Food and Fertilizer Technology Center - News

TAC members underscore FFTC’s need to adapt to the COVID-19 era
Jul. 28, 2020
TAC members underscore FFTC’s need to adapt to the COVID-19 era
The people behind FFTC’s 25th TAC Meeting. Seated L to R: TAC Member and TARI’s DG, Dr. Hsueh-Shih Lin; TAC Member and DG of COA’s Department of International Affairs Mr. Chia-Rong Lin; FFTC Director Dr. Su-San Chang; and FFTC Deputy Director Dr. Akira Hasebe. Standing from L to R: FFTC’s Administrative Specialist Mr. Charles Wu; Associate Researcher Mr. Kun-Chang Tsai; Observers from COA, Mr. Albert Wen and Ms. Selena Hsu; Ms. Woan-Ru Lee, Director, BAPHIQ’s Planning Division; FFTC’s Information Officer Mr. Ronald Mangubat; FFTC’s Food System and Nutrition Specialist Dr. Ray-yu Yang; FFTC’s Senior Secretary Ms. Chia-Chuan Chang and FFTC’s Assistant Researcher Ms. Jennifer Lii. Members of the FFTC Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) were in unison in saying that with the present COVID-19 pandemic, the Center needs to adapt and adjust its activities and projects according to the tenets of working under the new normal. In the recently held 25th TAC Meeting, which for the first time was done via videoconference, the TAC members who are distinguished agricultural scientists and officers from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam all agree that the Center should contextualize its present and future projects under the pandemic umbrella. This means transitioning to online activities and following the standard protocols in social distancing. Dr. Masa Iwanaga, President and Director General of Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), who for the third time, has been elected as Chairman of the  TAC Meeting, said that the world has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic and developmental organizations like FFTC can no longer do some things that it used to do. "But we can still take advantage of the situation and make that transition to online activities like e-commerce,” he said. “We can also improve the conduct of webinars and production of virtual learning materials.” Reacting to the presentations made by the FFTC management headed by Director Dr. Su-San Chang, who made a brief presentation on “Charting New Directions for FFTC” and Deputy Director Dr. Akira Hasebe who presented the Center’s past and current activities and its newly drafted “Strategic Action Plan for 2021-2024,” other TAC members made specific suggestions and recommendations on the themes and topics which they feel FFTC can embark on in the future. These include agricultural marketing innovation, biosecurity, R&D innovation, traceability of agricultural products, block chain technology, agri entrepreneurship, knowledge management, etc. Conduct of surveys, foresight studies and webinars were also recommended to assess the region’s needs and problems under the COVID-19 era, as well as revisiting FFTC’s past clients in order for the Center to improve its collection and dissemination of agricultural information. In a closed door half-hour session Chaired by Dr. Iwanaga, the TAC members came up with the following recommendations which they later presented to the FFTC management: Examine the present Strategic Action Plan under the COVID-19 era and make the necessary adjustments in conducting the Center’s activities; Organize and hold webinars on the following themes: sustainable agriculture food systems after COVID-19; and how each country is dealing with its agricultural activities especially in the area of value chains; Conduct training programs focusing on Knowledge Management Systems. Produce videos on certain technologies which can be used by farmers under this pandemic era; Conduct a foresight study on agriculture for the next 10 years focusing on the Asian region in relation to the economic crisis, climate change, etc.; Create activities that can take advantage of the E-commerce challenge and how to secure agricultural materials; Consider the following themes in future webinars: agricultural marketing innovation; biosecurity, demand-driven R&D innovation agenda; agri-entrepreneurship and attracting the young generation of farmers to go into agriculture. Revisit the Center’s past clients to assess the Center’s impact; and Examine present MOUs and MOAs and renew those which are about to expire In her response to the TAC members’ recommendations, Dr. Su-San Chang expressed her gratefulness to all the TAC members for their contributions and active participation despite the technical glitches encountered in the online meeting. She also said that while some recommendations are very ideal, limited resources and manpower might be a hindrance so the challenge of the management is how to implement and operationalize the TAC recommendations given such limitation. This year’s TAC Meeting via videoconference was well attended with 11 of the 12 TAC members present. Dr. Kazuo Kyuma, President of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in Japan who could not make it to the meeting was represented by Dr. Atsuro Matsuda. Before pre-COVID-19, the TAC Meeting used to be a whole day meeting but with the videoconference technology, this was reduced to only three hours. Since 1977, the FFTC-TAC meets every two years to provide advices to the Center and help identify agricultural information needs, evaluate the Center’s programs and activities and make recommendations to further improve future work programs. Dr. Su-San Chang delivers her presentation on “Charting New Directions for FFTC” while Dr. Akira Hasebe delivers his presentation on FFTC’s past and present programs and “FFTC’s Strategic Action Plan for 2021-2024”. Group photo under the new normal. The FFTC management, who were in their home base in Taiwan, and the TAC members who were from their respective countries in Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam pose for an online group photo.
