FFTC Journal of Agricultural Policy

FFTC Journal of Agricultural Policy

Plans and Experiences to Improve Agricultural Trade in the Asia Pacific Region

Agribusiness Venture Arrangements (AVAs) in Agrarian Reform Areas in the Philippines: Identifying Alternative Schemes and Investments for Sustained Productivity and Competitiveness

Engagement of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Agribusiness venture arrangements (AVAs) is recognized by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through policies that govern the implementation of AVAs. Growership is considered as the most advantageous to the land recipients or ARBs, while lease arrangements, the most predominant are less preferred. Documented successes in AVAs were due to good management and better participation in the value chain for those engaged in growership schemes while failures were attributed to organizational dynamics, issues arising from low land lease rates and long duration of lease which limit opportunities for land management, productivity improvement and efficient marketing and trading by the ARBs.   Other arrangements need to be explored and promoted by the agriculture, agrarian reform, and trade departments supported by responsible private sector investments that will further contribute to improving productivity, agricultural trade and competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Keywords: agrarian reform, agribusiness, growership, lease, arrangements.


Development of Agricultural E-commerce in Thailand

As Thailand continues to move towards digital transformation, the e-commerce for the agriculture sector has gradually emerged. Digital platforms can enable farmers to overcome agricultural problems throughout the value chain from upstream to downstream. Smallholder farmers and SMEs can sell agricultural products directly to e-commerce service providers, retailers, and consumers, leading to increased efficiency of the agri-food supply chain and generating greater revenue, as well as a better connection between buyers and sellers. The B2C and C2C e-commerce platforms are prominent business models for agricultural products. The market value of agricultural e-commerce mainly contributed from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) where social commerce (i.e. Facebook, LINE, and Instagram) and e-marketplace were top preferred market channels. Agricultural e-commerce service providers can be a direct positive influence on driving digital adoption among farmers. The government pushed the shift in the agricultural sector toward digital channel with “Thailand 4.0” policy, and national digital economy and society development plan which provided support on the development of digital platform and digital marketing skills on SMEs and farmers, as well as, improved the digital infrastructure and built the digital network in the rural area. To shift traditional commerce toward e-commerce in agricultural market, building digital ecosystem and entrepreneurship environment, as well as enhancing farmers and SMEs to adopt digital channels are suggested.

Keywords: e-commerce, ecosystem, digital platform, agricultural products, SMEs, Thailand


Regulation of The Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Number 40/2019 on Business Licensing Procedures in Agriculture Sector: Simplifying, Streamlining, and Promoting Investments

The Indonesian Minister of Agriculture issued the Regulation Number 40/2019 as one of the initiative reforms concerning the licensing procedures in the agricultural sector of the country. It is implemented through simplifying and streamlining the procedures of agricultural business licenses toward promoting higher investment opportunities. The regulation comprises business and commercial/operational licenses in line with the requirement and commitment based-online single submission system. The type and scope of the licenses consist of registration, recommendation, and certification for sub-sectors of estate crops, food crops, horticulture, and livestock. The implementation of this regulation can be viewed as a spirit to attract investors to develop the agricultural sector in the country.   

Keywords: agricultural investment, business licensing, online single submission, Indonesia


Japan as a New Market for Malaysian Pineapples

Malaysia is one of the important countries for the world’s pineapple industry. In 2017, Malaysia was ranked number 19 as the top pineapple producing countries, and number five as the top exporters of pineapples in the world. Every year Malaysia produces more than 350,000 MT of pineapples. Around 30% of fresh pineapples and 95% of canned pineapples are exported to many countries. Singapore, Western Arabs, Brunei and Hong Kong are the traditional markets for Malaysia’s pineapples. Japan is one of the leading importers of fresh pineapples in the world. Japan imported more than US$ 130.3 million of pineapples in 2018, which is representing 4.8% of the world imported values (US$ 2.73 billion).  Malaysia gets the approval to enter the Japanese market in 2015, and since then, started very aggressively to penetrate this market.  This paper identifies the market scenario, consumer preferences, and export protocol and quarantine requirements, including post-harvest techniques that could create opportunities for fresh and value-added pineapples from Malaysia to Japan.  

Keywords: Pineapple, Japanese market, Market access, consumer preference


Understanding Production and Marketing Activities of Contract and Non-contract Sesame Farmers in Aunglan Township, Magway Region

