Bolstering ASEAN Food Security through Partnership and Cooperation on Agricultural Biotechnology

    March 4, 2024-March 6, 2024
    ASEAN Secretariat
    Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia

Hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat, with support from the United States Department of Agriculture and Department of State, and organized by the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, this workshop brought together delegates from 11 ASEAN member and observer states, as well as stakeholders from international organizations and the private and public research sector, to discuss regulatory practices for products derived from modern biotechnologies and opportunities for regulatory cooperation among the ASEAN countries.  To this end, expert speakers from Canada, Australia, the African Union, and the United States joined the workshop to provide insights into the global status of biotechnology and biotechnology products in international trade, as well as examples of efforts for bilateral and multilateral cooperation and harmonization. The program also included presentations from each ASEAN member state on the status of their countries’ biotechnology and biosafety policies, and additional presentations from the Philippines and Singapore on the status of their policies for new breeding techniques.

One day was devoted to a field trip to Bandung, where participants visited a farm producing seed of the genetically engineered late blight resistant potato that has been approved in Indonesia, followed by the University of Padjadjaran, where there is ongoing research on genetically engineered catfish. The workshop closed with facilitated discussions between delegates and participants to consider opportunities for future collaboration and harmonization in line with ASEAN’s mission.


  • Increase awareness of the potential benefits of agricultural biotechnology for food security and climate resiliency.
  • Share updates on the biotechnology and biosafety policy status among member states.
  • Explore the potential for increased regulatory harmonization, streamlined approval processes, and adoption of effective and efficient regulatory approaches.


Day 1

Monday | March 4, 2024 | 08:30 – 17:30

ASEAN Secretariat, Multi-Purpose Room, 9th Floor

Time Presentation/Activity Presenter/Lead
08:30 Shuttle: Gran Mahakam Hotel to ASEAN Secretariat
Session I: Modern Biotechnology and Global Food Security
09:00 Welcome and Introductions Dr. Karen Hokanson
Senior Manager, Scientific Programs, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)
09:20 Introductory Remarks Dr. Zurina Moktar
Assistant Director/Head of Division, Science and Technology Division, ASEAN Secretariat
09:30 Introductory Remarks  Dr. Jennifer Rowland
Biotechnology Coordinator, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
09:40 Keynote: Global Status of Biotechnology Dr. Stuart Smyth
Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan
10:00 Keynote: Biotechnology and Climate Change Dr. Eric Hallerman (virtual)
Professor, Virginia Tech University
10:20 Photo Session: Lobby of New ASEAN Building
10:30 Tea Break: 2nd Floor
Session II: ASEAN Member States – Biotechnology Status Updates
Cultivating Countries
10:45 Indonesia Dr. Bahagiawati
Research Scientist, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN)
11:00 Philippines Mr. Reimond S. Corona
Project Senior Technical Specialist, National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines
11:15 Vietnam Dr. Phat Tien Do
Head, Plant Cell Biotechnology Laboratory, Institute of Biotechnology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
Importing Countries
11:30 Malaysia Ms. Siti Zuhaini
Principal Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI)
  Dr. Adrain Ling
Senior Researcher, Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI)
11:45 Singapore Dr. Yan Hong
Deputy Chair, Singapore Genetic Modification Advisory Committee
  Dr. Yong Quan Tan
Scientist, Risk Assessment and Communication, Singapore Food Agency
12:00 Thailand Dr. Piyanuch Sornchai
Agricultural Research Officer, Biotechnology Research and Development Office Department of Agriculture
  Dr. Weerasak Pitaksaringkarn
Agricultural Research Scientist, Department of Agriculture
12:15 Lunch: 2nd Floor
Frameworks Under Development
13:00 Myanmar Dr. Nwe Nwe Htwe
Assistant Director, Plant Biotechnology Center
13:10 Cambodia Mr. Yourk Sothearith
Deputy Director, Department of Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment
13:20 Lao PDR Dr. Kosonh Xayphakatsa
Deputy Director, Biotechnology and Ecology Institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
13:30 Brunei Ms. Adi Lisea Binti Mohd Addy
Plant Pathologist, Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Brunei Agriculture Research Centre (BARC)
13:50 Timor-Leste Mr. Fernando Egidio Amaral
Director of Agribusiness, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Session III: Regulatory Cooperation on Biotechnology for Food Security
14:00 Regulatory Cooperation – What does it mean?
Overview of the recently published OECD consensus document on regulatory cooperation
Dr. Karen Hokanson
Senior Manager, Scientific Programs, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI)
14:20 Regulatory Cooperation Case Study 1: FSANZ/Health Canada Dr. Lisa Kelly (virtual)
GM Team Leader, Science and Risk Assessment, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
14:40 Regulatory Cooperation Case Study 2: West Africa Regulatory Cooperation Mrs. Modupe Adeyemo (virtual)
Programme Officer – Food Safety, African Union Development Agency New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA NEPAD)
15:00 Tea Break
Session IV: Exploring Opportunities for Regulatory Cooperation within ASEAN
15:20 Facilitated Discussion Part I
Poll questions on the biosafety process and challenges in the ASEAN members to identify barriers to regulatory cooperation
16:00 Facilitated Discussion Part II
Breakout group discussions on poll results
17:00 Facilitated Discussion Part III
Plenary recap and consolidation of the breakout discussions
17:30 Shuttle: ASEAN Secretariat to Gran Mahakam Hotel