FFTC strengthens ties with Taitung partners
Jul. 21, 2020
FFTC strengthens ties with Taitung partners
  Dr. Su-San Chang and Dr. Akira Hasebe form part of the team invited by Dr. Ming-Che Wu, Head of TLRI’s Genetic and Breeding Division to observe the robotics dairy feeding and milking operations at the Wei How Dairy Farm in Taitung. The modern dairy operation is part of Smart Agriculture 4.0, which aims to develop smart production and digital service in Taiwan's agriculture sector. The FFTC management, headed by Director Dr. Su-San Chang, Deputy Director Dr. Akira Hasebe and Information Officer Ronald Mangubat, re-connected with some of its agricultural partners through a series of meetings, courtesy calls and field visits in Taitung County, the South-Eastern part of Taiwan. Through the invitation of Dr. Ming-Che Wu, Head of the Genetics and Breeding Division of Taiwan Livestock Research Institute (TLRI), the FFTC team first visited the Wei How Dairy Farm where they observed the robotic operations of the farm from feeding and milking using the automatic TMR feeding and milking robots from the Netherlands. The modern dairy operation is part of Smart Agriculture 4.0, which aims to develop smart production and digital service in Taiwan's agriculture sector to address the manpower shortage in agriculture sector and to boost Taiwan's food production self-sufficiency, agricultural exports and opportunities in emerging markets. Smart Agriculture 4.0 combines Cloud and Edge technologies like remote sensing, IoT devices, robotics, big data, data mining algorithms, etc. as a way to achieve sustainable agriculture. The Robotic Dairy Solution Demo in Wei How Dairy Farm is part of the plan to promote sustainable dairy production in the island. Dr. Chang and Dr. Hasebe also participated in the discussion on how to efficiently improve the operations of dairy farms using smart agriculture technologies, together with Taiwanese agriculture experts. Dr. Chang joins the discussion on the Robotic Dairy Solution Demo review meeting and tells her opinion on how to efficiently improve the operations of dairy farms using smart agriculture technologies, together with Taiwanese agriculture experts. The FFTC team also paid a courtesy call to Dr. Yu-Chu Chen, Deputy Director of the Taitung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station (TTDARES). Discussion focused on the station’s current research projects on quality rice varieties and specialty crops, particularly the development of the Gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng) a special indigenous crop of Taitung which is a large, dioecious, perennial vine fruit belonging to the cucurbits family. Popularly dubbed as the “Fruit from Heaven,” the Gac fruit’s high concentration of carotenoids and lycopene (said to be 10 times more than tomato) makes it a very promising fruit which has high potential in both local and international markets. Later, Dr. Chang and her team had a quick tour of the station’s local products’ processing facilities in the station’s efforts to help farmers in the district to develop and commercialize their home grown food products with added value through simple processing techniques. The FFTC team pays a courtesy call to Dr. Yu-Chu Chen, Deputy Director of the Taitung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station (TDARES) where they discuss the station’s current research projects particularly the development of the Gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng) a special indigenous crop of Taitung which is a large, dioecious, perennial vine fruit belonging to the cucurbits family. At the TDARES, Dr. Chang and her team make a quick tour of the station’s local products’ processing facilities in the station’s efforts to help farmers in the district to develop and commercialize their home grown food products with added value through simple processing techniques. The next day, the FFTC team visited the Council of Agriculture’s Fishery Research Institute—Eastern Marine Biology Research Center (EMBRC) where they met researcher Mr. Ming-Chung Cheng, who gave the team a