The Food and Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC) for the Asian and Pacific Region, an international agricultural organization based in Taipei, Taiwan, marked its 50th anniversary via online celebration and symposium on Wednesday (October 6). Established in 1970 with the mission to collect and disseminate agricultural technologies and policies to help farmers in the Asian region improve their quality of lives, FFTC’s 50th anniversary was supposed to be celebrated last year but because of the pandemic, it has been postponed to October 6.
Part of the Center’s celebration was the conduct of an international symposium entitled “Making Agri-Food Systems Sustainable” which reflects a common issue for all countries today, and with the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupting global economic activities and the supply chain of agri-food systems, the world is now considering how to ensure rapid economic recovery and to build sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.
Several Taiwan officials greeted the FFTC management in the said online celebration. Dr. Chi-Chung Chen, the Minister of the Council of Agriculture as well as FFTC’s Executive Board Chairman, said that FFTC, as an international agricultural technology and policy information center, has played a vital role in the past fifty years as a facilitator of regional cooperation and information sharing in the Asia-Pacific region. He said that the Center’s activities helped paved the way for small-scale Asian farmers to improve their agricultural productivity and welfare that contributed to food security and sustainable agricultural and rural development in the region. He further said that the Center’s role becomes even more significant during this COVID-19 pandemic in helping make the regional agri-food systems sustainable and resilient. He would like to take this opportunity to appreciate time-honoured cooperation and support from member countries (Japan, Taiwan, Korea, The Philippines, Vietnam) and partner countries (Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Thailand).
On the other hand, FFTC Director Dr. Su-San Chang mentioned in her remarks that “FFTC acts as an intermediary between international and national agricultural organizations within the region and serves as a resource hub on Asian agriculture to deliver the much-needed information to researchers, extension workers, and scientists within the region.” She further said: “We try to address the current issues that beset Asian agriculture such as low agricultural productivity, climate change, labor shortage and aging population, food insecurity, lack of knowledge on recycling agricultural wastes, etc.” “The Center’s commitment revolves around how the Center might best be able to help millions of small-scale farmers in the region, in the best way we can.”, Director Chang reaffirmed.
President Tsai Ing-Wen and Foreign Minister Dr. Jaushieh Joseph Wu each both delivered messages to congratulate the Center’s 50th Anniversary via pre-recorded videos. President Tsai says, as a founding member country, Taiwan will continue to be an active supporter of FFTC and its work while collaborating closely with all member and partner countries. As a host country and founding member, Taiwan has been working closely with the Center to share its expertise with the international community.
President Tsai praised the Centre, “For half a century, FFTC has worked to collect and share information on agricultural technologies and policies, in order to empower small farmers across the region. The Centre has made vital contributions to our common goals of increasing agricultural productivity, raising farmers’ incomes, advancing sustainable development, and ensuring food security”.
The FFTC Executive Board Members from member countries also expressed their congratulations to the Center management on the occasion of its 50th year.
Meanwhile, the international symposium entitled “Making Agri-Food Systems Sustainable” featured 2 keynote speakers and 7 speakers from Indonesia, Japan, Korean, Malaysia, Taiwan, The Philippines and Thailand, all of them engaged in a fruitful discussion on how to develop a sustainable and resilient agri-food system in the Asia-Pacific region.
The video of the whole event is available online: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKHhCOMSbcM