CropLife Asia director advocates for regulations

Siang Hee Tan, the executive director of CropLife Asia, spoke about the need for common regulations for crop protection at the fourth Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (ASEAN-EU) Business Summit today.

A common regulatory framework of regulations would benefit the ASEAN members through greater access to tools and technology that they are currently unable to regularly access, Tan said.

"The farmers in ASEAN are among the world's best at what they do," he said. " But the challenges they face are great. We have a shared responsibility to help them find safe and sustainable agricultural solutions in the face of worsening environmental realities, disease and pests. Providing a harmonized regulatory framework in ASEAN for crop protection products will go a long way in ensuring our farmers are equipped with the 21st century tools and technology they need to meet these challenges and help deliver food security across the region."

Agriculture production in Southeast Asia is among the best in the world and is extremely important in Asian cultures, but Tan said he is worried whether the region's farmers will be able to keep up as the world’s population continues to grow.
 
"We know that in 10 short years, the collective [gross domestic product] for ASEAN is expected to exceed that of the U.K. and Japan," Tan said. "But at the same time, the world's population will grow by 1 billion and ASEAN's by about 60 million. Will agriculture in Malaysia and ASEAN be positioned to meet the challenge of feeding the region and world while also making the most of the opportunity presented by the region's growth?"
 
A regulatory framework for crop protection will protect farmers by giving them access to the latest technology while easing the burden on ASEAN governments by minimizing cost, redundancy and waste, Tan said.

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