food security as a
matter of permanent and high priority.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Alavi, Hamid R.
Htenas, Aira
Kopicki, Ron
Shepherd, Andrew W.
Clarete, Ramon

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