Food and Fertilizer Technology Center - News

FFTC signed MOU with JIRCAS
Sep. 18, 2020
FFTC signed MOU with JIRCAS
  The Center recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). The MOU, which was signed by FFTC Director Dr. Su-San Chang and JIRCAS President Dr. IWANAGA Masa. President Dr. IWANAGA is also a member of FFTC’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). This year, JIRCAS and FFTC co-organize an international workshop on Applicable Solutions Against Rice Blast in Asia on September 18.  The partnership between JIRCAS goes a long way. Over the past decade, FFTC has had collaborations with JIRCAS in organizing and holding workshops and seminars on a lot of important agricultural topics and themes. To further strengthen and enhance the partnership, the two organizations renew the ties through a Memorandum of Understanding. The Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) was established in October 1993. JIRCAS undertakes comprehensive experimental research for technological advancement of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and related industries in tropical and subtropical zones of developing regions and contributes solutions to global food and environmental problems as well as to the stable supply of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and resources.
Courtesy Visit to Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute
Sep. 18, 2020
Courtesy Visit to Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute
  On September 15, FFTC management, including Director Dr. Su-San Chang and Deputy Director Dr. Akira Hasebe paid a courtesy visit to Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) and met Director General Dr. Hsueh-Shih Lin. At the beginning of the meeting, Director Dr. Su-San Chang, on behalf of the Centre, expressed her sincere gratitude for TARI’s long term partnership and DG Dr. Lin’s support to FFTC’s activities. Fengshan Tropical Horticultural Experiment Branch, TARI and FFTC work together for the Dragon Fruit workshop which will be held on September 22. Director Dr. Chang also appreciated that Mr. Horng-Yuh Guo, Chief of Agricultural Chemistry Division and his team has been collaborating with FFTC with the“Proficiency Testing Program of Soil, Plant Tissue, and Fertilizer Analysis Project" for 3 years. The project is getting its popularity among soil laboratories in the Asian and Pacific region. Participated in soil laboratories are increasing year by year. The two leaders also discussed the potential collaboration project plan for the year 2021. Other people in the meeting include Mr. Chia-Rong Lin, Director General, Department of Foreign Affairs, COA, Mr. Albert T. K. Wen, Chief for the International Organizations, Department of Foreign Affairs, COA, Mr. Shan-Jen Fang, Senior Researcher / Entomologist & Director, Technical Service, TARI.
Dragon fruit workshop field trip
Sep. 17, 2020
Dragon fruit workshop field trip
  On September 8, FFTC held a dragon fruit workshop field trip in southern Taiwan to visit a Global G.A.P certified dragon fruit (DF) farm, a successful DF farmer who previously worked for an IT company, and two successful value addition programs emphasizing smallholder famers and healthy local food systems. The participants included dragon fruit experts from Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) Fengshan Branch; Taichung and Tainan District Agricultural Research and Extension Stations (DARES); Agriculture and Food Agency, COA; National Taiwan University; and representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and diplomatic mission offices including Malaysian Friendship and Trade Center, Taipei Office of Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office, and American Institute in Taiwan. The field trip is a part of the coming FFTC online/onsite workshop on “Dragon Fruit Value Chain for Global Markets” to be held on 22-23 September at National Chung Hsing University, Taichung (https://sites.google.com/fftc.org.tw/dfnet-workshop-en/home). The first visited Ru Orchard, whose farm owner is Mr. Chao-Ru Hong. In 2013, Mr. Hong decided to resign from an IT company and went back home as a farmer. He attended and benefited from diverse training courses sponsored by the Taiwan government. He is now producing high-quality dragon fruits and earns stable and good incomes developing F2C (Farmer to Consumer) e-commerce business and wholesale channel. Despite of lower market prices due to continuous increased production of dragon fruits in recent years, he told that the focus on high-quality fruit production, applying social media and e-commerce are the secret to the success. Next, the delegates visited the south distribution center of Homemakers Union Consumers Co-op (HUCC). Mr. Yuan-Hung Chung and his colleague gave a brief introduction of how the center was operated. The increasing food safety and environmental concerns from the general public nurture the growth of HUCC. Up to 2020, HUCC has nearly 90,000 registered members and the agri-food products cover more than 1,000 items. The HUCC has also set up an internal bonus-share mechanism to share annual profits to all registered members. A fresh and delicious dragon fruit juice bought from DaYung’s tea shop was provided to each participant during lunch. The red color of the juice was attractive and the flavors were excellent coming from a combination of tropical fruits. All participants were impressed and felt rejuvenated! The juice product is one of the examples of value addition program that was highlighted in this field trip program.  