Engaging APEC in Sustainable Agricultural Development

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Funding Opportunity ID:328585
Opportunity Number:USDA-FAS-10960-0200-10-20-0005
Opportunity Title:Engaging APEC in Sustainable Agricultural Development
Opportunity Category:Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type:Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity:Agriculture
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s):10.960
Eligible Applicants:Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility:Nathan and Associates (DUNS#074837444)
Agency Code:USDA-FAS-TGPA-10960
Agency Name:Department of Agriculture
Technical Agricultural Assistance 10.960
Posted Date:Aug 06, 2020
Close Date:Aug 21, 2020
Last Updated Date:Aug 06, 2020
Award Ceiling:$400,000
Award Floor:$1
Estimated Total Program Funding:$400,000
Expected Number of Awards:1
Description:This project is authorized by the following legislation: 7 USC 3291, International agricultural research, extension, and teaching, authorizes the Secretary in part (a) to (1) exchange research materials and results with the institutions or persons, and (5) work with transitional and more advanced countries in food, agricultural, and related research, development, teaching, and extension (including providing technical assistance, training, and advice to persons from the countries engaged in the activities and the stationing of scientists and other specialists at national and international institutions in the countries). Trade Policy and Geographic Affairs (TPGA), Multilateral Affairs Division (MA) is a division of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. MA’s strategic goals are to work through international organizations to build relationships and serve American interests to promote science and evidence-based policy, sustainability, trade liberalization, and new technology and innovation. TPGA works with a number of other U.S. government agencies (e.g., U.S. Trade Representative, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Commerce, and USDA sister agencies), international organizations, and industry to promote the trade of safe food products globally. As many Asian economies grow rapidly, governments are wrangling with complex public health issues including a pronounced need for updated food safety regulatory systems. While food safety modernization is an essential part of effective agricultural regulation, this trend has caused an increase in onerous non-tariff barriers, as many of the 21 economies in the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region lack the capacity to develop these regulations in a way that is consistent with the SPS Agreement and does not overly restrict trade. Unfortunately, this is happening at a time when markets in the region are growing dramatically relative to our exports in the rest of the world. As economies endeavor to update their systems, multi-economy discussion, in the form of a workshop, on the scientific justification provisions of the SPS Agreement will be extremely important to U.S. agricultural exports and MA’s core goal of promoting science and evidence-based policies. Many economies lack the capacity to effectively assess food safety risk and as a result can put in place requirements that are not based in science and overly restrict trade. The workshop will help address knowledge gaps by serving to remind Members that the risk assessment, as regulated under Article 5.1, is the main criteria and means by which scientific justification is attained for the adoption and implementation of SPS measures. We will provide Members with concrete examples of how to notify provisional measures and discuss how Codex Alimentarius and other international standard setting bodies can and should work on procedural steps necessary, given the impossibility of establishing a proper risk assessment, for the adoption and application of provisional measures. Another part of this award will address the larger goal of sustainable agricultural and economic development. Sustainable agricultural development will be critical going forward, and is a key strategic goal of relevant APEC workstreams and USDA. MA will look to contribute to existing and planned engagement by partner economies in sharing information and best practices of food loss and waste prevention, sustainable resource management, and other innovative agricultural practices. Workshop discussions and reports on existing strategies by U.S. experts and those of like-minded members can ultimately enhance capacities of developing economies and expand trade in the APEC region. The issue of aging farmers and agricultural producers is a critical one for food security globally—one that can be addressed by policies that incentivize and encourage youth to become engaged in agriculture. As the APEC region strives to create an inclusive and sustainable economy, it will be vital to ensure that a new generation of farmers is adequately prepared to feed the world. In the United States, the average age of a farmer is 59.4 years in 2019, steadily increasing from 1978 when it was 50.4 years old. This trend can be seen globally, as youth leave their rural towns and seek opportunities elsewhere. OECD and scholarly articles have documented the phenomenon in specific countries, but not as a whole region, until now. The project will examine existing policies regarding involving, engaging, and employing youth in the agricultural industry and related fields in the APEC region. A report will reflect the findings of a desk audit of private and public sector policies and initiatives and their related success. The project will benefit various agricultural stakeholders, but chiefly policy makers will be able to use the resulting report as a reference for future polices, initiatives, and resources that will encourage youth to participate in agriculture in a more direct way. The project will also cover the breadth APEC region and provide examples of successful policies and how they might be applied in other economies. Request for Applications: The activities in this agreement will support the development of an international trading system that is more predictable for U.S. exporters and based on science. This will be achieved by 1) build upon existing knowledge of scientific justification provisions of the WTO SPS agreement among APEC member economies ; 2) encouraging technical collaboration and cooperation among APEC economies; and 3) collecting and synthesizing data that will increase our understanding of APEC economies’ policies regarding youth engagement in agriculture; 4) increased understanding of APEC member economies’ approach to sustainable agricultural and economic development and innovation as a whole. Objectives: The goal of this project is to increase the regulatory and policy making capacity of developing economies in APEC by increasing knowledge on scientific justification provision of the SPS agreement and youth engagement in agriculture.Part of this project will build on previous workshops aimed at reducing trade barriers caused by unnecessary export certificates or pesticide MRLs within APEC. The project will be focused on several workstreams addressing:· The scientific justification workshop will help address knowledge gaps by serving to remind Members that the risk assessment, as regulated under Article 5.1, is the main criteria and means by which scientific justification is attained for the adoption and implementation of SPS measures;· Discuss national experiences implementing the obligation to seek to obtain the additional information necessary for a more objective assessment of risk within a reasonable period of time;· Promote underlying elements of USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda and Science Blueprint· Identifying best practices, policies, and programs to support and encourage youth involvement in agriculture; and· Discussing and sharing information and national experiences on sustainable agricultural development, specifically regarding youth engagement and involvement in agriculture. This project will target policymakers in the 21 APEC economies so that the information gets translated back to the appropriate decision makers who can take action. This project will provide valuable knowledge to policymakers regarding the scientific justification provisions of the SPS agreement and policies. Personnel Requirements: Applicant must have a sophisticated understanding of APEC dynamics and meetings, a familiarity with the APEC export certificate and MRL workstreams, and an operational understanding of how to successfully carry out APEC meetings including: managing complex projects, convening the appropriate experts, implementing and coordinating meeting logistics, communicating with participants, trouble-shooting and resolving logistical issues, distributing participant surveys, collecting/analyzing the survey data, and effectively managing federal funds. Prior experience with the U.S. Government and other policymakers in APEC is highly desired. Applicant will teleconference with FAS as often as FAS deems necessary. Applicant will supply FAS with activity reports and track activity costs as outlined in the agreement.
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