Down Down Down: Food Security Robustness declining across Asia in 2016

– The latest Rice Bowl Index report indicates a decline in food security robustness across Asia, a first since 2012
– Empowering smallholders are key in helping the region achieve a robust food security position
– Long term outlook remains positive but success will require collective action across the food value chain

Last week fifth edition of the Rice Bowl Index (RBI) report was issued. Highlighting changes in the food security landscape in Asia Pacific over the last twelve months, the RBI has seen a decline in food security robustness scores across the region – a stark contrast to the improvement observed in RBI results during 2014 and 2015.

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The TPP just one leg of the stool for Asia’s food security

The signing this week of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) by the 12 nations party to it, has been met, in Australia at least, with generally positive commentary and in particular the tenacious negotiating tactics of Australia’s Trade Minister, Andrew Robb.

On paper, the TPP looks like a good deal for Australia: reducing trade barriers for Australian agricultural produce and potentially opening up new export markets.

However, will the TPP help address the far more pressing issue of helping to improve Asia’s food security and the lot of more than 400 million smallholder farmers who go to make up the region’s agricultural economy?

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