Food and Fertilizer Technology Center - News

FFTC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Jun. 12, 2020
FFTC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Dear FFTC Friends and Partners, The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted and affected practically all industry activities all over the world. We at FFTC have not been spared by the disruptions. Just like all developmental organizations, we are trying our best to cope with the situation and viewing everything as a challenge while making sure that the safety and health of our co-workers are still our top priority. Out of our 11 projects for 2020, we have already postponed one workshop which was originally scheduled in June to next year. For the rest of our activities, we have planned the following contingencies: Our FFTC Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Meeting will be conducted on July 21, 2020 via videoconference. The FFTC management has requested the use of the videoconference facilities of one of the bureaus of Taiwan's Council of Agriculture - the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Quarantine (BAPHIQ), whose management very kindly and willingly allowed us to use their facilities for the three-hour meeting. Together with our TAC members from Taiwan, we will be at the BAPHIQ headquarters, while our other TAC members from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will join us online. This September, our “2020 Dragon Fruit Workshop and Steering Committee Meeting—Dragon Fruit Value Chain for Global Market” will also be conducted via videoconference and we are planning to have a live mainstream of the two-day event, half-day of which will be devoted to the conduct of the Dragon Fruit Network’s Steering Committee meeting to formulate its next phase (2021-2023) project proposal. The workshop’s educational trip will be conducted prior to the workshop with the Taiwan participants joining the field exposure. An edited video recording of the field trip will also be shown and discussed during the videoconference. In October, our joint one-day symposium with the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Kasetsart University (KU) on “Smart Food Value Chain – The Solution to Asia’s Food Distribution,” will also be held online with NARO speakers livestreaming from Tokyo and the other speakers joining in from their respective countries. In November, we are also conducting our joint symposium with the Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, with contributions from the British Office and The Netherlands Office in Taipei on “The Practice and Benefits of Circular Agriculture in Waste Reducing and Recycling.” The event will be held live at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center back to back with the “Asia Agri-Tech Expo and Forum” organized by Informa Markets. It will also be conducted online for participating country representatives who still cannot travel to Taiwan. There will also be an exhibit of research highlights and the latest technologies on circular agriculture featuring crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry. For our other activities, we have a wait-and-see attitude. If the situation in the region gets better, we may have to push through with our original plans. However if the travel ban continues in some countries in the region, we are already preparing our other projects to make that online transition and adapt the videoconference mode as a way to conduct our other activities for the rest of the year. While face-to-face workshops and seminars will have to take a backseat for the time being, we are planning to produce webinars, infomercials, video blogs and produce more publications as alternative activities. We plan to maximize the use of our websites and the social media to disseminate information. Please find the updated “2020 FFTC Projects Schedule” and be guided accordingly. Business goes on as usual for us and you can check our websites and our FFTC Facebook page for updates. For any inquiries, comments or suggestions, you can also send us an email at info@fftc.org.tw Thank you very much, good luck on your present and future activities and please keep safe. Very truly yours, SU-SAN CHANG, Ph.D. Director FFTC is already making that online transition and adapting the videoconference mode in conducting its activities. Educational trips conducted in Taiwan will be video recorded, edited and will be shown and discussed in the videoconferences. In November, the Center is conducting its joint symposium with the Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, with contributions from the British Office and The Netherlands Office in Taipei on “The Practice and Benefits of Circular Agriculture in Waste Reducing and Recycling.”
FFTC Agricultural Policy (FFTC-AP) Platform Call for papers
Apr. 14, 2020
FFTC Agricultural Policy (FFTC-AP) Platform Call for papers
The establishment of the FFTC Agricultural Policy (FFTC-AP) Platform in 2013 is directed toward collecting and disseminating the latest information on agricultural policies from various countries in the Asian and Pacific region, including Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. The information sources include invited and submitted analytic and research papers by agricultural professionals and policy experts mainly in Asia, as well as the latest news from academic and country reports. The main objective of the FFTC-AP Platform is to establish a database of national agricultural policies for sharing and exchanging agricultural policy information across different countries. To date, more than a thousand articles have been published in the Platform under 30 categories. The categories include topics such as Food security and safety, Overview of agricultural policy, Production policy, Smart agriculture, Farmers' welfare and retirement system, Agricultural human resources development, Agricultural science policies and technology development, Agricultural marketing policy, Agricultural e-commerce, Trade liberalization countermeasures, Import regulation and quarantine, Agricultural circular economy, Eco-friendly agriculture (satoyama and satoumi), and Rural development, etc. There are two ways to publish your papers on FFTC-AP Platform (the first one is preferred): 1. Submit manuscripts to contracted partners (please click here for their contact information). 2. Submit manuscripts directly to FFTC. All the manuscripts will be under paper review, which is coordinated by FFTC-AP contracted partners and the FFTC-AP management team. The review process will be normally completed within 14 working days. The authors should then revise their articles, according to reviewers’ comments, and send back to the original contact channel. Once the papers are accepted and published on the FFTC-AP website, certain amount of remuneration will be paid to the author(s). For more information on paper submission, please contact Ms. Natalie Lu via natalielupy@fftc.org.tw We warmly welcome you to submit agricultural policy related papers (at least 1,500 words) to us. Join us and be part of our team! For more information, please visits FFTC-AP website.
