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Japan proposes agricultural cooperation with ASEAN universities


The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has proposed an agriculture-food related areas cooperation through universities around the Southeast Asian countries.

Japanese Minister-Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission to ASEAN Takako Ito stated during her opening remarks at the “Symposium on Human Resource Development in Food-Related Area through Partnership with ASEAN Universities” here, on Tuesday, that the proposal was to follow up the agreement between the ASEAN leaders and Japanese Prime Minister on the ASEAN-Japan Summit in Tokyo, last December 2013.

“This symposium was held with an aim to give a recommendation to accelerate the value of foods and agriculture products in ASEAN area,” Ito explained.

According to Ito, the purpose of Japans proposal to cooperate with the ASEAN universities was to ascertain the transfer of research, technology and sustainability of its development program.

The University of Miyazaki (UOM), one of leading agricultural major in Japanese universities, has been working on starting the cooperation in Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Professor Ryo Akashi from the Faculty of Agriculture UOM pointed out that it was important for ASEAN agriculture to enhance its conservation and sustain the use of genetic resources in agriculture, which are essential for the sustainable development of agricultural production as well as of rural areas.

Akashi, through the agricultural cooperation proposal, stated that the UOM offered educational programs for conservation and utilization of genetic resources and global environmental for the preservation of genetic diversity.

“We can discuss about agricultural again and again, but the environmental impact of agriculture is more important in order to achieve a sustainable ecology,” Akashi explained.

Under the MAFFs scheme program, UOM aims to start and enhance agricultural research and education with Kasetsart University (Thailand), Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia), Hanoi Agricultural University (Vietnam), Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia), and Central Luzon State University (Philippines).

“We plan to start this cooperation soon and we do hope that by the end of this year we will progress,” Akashi remarked.

The one-day symposium was marked by presentations from prominent food and agricultural experts from Japanese companies, such as Ajinomoto (Co., Inc), Fuji Oil Asia (Pte. Ltd), and Nichirei Foods (Inc), as well as the ASEAN country members report presentations on the current state of university education in food-related areas.

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