Food and Fertilizer Technology Center - About

The establishment of FFTC

The germ of the idea of establishing a Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region was first broached in the late 1960s during a discussion by the member countries of the Asian and Pacific Council or ASPAC.  Established in June, 1966, ASPAC’s mandate was to forge regional collaboration and solidarity. From the onset, the idea of establishing FFTC was met with general approval and a committee was set up for detailed planning. By February 1969, an Experts’ meeting was held in Taipei to examine the technical aspects of establishing a Center. Two documents were drafted which laid out the basic aims and principles of the Center. One was “an agreement establishing a Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region.” The second was “Guiding Principles for the Establishment of a Food and Fertilizer Technology Center.” These two documents were approved by the member countries of ASPAC, and the Agreement was formally signed at Kawana, Japan on June 11, 1969.

One of the old photos during the ASPAC meetings in the early `60 s, when the idea of establishing FFTC was met with general approval and a committee was set up for detailed planning.

One of the two documents drafted which laid out the basic aims and principles of the Center. They were later approved by the member countries of ASPAC and the Agreement was signed at Kawana, Japan on June 11, 1969.

FFTC was intended as an information center to serve small-scale farmers in the Asian and Pacific Region. The Agreement emphasized the need for regional cooperation, and the importance of increasing both the yields and income of farmers.

From the onset, the people who thought of establishing FFTC wanted to empower the Asian farmers through provision of timely and relevant information on agricultural technologies and policies.

An interim office was set up on January 1, 1970 and the first staff of the Center was appointed. Finally, the first Director took office on April 1, 1970, and the Center was inaugurated. Originally, an Executive Board was created consisting of representatives of nine countries-Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Republic of China (Taiwan). Until 1975, these member countries actively participated in FFTC activities. The Australian and New Zealand representatives, in particular provided the Center with valuable expertise and experiences which helped the Center greatly in setting up various guidelines, procedures, and rules for operations and management.

Two of the former FFTC staff during the early days of the Center. The first office was inaugurated on April 24, 1970 in Taipei City.

The first Director of FFTC is Mr. Hai-Fan Chu, a fertilizer expert, who used to work for the FAO in Thailand. Since then, there have been 13  agricultural experts who have served as Directors of the Center.

Inauguration of the office in Taipei was on April 24, 1970 with its first Director, Mr. Hai-Fan Chu, a fertilizer expert, who used to work for the FAO in Thailand. Since then, there have been 13 agricultural experts who have served as Directors of FFTC. Today FFTC has a total of 12 employees. It is headed by a Director who basically provides overall leadership to its professional and support staff. The current Director of FFTC is Dr. Su-San Chang, who is the 13th and also the first woman Director of the Center.

The FFTC staff today headed by Dr. Su-San Chang, the 13th Director and first woman to head the international Center. Together with Deputy Director Dr. Akira Hasebe, they provide overall leadership to its professional and support staff.

Five Decades of FFTC


The 1970s – focus on food production

The Center’s first decade in the 1970s was the height of the Green Revolution, in which most Asian countries became food self-sufficient primarily because of initiatives in research technology transfer. In the early `70s, FFTC held numerous workshops and training courses on multiple cropping, and in 1973, organized a field demonstration in the Philippines, which eventually expanded to 10 locations and soon became a national program.

FFTC’s first decade in the 1970s was the height of the Green Revolution, in which most Asian countries became food self-sufficient primarily because of initiatives in research technology transfer.

The 1980s – focus on higher farm incomes

In the early `80s, the cost of farm inputs was rising rapidly, with special reference to fertilizer use. In response, the Center began a new series of programs on improved use of alternative resources in order to achieve higher farm incomes. Slowly, FFTC also started to expand its scope by focusing on topics which are not exclusively connected to food and fertilizers. Examples are topics on high-value crops such as fruits and vegetables and livestock.