FFTC’s project list for 2020
Mar. 07, 2020
FFTC’s project list for 2020
The FFTC Executive Board, the highest governing body of the Center recently approved 11 projects for this year including one special project event which is the celebration of the Center’s 50th anniversary. Of the 11 projects, four are workshops, three are seminars, two are networks, one is a collection of information, and the other is the 25th TAC meeting. All of the abovementioned projects are linked to the five themes of the Center’s 2019-2020 Strategic Action Plan, with some projects cutting across themes. Below is the Center’s Projects for 2020 which will be updated on this site from time to time. PDF file is available at: bit.ly/387BiFS
FFTC welcomes new food system specialist
Jul. 03, 2020
FFTC welcomes new food system specialist
  The Center warmly welcomes Dr. Ray-Yu Yang, the new food system specialist, who started her stint with FFTC on July 1. Dr. Yang will basically coordinate the Center’s Dragon Fruit Research Network Project, assist the Center’s Director in preparing proposals for funding and assist the Deputy Director in coordinating projects with some of the Center’s partner organizations.  She will also be on top of the preparations for the upcoming September workshop on “Dragon Fruit Value Chain for Global Markets” For almost 30 years, Dr. Yang rose from the ranks and worked as research assistant, assistant specialist, associate specialist and nutritionist at the World Vegetable Center, identifying nutrition R&D directions, strategies and national/international partners for collaborations. For 15 years, she has characterized more than 250 vegetable species indigenous to tropical Asia and Africa for phytonutrient values, developed an access database for public search, and promoted greater use and consumption of underutilized vegetables for health. Dr. Yang has also worked with breeders to improve nutrition and market qualities of tomato, pepper, eggplant, vegetable soybean, pumpkin, bitter gourd varieties, etc. Dr. Yang finished her BSc in Food Science at the Tung-Hai University in Taiwan, her Masters in Food Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the National Chung-Shin University, and her Ph.D. in Food and Nutrition, Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Ping-Tung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan. In 2004 and 2005, she was also a visiting scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA—Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.
FFTC 50 Years Milestones – 1990s
Jun. 19, 2020
FFTC 50 Years Milestones – 1990s
FFTC’s contribution to the citrus industry in Southeast Asia In the `90s and early 2000s, FFTC has also set up field demonstration projects in Vietnam and Cambodia on the management of disease-free citrus orchards, and has provided technical and partial financial support for the establishment of laboratory and insect-proof screen houses in national institutes. This was undertaken under the leadership of FFTC’s consultant in horticulture and crop protection, Dr. Hong-Ji Su, a Professor at the National Taiwan University. With funding and guidance from the FFTC management, Professor Su has facilitated a citrus research and development project, which initially started in two countries and eventually cascaded in the whole region. The key technologies disseminated through the NARS partners and FFTC's various forms of media included rapid and accurate pathogen detection, production of disease-free seedlings, IPM in seedling nurseries, micro-grafting of shoot tips, and crop management for preventing re-infection technologies. Among those most active in the transfer of acquired technologies are the Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI) and Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI) in Vietnam with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The same technologies have also been further extended to Lao PDR and Myanmar through FFTC’s partner organizations. As the report of the FFTC 2015 External Review said, for two decades, FFTC’s commitment and financial support have resulted in significant gains to control this destructive disease in Southeast Asia. The Center’s high point in 1990 was FFTC’s 20th Anniversary, which coincided with the 10th TAC Meeting. The Center joined eminent agricultural scientists and administrators to review the work of FFTC and discussed how it might form closer links with the national extension systems of the Asian and Pacific Region. This meeting produced several valuable recommendations like the publication of simple, practical information, rather than the results of scientific research. The Center celebrated its 20th Anniversary, which coincided with the 10th TAC meeting. The meeting produced several valuable recommendations like the publication of simple, practical information, rather than the results of scientific research. A number of seminars held by the Center in 1991 were concerned with achieving economies of scale on the small farms characteristic of most Asian countries. This is important as farm production in the region comes under the threat of cheap, imported agricultural produce. FFTC held an international seminar in Thailand on “Integrated Systems of Swine Production through Extension and Marketing.” Another seminar was held in Thailand on how to enlarge the scale of farm operations of smallholders, with the discussion focusing on problems and successes of various programs of group farming and contract farming for small farms. Another agricultural economics seminar held in Korea, discussed how farmers organized into agricultural cooperatives can increase their participation in agribusiness. Two highlights of 1992 were the Center’s 10th TAC Meeting, held in Korea, which discussed systems of sustainable agriculture in the region, and the FFTC External Evaluation, which was conducted by a four-man team headed by the German IRRI scientist Dr. Helmut von Exkull and three TAC members, Dr. Kunio Toriyama (Japan), Dr. Yong-Hwa Shin (Korea), and Mr. Chin-Chao Koh (Taiwan). After more than 20 years of existence, the external reviewers concluded that “FFTC has played an immensely important and productive role in collecting, exchanging and disseminating information on a very wide range