Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Hiroyuki Konuma

FAO Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific



Hiroyuki Konuma
Assistant Director-General and
FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific

Delivered at the closing of the

First meeting of the Regional Steering Committee for Asia and the Pacific
for the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics

Bangkok, Thailand
9 to 10 April 2013


Distinguished Participants and Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Director-General of FAO and on my own behalf, it is a great pleasure to greet you again at this First meeting of the Regional Steering Committee for Asia and the Pacific for the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (RSC).

I understand that after two days of discussions, the meeting has been fully briefed on the Regional Action Plan for Asia and the Pacific and has approved the Workplan for 2013.  Final  approval will now be sought from the Global Executive Board and this will enable funds to be disbursed and in-country work to begin.  As you know this is just the start of a long process, but one that should result in better integration of agriculture into the national statistics systems and improved coordination in the production and dissemination of agricultural and rural statistics in the countries.

I also understand that the RSC has agreed on the selection of countries for inclusion in 2013.  These countries have given a commitment to actively contribute to the implementation of the RAP in their countries.  This commitment will involve significant resources on their part, but will result in a better statistical system and better use of agricultural statistics for policy making. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your good efforts will go a long way to enable national statistical systems to produce the basic agricultural and rural information needed to guide decision-making in the twenty-first century, especially on food security, but also on issues of growing interest such as biofuels, the impact of agriculture on the environment as well on market information and price volatility.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
You are well aware, that FAO’s main mandate is to combat hunger and monitor the progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially at reducing extreme hunger by half by 2015. In this context, improvement of agricultural statistics are fundamental for policy-makers to take decisions on food security interventions and agricultural and rural development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our strong partnership with ESCAP, ADB, our member countries and other leading institutions present here, has resulted in the development of the RAP, which is a historical opportunity to improve the evidence base of policy making of the agricultural sector in the region. The discussions you have had, and the decisions you have made will help progress the implementation of this very important initiative.  I wish to thank you for your contributions.

I wish you a safe trip back to your home countries.

Thank you.