After the food price crisis in 2008, ASEAN set about establishing a joint pragmatic approach for cooperation among Member States to ensure longterm food security in the region. Given the importance of rice as a main staple food and in agricultural production, a key goal of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework and Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security is the establishment of an emergency rice reserve.
In October 2011, ASEAN countries and the three Northeast Asian countries of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, signed the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Agreement which seeks to strengthen rice production, prevent post-harvest losses of rice and promote labour opportunities especially in the rural areas. One of the main features of the Agreement is the establishment of APTERR to provide rapid responses in overcoming rice supply shortages in emergencies occurring in any of the signatory countries. The Agreement also stipulates that if no emergency occurs within the stockpile period, the reserve could be used for poverty alleviation programmes in the signatory countries.
The rice reserve consists of physical stocks and other forms of reserve such as future contracts or donations in cash or in kind. At the initial stage of operation, the total earmarked quantity of rice reserve contributed by the ASEAN Plus Three Countries amounts to 787,000 MT. In 2013, the rice reserve was used to help victims of typhoon Haiyan in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Leyte in the Philippines. More than 6,150 tons of stockpiled rice was distributed in the three provinces.