Full details of the joint press statement of the 28th AMAF meeting can be viewed at www.aseansec.org/18812.htm. AMAF includes two of the worlds biggest rice exporters, Thailand and Vietnam, which in 2003-05 produced 160.7 million tons of rice out of a world total of 601.4 million tons.
To have ASEAN member countries endorse these very important activities at the ministerial level is obviously a crucial step forward, and we are very grateful for such high-level political support, Dr. Robert S. Zeigler, IRRIs director general, said. With major Asian rice producers such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar now officially part of these activities, we hope to reach out to other countries in Asia especially China and India for their support also.
Dr. Zeigler said having all the ASEAN nations supporting the Rice Knowledge Bank makes it one of the most important tools for Asian agriculture now available on the Internet. ASEAN is also now a world leader in the development of environmental indicators for agriculture, as this level of ministerial support has not been achieved anywhere else.