of modern agriculture,” and that “FFTC publications have provided most valuable and reliable sources of information for students, teachers, technicians and agronomists and farm leaders in the region.” It was also in November of this year when a new Director, Mr. Chin-Chao Kho, was appointed. He held the position for six years. FFTC and RBPR The programs carried out in 1993 reflected a strong concern for sustainability in the region’s agriculture. An international seminar on the improved management of insect-borne virus diseases focused on biological control methods. Another topic was the improved diagnosis of plant virus diseases by monoclonal antibodies, allowing for early detection and accurate identification. It was on this year when FFTC held an international training course on new techniques of testing fruit and vegetables for pesticide residues. Called the Rapid Bioassay of Pesticide Residues (RBPR), it is a bio-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 training course consists of intensive lectures, discussions, laboratory exercises, hands on experiences, and field visits to observe the practical application of RBPR in fruits and vegetables production and marketing in Taiwan. In 1994, the Center held a number of programs concerned with improved upland farming. One international meeting discussed researches in upland agriculture, including agroforestry and alley cropping of leafy legume trees. Another international workshop on livestock production concluded that livestock can make an important contribution to the profitability and productivity of farming systems in upland areas. FFTC started the training course on Rapid Bioassay of Pesticide Residues (RBPR), a fast technique of testing fruits and vegetables for pesticide residues. Thus began a series of training courses which FFTC embarked on for several years. Addressing the challenges of the WTO It was at the tail end of 1994 when the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) made a smooth transition and shifted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in January, 1995, restricting most forms of direct economic support for farmers, such as subsidies and price support. At the same time, domestic markets in Asia were opened to cheap imported agricultural produce. So in May, 1995 an international meeting on food processing by small-scale farmers was organized by the Center. It discussed not only the technology of small-scale food processing for Asian countries, but the managerial skills and other information required by farmers to succeed. In 1996, a number of the Center’s seminars have addressed the problems of Asia’s small family farms in the light of the effects of WTO. One international seminar was on the viability of family farms and food security under WTO. Another seminar was carried out in partnership with AVRDC (now WorldVeg) to discuss improved fertilizer efficiency for vegetable production. It was also this year when the Center began a survey on the use of agricultural chemicals other than fertilizers. It studied current patterns of pesticide use, including health and environment issues. There was also a workshop on crop-livestock integration which aimed to study programs which combine annual and forage crops with the raising of small livestock. The Center’s seminars addressed the problems of Asia’s small family farms in the light of the effects of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Topics included viability of family farms and food security, improved fertilizer efficiency, crop-livestock integration, etc. The projects for 1997 continued FFTC’s interest in collecting and disseminating information on sustainable agriculture. On this year, there was an emphasis on the collection of information through surveys. The agricultural situation in the region during that time was already changing rapidly in response to the global trend towards free trade, and to the worldwide concern over the long-term environmental impact of agriculture. One important survey was on technology for livestock production, while another was a survey on the incidence of virus diseases on fruits and their vectors. There were also training courses on integrated weed management and the use of biological agents to control pests and weeds. In 1998, Dr. Torng-Chuang Wu was appointed as the new Director of FFTC, a position he held until October, 2004. The Center also continued its survey of the incidence of virus diseases of banana and citrus, particularly in nursery and foundation stock. The work also included a regional evaluation of the damage done by corn borer and fruit fly. Another important program was a seminar on rural tourism. This enabled farmers to capitalize on the growing wish of city dwellers in Asia to enjoy the quiet countryside and take part in country life. Going online The FFTC website started to be developed in the mid-`90s, but it was in 1997 when it went online and was accessed by the public at http://www.fftc.agnet.org. In 1999, FFTC established an online database which could be accessed through its website. In this first year of development, the database has made available free of charge the FFTC publications of the last ten years, including several hundred Extension and Technical Bulletins. It was also this year when the Center began a regional survey of information flow in national extension systems and the information needs of extension staff, so that it can better meet these needs. FFTC started its online operation via its website. The website has had a lot of updates and improvements since then.
Jul. 03, 2020
FFTC welcomes new food system specialist
Jun. 19, 2020
FFTC 50 Years Milestones – 1990s
Jun. 19, 2020
FFTC 50 Years Milestones – 2000s
Jun. 12, 2020
FFTC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
May. 21, 2020
FFTC 50 Years Milestones - 1970
May. 21, 2020
FFTC 50 Years Milestones - 1980
Apr. 21, 2020
Updates on the FFTC 2020 Proficiency Testing Program of Soil, Plant Tissue, and Fertilizer Analysis
Apr. 14, 2020
FFTC Agricultural Policy (FFTC-AP) Platform Call for papers
Apr. 14, 2020
Introduction of FFTC Agricultural Policy (FFTC-AP) Platform
Mar. 27, 2020
FFTC launches new corporate video
AgriculturalPolicy DragonFruitNetwork
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