Sesame is mainly grown in the central dry zone of Myanmar, in which, Magway Region occupied the largest sesame sown area for many years. Following the “Informal model” contract agreement among sesame farmers and buyers are practiced in Aunglan Township, Magway Region. This study aimed to explore the production and marketing performances of sesame farmers under contract and non-contract systems in the study area. By using purposive random sampling procedure, a total of 102 sesame farmers in Aunglan Township were interviewed by using structured questionnaires during November and December, 2017. Descriptive statistics and cost and return analysis were applied in this study. These findings indicated that contract farmers were younger and had less farming experiences as compared to non-contract farmers. Contract farmers received credit and market information from more diverse sources and more participated in training, meeting and field demonstration which were mostly related to sesame production practices in comparison with non-contract farmers. Production cost of sesame by contract farmers was higher as compared to non-contract farmers due to their higher usage of farm yard manure, compound fertilizers, gypsum and fungicide. However, it did not affect their returns because contract farmers received better sesame yield in comparison with non-contract farmers. Climate change, labor scarcity, unstable price and high input cost were major constraints for rain-fed dependent sesame farmers. There was still lack of advanced technology in quality checking, grading, thus, technology investment is crucially needed for producing good quality seeds. Sesame farmers should pay attention not only to quality improvement but also to overcoming current constraints along the supply chain. Overall performance in sesame production and marketing of contract farmers showed better in comparison with their counterparts even though current practicing contract system is needed to be systematically organized by learning experiences of other success stories.

Keywords: Sesame, Contract Farming, Magway Region, Myanmar


Fosterage of Kimchi Industry in Korea to Reaffirm its Sovereignty over Kimchi

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) plans to establish the status of Korea as the birthplace of kimchi by enhancing the competitiveness of domestically produced kimchi through several promotion strategies and fostering plans. The previous promotion strategies have included the following measures. First, the ministry will expand the base of kimchi and fostering related industries. MAFRA will industrialize pickled Chinese cabbage as a kimchi related industry and reinforce safety management of the kimchi. Second, MAFRA plans to strengthen the quality competitiveness of Korean kimchi. The ministry will standardize kimchi quality characteristics and introduce taste labeling (salty, spicy, sour), and pioneer new markets through developing new kimchi as a functional food. The ministry will also enhance the capacity of kimchi producers and related organizations and build governance for policy consultation. Lastly, MAFRA plans to counteract the expansion of kimchi imports and export expansion. The ministry will reinforce control of the imported kimchi by distribution stage and disseminate cost reduction technology of the domestically produced kimchi and pursue strategies for localizing exports. The ministry will examine the introduction of ‘geographical indication on the country name’ to prevent pirating trademarks of the domestically produced kimchi in foreign countries. The fostering plans in 2019 have inherited the main contents of the promotion strategies and the main focus is on countermeasures against the expansion of Chinese kimchi imports.

Keywords: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), Kimchi, Chinese Cabbage, Fostering Plan


Overview of Agricultural Trade in Malaysia

Malaysia is a trading nation. Malaysia has been recognized as one of the 25 most active trading nations in the world. The volume of trading (export and import) by Malaysia has reached more than RM1.5 trillion (US$0.357 trillion) level in 2015, and keeps increasing every year. Export of agricultural commodities such as palm oil, rubber and agro-food (fruits, vegetable, fisheries and livestock) contributes more than RM67.00 billion (US$15.95 billion) to Malaysia’s revenue in 2018. The value of agricultural trade by Malaysia is expected to increase due to higher demand by traditional and new markets in the world. Malaysia adopts the free trading regimes and opens its market to international business. At the same time, Malaysia sets policies and initiatives that could facilitate agricultural trade and protect the domestic industries. Among the initiatives that could facilitate international trade are the introduction of the national Policy for Development and implementation of regulation, modernization of Customs Department, the establishment of Malaysian Quarantine Inspection Services (MAQIS) and the implementation of export promotion programs. The openness of Malaysia in international trading will affect the domestic industry. Thus, the Malaysian government balances up between trade liberalization and the protection of its domestic industry. The positive balance of trade will enhance the economy of Malaysia and at the same time secure the domestic industries.

Keywords: International trade, export, import, agricultural products  


Changing Trade Policies to Ensure Agricultural Export Growth in Vietnam in post COVID-19

In 2020, Vietnam's agriculture industry faces many big challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and floods, contagious diseases such as African swine fever. Even in the difficult context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnam’s agricultural sector still maintains a fairly high growth, especially agricultural export with GDP growth rate reached 2.65%; total agricultural export turnover reached 41.25 billion USD. The market of agricultural products continues to develop, and the domestic market is expanded. The Vietnam’s government promptly solved problems of value chain disruption to urban with measures supporting industries and applied many creative solutions to promote agricultural exports. Vietnam not only meets domestic consumption demand but also surpasses countries such as Thailand and India in rice export, reaching 3 billion USD in 2020 (MARD, 2020). Products such as seafood, vegetables, industrial plants, furniture... have also confirmed their position and competitiveness in the world market. The export to nearly 200 markets, including high-value markets such as the US, EU, Japan, China... has brought the export value of Vietnam's agricultural, forestry and fishery products to the second in the South-East Asia and the 15th in the world. In order to strengthen the competitiveness of the export agricultural value chains that ensures quality products and food safety, the Vietnam government has issued policies on promoting value chain linkages and applying high-tech in agricultural value chains aiming at exportation. Particularly, in February 2021, the Vietnam government had approved the National project to promote the export of agricultural, forestry and fishery products to 2030, confirming the contribution of Vietnam to world food security.

Key words:  Agricultural exports, Policy, COVID-19, Vietnam