In the `80s, FFTC started to expand its scope by focusing on topics which are not exclusively connected to food and fertilizers. Examples are topics on high-value crops such as fruits and vegetables and livestock.

The 1990s - focus on sustainable agriculture

Into the third decade, FFTC’s information programs focused on promoting systems of agriculture which are still productive but are sustainable in the long term. By pursuing sustainability in agricultural production, FFTC sought to address the issue of environmental degradation. More emphasis was placed on sustainable cropping systems, environmental regeneration, restoring soil fertility, appropriate use of fertilizers, and integrated pest management systems of crop protection.

In the `90s, FFTC’s workshops and seminars focused more on topics pertaining to sustainable cropping systems, environmental regeneration, restoring soil fertility, appropriate use of fertilizers, and integrated pest management systems of crop protection

It was in 1993 when FFTC held an international training course on new techniques of testing fruits and vegetables for pesticide residue. Called the Rapid Bioassay of Pesticide Residues (RBPR), it is a chemical analysis to monitor pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables and is considered as a rapid method to detect residues of organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Thus began another series of training courses which FFTC embarked on for several years.

The 2000s - focus on plant protection and biotechnology

The onset of the 21st century, FFTC was faced with new emerging challenges amid structural changes in global agriculture. Agricultural biotechnology has been a focus of the Center and there were workshops and seminars on use of diagnostic system for plant nutrient management, etc. This was the decade when FFTC embarked in the Citrus greening disease (or Huanglongbing (HLB)) network to facilitate and enhance capacity building on HLB management technology, a project that took three years to promote the mass production and field demonstration of pathogen-free seedlings in Cambodia and Vietnam.

The 2000s was the decade when FFTC embarked in the Citrus greening network to facilitate and enhance capacity building on Huanglongbing (HLB) management technology, a project that took three years to promote the mass production and field demonstration of pathogen-free seedlings in Cambodia and Vietnam.

The 2010s – focus on climate change and ICTs

At the Center’s fifth decade, global warming has already hit an alarming level and climate change gained serious momentum. Agriculture became one of, if not the most vulnerable sectors to the effects of climate change. In response to these changes and issues in the agricultural global climate, FFTC has included climate change in its rolling five-year strategic plan.

FFTC also focused holding workshops on ICTs, smart agriculture, protected cultivation, use of drones and started projects focusing on “Enhancing Collaborative Research Network on the Value Chain and Control of Dragon Fruit Pests and Diseases in Southeast and South Asia” and “FFTC Agricultural Policy Platform (FFTC-AP)”.

Protected cultivation technologies are just one of the important topics being focused on by the Center in this decade to address the issues of global warming and climate change.

Enhancing Collaborative Research Network on the Value Chain and Control of Dragon Fruit Pests and Diseases in Southeast and South Asia

FFTC Agricultural Policy Platform (FFTC-AP)

FFTC’s Future Challenges and Strategic Action Plan 2021-2024


As we begin our sixth decade as an organization, there are many challenges in our regional agricultural community. The impacts of climate change, lack of agricultural manpower and natural resources, and food insecurity with the growing population are just some of the many issues which our Center is trying to address in the conduct of our activities. We are glad that this year, we have already finished drafting our “Strategic Action Plan Focusing on Holding our Workshops and Seminars in 2021-2024.” This action plan, which is basically made up of five program themes, will be the main guide that will help us prioritize our goals, maximize our resources, increase our effectiveness and help us make better decisions. This means that all our major activities for this year and the succeeding four years, will be underpinned based on the following five program themes: 1) increasing productivity by strengthening agricultural R&D and investments; 2) enhancing food value chains and consumer oriented production; 3) promoting climate-smart and resilient agriculture; 4) fostering circular agriculture; and 5) strengthening resource management and rural development. 

We will remain a steadfast partner in the quest towards a more productive, sustainable, efficient and competitive agriculture in the Asian and Pacific Region.

AgriculturalPolicy DragonFruitNetwork
loading