FFTC's mission is continuously evolving. Hence, the FFTC Strategic Plan for 2007-2011 was crafted as a renewal of the Center's commitment to respond to the technological needs of small-scale farmers amid the changing global environment. In addressing current agricultural development issues in the region, the Strategic Plan outlines the focus of FFTC's work programs for the next five years, which aim to contribute to the attainment of higher standards of farming toward improving farm incomes and increasing farm stability in the region.
The valuable comments, suggestions, and recommendations of the TAC members during the sharing and deliberations on the proposed Strategic Plan, in particular, and on the overall program and operations of FFTC, in general, proved to be vital in terms of setting the Center's policy and program directions toward priority and pressing concerns fundamental to the attainment of sustainable agricultural development in the ASPAC region.
During the opening program, Mr. Sing-Hwa Hu, FFTC Director, gave a fitting welcome message by expressing the Center's appreciation to the TAC members for supporting the programs and activities of FFTC through the years, and for consistently providing valuable recommendations on how the Center can further improve its present and future work programs. Meanwhile, in his opening address, Mr. Jia-Chyuan Su, Chairman of the Council of Agriculture (COA), Taiwan ROC, expressed his appreciation to FFTC for its instrumental role in the promotion of institutional and technical cooperation in agriculture among countries in the ASPAC region, which in turn has benefited millions of resource-poor farmers in terms of achieving improved agricultural productivity, sustainable and effective use of natural resources, and increased income and better livelihood opportunities.
A special presentation on Improvement of Crop Varieties and Cultivation Management, delivered by Dr. Wen-Hsiung Ko, Chair Professor of the National Science Council and the National Chung-Hsing University, Taiwan ROC, highlighted the achievements and contributions of agricultural development to the economic and social progress of Taiwan in the past 50 years. Taiwan's agricultural development translated into valuable lessons and experiences on the importance of recognizing and responding to major trends, issues and concerns in agriculture over the years, in order to better address the technological needs of the farming communities and the agri-industries, and at the same time contribute to social and economic stability.
The Report on FFTC Programs and Activities by FFTC Director Hu was a comprehensive overview of the Center's past, present, and proposed programs and activities and its accomplishments in recent years. In the face of profound changes in the structure of the region's agriculture in the last three decades, the Center's work programs have evolved to better respond to emerging needs and challenges, such as: ensuring sustained agricultural development, improved production of more food of better quality and safety, and attainment of increased incomes and better livelihood opportunities for small-scale farmers.
As a major item of the meeting, Dr. Hideo Imai, FFTC Deputy Director, presented the Framework of the FFTC Strategic Plan for 2007-2011. He outlined FFTC's five missions, and the Center's overall policy to intensify its technology transfer activities toward achieving the said missions, specifically by identifying the targeted topics and technological needs to be addressed and to become the focus of its work program for the next five years. The presentation became the focus of the productive and rewarding discussion and deliberation among the TAC members.
The meeting was highlighted by the TAC Members' discussion on the proposed FFTC Strategic Plan for 2007-2011, followed by the TAC Members' general discussion on the Future Directions, Programs, and Activities of FFTC. The exercise was very successful in soliciting valuable recommendations and suggestions from the TAC members on how to refine and finalize the Strategic Plan, in particular, and how to focus the Center's policy and work programs to priority and more pressing concerns of regional proportion, in general. The deliberations included an assessment of the proposed Strategic Plan by mission, aimed at ensuring that the Center's activities can best benefit the small-scale farmers of the region and provide new opportunities to stakeholders, and a general discussion on technical and policy options to improve the work program and operational environment of FFTC. This exercise has, in effect, led to a better understanding of regional development needs toward identifying focused and problem-oriented programs for sustainable agricultural development.
Toward further improving the Strategic Plan, some of the valuable recommendations from the TAC members include the following: 1) Priority-setting mechanism of missions, topics and activities, in consideration of FFTC's limited financial and human resources; 2) Defining missions and operational strategy in terms of clear and focused activities and outputs beneficial to small-scale farmers in the region; 3) Commitment from all partner countries to provide inputs in terms of urgent concerns significant to the agricultural situation in the region.
Figure 1 The 18TH FFTC Tac Meeting
Figure 2 The FFTC Strategic Plan for 2007-2011
Figure 3 FFTC Tac Members Deliberate on the Proposed
Figure 4 FFTC Tac Members and Staff Visit Outstanding and Succesful Agricultural Programs and Agri-Industries in Taiwan. <B>(Clockwise) </B>Miaoli District Agricultural Research and Extension Station; Ta-Hu Wine Lodging; Pear Grafting Farm at Shih-Men.
Figure 5 Members of 18TH FFTC Tac Meeting
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