Day 2

Tuesday | March 5, 2024 | 06:30 – 20:45

Hikmah Farm and the University of Padjadjaran

Time Presentation/Activity Presenter/Lead
06:30 Shuttle: Gran Mahakam Hotel to Halim Train Station, Jakarta (Arrive 07:00)
07:30 Train: Halim Station to Padalarang Station, Bandung (Arrive 08:00)
08:10 Buses: Padalarang Station to Hikmah Farm, Pangalengan (Arrive 10:00)
10:00 Tea Break: Conference Room, 2nd Floor
GE Potatoes and GE Catfish in Action
10:15 Welcome Remarks Mr. Bunyan Ismail
Director, Hikmah Farm
10:25 Presentation on Genetically Engineered
(GE) Potato
Mr. Kusmana
Research Scientist, National Research & Innovation Agency (BRIN), Indonesia
10:45 Q&A Session  All
11:00 Field Visit to GE Potato Field (5-minute walk)
12:00 Lunch: Hikmah Farm, Conference Room
13:00 Buses: Hikmah Farm to University of Padjadjara, Jatinangor (Arrive 15:00)
15:05 Tea Break: Rectorate Building, University of Padjadjaran 
15:20 Audience Seated in the Auditorium
15:25 Indonesia National Anthem
15:30 Welcome Remarks Prof. Dr. Rina Indiastuti, S.E., M.SIE.
Rector, University of Padjadjaran
15:40 Introductory Remarks Ms. Kate Rebholz
Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Mission to ASEAN
15:45 Presentation on GE Catfish Research Prof. Dr. Ibnu Dwi Buwono
Professor, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, University of Padjadjaran
  Dr. Roffi Grandiosa
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, University of Padjadjaran
16:00 Q&A Session
16:15 Photo Session: Rectorate Building
16:30 Buses: Rectorate Building to Hatchery Building
16:40 Tour GE Catfish Research Ponds
17:30 Buses: University to Tegalluar Station, Bandung Province (Arrive 18:30) – snack boxes provided
19:15 Train: Tegalluar Station to Halim Station, Jakarta (Arrive 20:00)
20:15 Shuttle: Halim Station to Gran Mahakam Hotel (Arrive 20:45)


Day 3

Wednesday | June 28, 2023 | 08:00 – 17:00

ASEAN Secretariat, Multi-Purpose Room, 9th Floor

Time Presentation/Activity Presenter/Lead
08:30 Shuttle: Gran Mahakam Hotel to ASEAN Secretariat
Session V: Regional Good Regulatory Practices
09:00 Philippines – Proportionality: Genome Editing Regulation Mr. Darwin Landicho
Senior Agriculturist, Bureau of Plant Industry
09:20 Singapore – Implementation of a Regulatory Framework for Genome Edited Crops for
Use in Food/Feed
Dr. Yong Quan Tan
Scientist, Risk Assessment and Communication, Singapore Food Agency
09:40 Q&A Session  
Session VI: Exploring Regulatory Cooperation within ASEAN
10:00 Recap of the Discussions on Day 1 AFSI
10:30 Tea Break: 2nd Floor
11:00 Facilitated Discussion
Development of consensus points/recommendations for future work
12:30 Closing Remarks Mr. Rey Santella
Agricultural Counselor, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Jakarta
12:45 Lunch
14:00 Shuttle: ASEAN Secretariat to Gran Mahakam Hotel