guided tour of the Center’s hatchery facilities and explained their research work on the artificial breeding of clown fish and other ornamental fishes. For many years, the EMBRC has made inroads in ornamental fish breeding the technologies of which they have also been sharing to many fish breeders. The FFTC team visit the Council of Agriculture’s Fishery Research Institute—Eastern Marine Biology Research Center (EMBRC) where they meet researcher Mr. Chen Ching Chung, who gave the team a guided tour of the Center’s hatchery facilities and explained their research work on the artificial breeding of clown fish and other ornamental fishes. On the last leg of their Taitung trip, the FFTC team visited Council of Agriculture’s Tea Research and Extension Station’s Taitung Branch in Luye Township where they met Director Mr. Jian-Hsing Shiau. Since 2000, the station’s Taitung branch has been conducting research on indigenous tea varieties in various parts of Taitung County. The FFTC team sampled and did a taste test of the Yunfun premium brew of oolong tea and other Taiwanese dishes cooked using tea leaves and tea oil. The FFTC team visit the Buo-Ya Pavilion Natural Tea Company where they participated in a tea tasting activity to help choose the best tea which the company intends to submit in International Taste Institute’s “Superior Taste Awards” in Brussels, Europe. Mr. Shiau also took the FFTC team to Buo-Ya Pavilion Natural Tea Company, located in Luyeh, Taitung, where they participated in a tea tasting activity to help choose the best tea which the company intends to submit in International Taste Institute’s “Superior Taste Awards” in Brussels, Europe. A family owned company, Buo-Ya Pavilion boasts of its superior natural teas grown in the mountain slopes of Taitung with the geographical indication of “Red Oolong” and “Honey Black Tea”. For the past three years, they have consistently won the “Superior Taste Award” in the said competition. The FFTC management team hopes that through this Taitung trip, more linkages will be forged between the Center and Taitung’s various agricultural organizations. The FFTC team sampled and did a taste test of the Yunfun premium brew of oolong tea, the new product of the Council of Agriculture's Tea Research and Extension Station's Taitung branch.​​​​​​​
Courtesy Call to New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO)
Jul. 11, 2020
Courtesy Call to New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO)
FFTC management, including the Director Dr. Su-San Chang and the Deputy Director Dr. Akira Hasebe, paid a courtesy visit to Director Ms. Moira Turley at New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO), Taipei on July 9, 2020. New Zealand is one of the nine FFTC founding member countries. The purpose of this visit is to strengthen the relationship between New Zealand and the Centre. The FFTC Director Dr. Chang introduced the Centre and the Strategic Action Plan 2021-2024 and the 5 program themes the Centre currently drafting to Ms. Turley. After that, Dr. Chang briefed this year's FFTC activities, the Dragon Fruit Project and the FFTC Agricultural Policy Platform. The Centre really appreciates New Zealand Plant and Food Research and its two specialists Dr. Bob Fullerton and Mr. John Campbell support and contribute to the Dragon Fruit Project. For the upcoming FFTC-TLRI international symposium on the Practice and Benefits of Circular Agriculture in Waste Reducing and Recycling (November 5-6), the Centre will invite an agricultural greenhouse gas expert from New Zealand to be one of the keynote speakers and sharing New Zealand’s experience. NZCIO Director Ms. Turley appreciates FFTC's endeavour to widen scope of new cooperation partnership in the region. She will pass our information to the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) for future cooperation. The two leaders also discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on food security and agricultural trade. Other people in the meeting include the NZCIO Economic Affairs Section Head Ms. Alexandra Reuhman and Policy Adviser Ms. Julia Chang.
