The developing world is facing serious food security challenges in alleviating widespread
chronic hunger and meeting the target of increasing food production by 77 per cent by 2050
to address the demand of its rapidly growing population. This target must be met under
various constraints such as the stagnation of expansion of arable lands and increasing
scarcity of water resources. The promotion of neglected food crops such as sago palm which
has a high starch yield potential and which can grow in underutilized swamps and wetlands
with minimal competition from other food crops for land and water use, is therefore, of
Sago palms play an important role in environmental protection toward the conservation of
traditional eco-systems and bio-diversity. They also contribute to the preservation of
cultural heritage in rural communities. When grown in a suitable environment with organized
farming practices, the sago palm could have a yield potential of 10-15 metric tons of dried
starch per hectare per year. This starch yield per hectare is approximately 3 to 4 times
higher than that of rice or wheat.
Sago palm serves as a food security crop which can be harvested over an extended time frame,
and as an income earner in many countries where it is grown, thereby contributing to household
food security and to poverty alleviation. Despite its environmental and socio-economic benefit,
traditional uses and industrial potential, thousands of hectares of sago forest in many countries
in Asia and the Pacific Region are currently being replaced by oil palm plantations or put to other use.
The multiple benefits and uses of sago palm and its products are not well known, and accordingly sago
palm has remained neglected and underutilized. The crop has, in the past, benefitted from minimal
policy and budgetary support from both public and private sectors, and hence there has been almost
no policy and strategic approach for long-term planning towards its promotion, sustainable cultivation,
utilization and conservation through research, development, and associated interventions.
The aims of the Regional Network are to exchange knowledge, share experiences and promote collaboration
and concerted efforts on the conservation, sustainable cultivation, utilization and development of
sago palm, and to promote advocacy for its economic, social and environmental values and benefits
among all partners and stakeholders who are associated with sago palm and its products. It is also
envisaged that this regional level sago network would be linked and closely associated with existing
networks. Within this context and against this background, the Regional Sago Network for Asia and
the Pacific is being formed.
The SNAP will interact with a wide range of partners and stakeholders working on various aspects of
sago palm research, cultivation, utilization and conservation. It will, in the process, provide an
informal mechanism for cooperation and collaboration among international and regional organizations,
research and academic institutions, CSOs, public and private-sector entities and other associated groups.
Activities include the following:
Knowledge sharing - research results, meeting reports,
project outputs/outcomes - on the research, cultivation, utilization and conservation of the sago palm
in Asia and the Pacific Region
Identification of issues and gaps in sago palm research and development and
implementation of follow up actions
Establishment and maintenance of a web-site on sago palm (the web-site will
initially hosted by Mei University for four years)
Development of a regional strategic framework on sago palm research, development
(including effective and sustainable cultivation and utilization) and conservation, which would serve as
a common platform for concerted and harmonized efforts
Conduct of an annual regional meeting, preferably back-to-back with special sago
events and annual sago symposia that bring together a broad range of stakeholders and perspectives that
enrich the dialogue on sago palm and enhance collaborative action to promote its sustainable development,
conservation and utilization
Formulation of an action plan and/or annual work plan of the Regional Sago Network
and implementation of joint activities as appropriate
The name of the Network will be Regional Sago Network for Asia and the Pacific (SNAP), hereinafter
referred to as the SNAP.
The SNAP will be established at the Expert Consultation on the Development of a Regional Sago Network
for Asia and the Pacific convened by FAO, on 21 and 22 March, 2013, at the FAO Regional Office for Asia
and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand.
Goal & Objectives
The SNAP will be a voluntary partnership of stakeholders promoting research, utilization, conservation
and sustainable development of sago palm and its products with an overarching goal of enhancing the
contribution of sago palm to food security and economic development. The SNAP aims to bring together
key partners and stakeholders, including researchers, policy makers, public and private sector entities
and representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs), and development partners from across Asia
and the Pacific Region, with the following specific objectives:
To exchange knowledge, share experience and promote collaboration and concerted efforts among all
stakeholders on the research, cultivation, utilization, conservation and sustainable development of
sago palm, and advocate for its economic, social and environmental values and benefits.
To promote effective linkages among public and private stakeholders associated with sago palm and
reduce the negative environmental impacts of its by-products.
To facilitate the development and implementation of policies, strategies and institutional mechanisms
associated with sago palm and its products and by-products.
To promote the consumption and utilization of sago.
Application for Membership
Membership of the SNAP will be expanded on an on-going basis. Other organizations/institutions interested
in applying for membership in the SNAP will submit a formal application to the Chair. Membership will be
approved by the unanimous decision of all SNAP members, either at the annual meeting or through email consultation.
Division of work and focal agencies
The SNAP will base its activities on an annual action plan and/or work plan, developed in line with
prioritized activities outlined in its Regional Strategic Framework. SNAP members will identify activities
on a voluntary basis and will select focal agencies for respective activities/action areas to facilitate
collaboration among concerned institutions.
The working language of the SNAP will be English.
FAO will chair the SNAP unless requested by a two-thirds majority to step down.At least one of the Vice chairs
should come from one of the three main sago-producing countries ? Indonesia, Malaysia and PNG. One of the
vice-chairs must be a representative of an Institution.
The Vice-chairs would be elected on a bi-annual basis. Vice chairs could stand for election to the Chair after
two years. Terms of Reference of the Chair and Vice-chair are included in Annex 1.
Professor Bintoro, of Bogor Agricultural University, and Professor Kopli Bujan of the Center of Excellence for
Sago Research, Universiti Malaysia, Sarawak, Malaysia will serve as vice-chairs for the term 2013 through 2015.