After enjoying local cuisines with the three popular local food (sweet potato, pineapple, and bamboo shoot) at the Ye-Tou-Yang-Fong restaurant in Xinhua, Tainan, the delegates headed to Kua Kua Orchard, the main sweet potato products provider in Taiwan. Based on the sound contract farming for stable supply, recently Kua Kua Orchard introduced and discussed the e-management system to enhance farming efficiency in terms of labor, yield, quality, adding price competitiveness in the market. Now, Kua Kua Orchard preserves more than 1,500 sweet potato germplasm for market-oriented breeding project in the future. Kua Kua Orchard are sensitive to and value much consumer’s taste and preference. They provide diverse products in markets. The last site visited was the Global G.A.P. certified dragon fruit farm, Pin-Li Orchard. Mr. Ming-Shu Hsieh, the farm owner cultivates dragon fruit, jujube, and passionfruit and sold these fruits via B2B model to the international and domestic markets. Mr. Hsieh mentioned that it is the international trade and price, not the fruit quality, the main determining factor drives the market deals. For domestic food processors, the products from the Global G.A.P. certified harvests are their first choice because GGAP certification endorses the farm products are safe!
FFTC’s Executive Board endorses Strategic Action Plan for 2021-2024
Aug. 21, 2020
FFTC’s Executive Board endorses Strategic Action Plan for 2021-2024
  The FFTC Executive Board, chaired by no less than Taiwan’s Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Chi-Chung Chen, recently endorsed the Center’s Strategic Action Plan Focusing on Holding Workshops in 2021-2024.  This means the FFTC management already has the full blessings to implement the strategic action plan that took almost a year to draft, had it approved and endorsed. The FFTC Strategic Action Plan Focusing on Holding Workshops and Seminars in 2021-2024 gives the Center management a clear guide to help prioritize goals, maximize resources, increase the organization’s effectiveness and make better decisions. This means that all 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. Part of the inspiration for its crafting is the groundwork by the United Nations in its plan to achieve food security and improve nutrition for the growing world population and sustainable management of natural resources. The 35-page document traces the entire process in the making of the Center’s strategic action plan, which stated in creating a task force headed by FFTC Deputy Director Dr. Akira Hasebe. It began with a review of the FFTC activities for 2019, doing library research and conducting monthly meetings. It also discusses the series of caravan tours which went on for five months in which the Center management visited, met and discussed with agricultural leaders of Taiwan’s agricultural institutes, agencies, universities and government organizations to learn and collect information from their ongoing research work and their directions and vision about their relevant research fields. The caravan tours culminated in the conduct of a final consultation meeting with Taiwan’s agricultural experts. The strategic plan also provides a summary of the analysis and results of the said caravan tours and consultation meeting which led to the creation of an operational strategy and the listing of the Center’s five-program themes. This formed the basis of a blueprint on how FFTC’s workshops and seminars are to be conceptualized, planned and operationalized.   First approved by the Center’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), headed by its Chairman, Dr. Masa Iwanaga, President and Director General of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), during its recently held meeting on July 21, the FFTC Strategic Action Plan Focusing on Holding Workshops and Seminars in 2021-2024, was then sent to all the members of the FFTC Executive Board Members for their endorsement. To read and download the whole strategic action plan, click on this link https://www.fftc.org.tw/zh/publications/main/2279  
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. The 25th TAC meeting reports https://www.fftc.org.tw/en/activities/detail/148 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.
Sep. 18, 2020
FFTC signed MOU with JIRCAS
Sep. 18, 2020
Courtesy Visit to Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute
Sep. 17, 2020
Dragon fruit workshop field trip
Aug. 21, 2020
FFTC’s Executive Board endorses Strategic Action Plan for 2021-2024
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
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