ASEAN member states and the three nations of Japan , China and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have approved the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) programme.

The approval was reached during the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) Plus Three Meeting (AMAF+3) in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta on Oct. 7.

Under the APTERR programme, 13 countries will provide a rice stock of 787,000 tonnes to mitigate sudden instabilities in supply and production caused by natural disasters.

China , Japan and the RoK will prepare 300,000 tonnes, 250,000 tonnes and 150,000 tonnes of rice respectively, while ASEAN countries will prepare 87,000 tonnes.

In his opening speech, Indonesian Vice President Boedino said food and energy security as well as climate change are the leading global challenges in the context of global financial and economic crises, increasing food and energy prices and natural disasters.

He underlined the significance of ASEAN+3 cooperation, saying in order to cope with such challenges ASEAN and the world need to promote food production.

The meeting suggested the ASEAN Secretariat consider the building of urgent reserve programmes for other important agricultural products, to ensure food security and stabilise markets.

Participants adopted the AMAF+3’s joint declaration, expressing strong support for ASEAN+3 cooperation in food, agriculture and forestry.

During the meeting, the ministers also issued a joint declaration on the United Nations’ initiative “ASEAN and The International Year of Forests 2011”.

The 34 th AMAF Meeting (AMAF-34) is scheduled to be held in Cambodia and the 12 th AMAF+3 will take place in Laos next year./.