South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold talks this week on boosting their agricultural cooperation that includes the establishment of a joint stockpile of rice, the government said Monday.
The so-called ASEAN Plus Three meeting will be held Friday in Malaysia, also involving China and Japan, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
"Through his keynote speech, Deputy Minister Lee Joon-won is expected to stress a need for the countries to work together in order to realize their joint objectives, such as food security, while pointing to the growing uncertainties in global food production due to climate change," the ministry said in a press release.
The upcoming meeting of agricultural ministers will also focus on efforts to set up a joint rice reserve system, under which the 10 member countries of ASEAN and the three Northeast Asian countries, including South Korea, will store up to 787,000 tons of rice for emergency use.
The 13 countries signed an agreement for the establishment of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve in July 2012. Under the agreement, South Korea will provide up to 150,000 tons of rice to an emergency stockpile.
South Korean delegates, led by Lee, will also hold separate talks with their counterparts from Myanmar and Vietnam on boosting bilateral cooperation, the ministry said.