Center ties-up with NCHU for 2020 dragon fruit workshop and steering committee meeting
Jul. 10, 2020
Center ties-up with NCHU for 2020 dragon fruit workshop and steering committee meeting
The FFTC management ties up again with the National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) in Taichung to organize the upcoming workshop and steering committee meeting on “Dragon Fruit Value Chain and Global Markets” to be held on 22-23 September. Co-organized by FFTC and the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), the said activity is the first virtual workshop of FFTC and NCHU for this year to be held at NCHU. In the past, FFTC and NCHU had a long history of partnerships and collaborative activities related to agricultural technologies. Together with Dr. Wen-Li Lee, Director of the Fenghshan Tropical Horticulture Experiment Branch of TARI, and Yu-Hsih Hsieh, Associate Researcher of TARI, the FFTC management, headed by Director Dr. Su-San Chang, Food System and Nutrition Specialist Dr. Ray-yu Yang, Associate Researcher Kun-Chan Tsai and Administrative Officer Charles Wu recently visited NCHU where they met Dr. Fuh-Jyh Jan, Dean and Distinguished Professor, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Jenn-Wen Huang, Vice President and Distinguished Professor, Dr. Yu-Kun Chen, Chairman and Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, and Dr. Chih-Li Wang, Associate Professor and Director, Agriculture Extension Center. The group talked about the details of the upcoming workshop, which aims to gather dragon fruit experts and enthusiasts and discuss issues concerning the dragon fruit value chain and ways to improve the global markets. Later, Dr. Su-San Chang gave a two-hour lecture on “Circular Agriculture” to students from NCHU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as members of the private sector who have joined a summer course on the subject. Circular Agriculture is one of FFTC’s big workshop events in collaboration with the Taiwan Livestock Research Institute which is slated on 4-6 November of this year.  
The third organizing committee meeting of the 2020 Dragon Fruit Workshop
Jun. 22, 2020
The third organizing committee meeting of the 2020 Dragon Fruit Workshop
The 3rd Organizing Committee Meeting of the “2020 Dragon Fruit Workshop and Steering Committee Meeting: Value Chain for Global Markets” was conducted online on 19 June 2020 at the facility and venue kindly offered by BAPHIQ, COA in Taipei. Dragon Fruit Research Network (DFNet) partners from TARI and its Fengshan Tropical Horticultural Experimental Branch of Taiwan, Cavite State University of the Philippines, University of Hawaii of the US, Creative House Corporation in Japan, International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) under FAO, and New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research participated in the meeting. All participants agreed on the workshop dates (22-23 September, 2020) and supported the themes and topics. The information to be gathered from the workshop / steering committee meeting will be the foundation for developing the project’s next phase.
Jul. 28, 2020
TAC members underscore FFTC’s need to adapt to the COVID-19 era
Jul. 21, 2020
FFTC strengthens ties with Taitung partners
Jul. 11, 2020
Courtesy Call to New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO)
Jul. 10, 2020
Center ties-up with NCHU for 2020 dragon fruit workshop and steering committee meeting
Jun. 22, 2020
The third organizing committee meeting of the 2020 Dragon Fruit Workshop
Jun. 11, 2020
The second preparatory meeting of the international symposium on circular agriculture
Jun. 04, 2020
Courtesy Call to MOFA
Jun. 01, 2020
FFTC visits BAPHIQ
May. 22, 2020
The first Organizing Committee Meeting of the 2020 Dragon Fruit Workshop
May. 15, 2020
FFTC pays courtesy call to the Thailand Trade and Economic Office
AgriculturalPolicy DragonFruitNetwork
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