Food and Fertilizer Technology Center - publications

Jun. 23, 2020

Down memory lane: a brief history of FFTC (1980s)

Down memory lane: a brief history of FFTC (1980s)

 

In the early 1980s, the Center paid attention to organizing workshops and seminars so that agricultural scientists may well adopt to maximize agricultural production, in view of declining arable lands and the resulting need for more efficient use of limited land and other indigenous farm resources.

Repository of information

By the start of the 1980s, FFTC’s reputation as a repository of information on agricultural technologies is already starting to make waves, so much so that there had been a number of self-financed participants to some of the seminars and workshops from organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The topics of the workshops and seminars have also been expanding to include other areas of agriculture. In 1980, for example, workshop and seminar topics covered areas such as cooperative agricultural credit, food situation in Asia, efficient food marketing systems, cropping system, weeds and their control, quarantine and control of infectious diseases in domestic animals.

An Executive Board meeting during the 1980s. It is the governing body of the Center which approves all Center policies and establishes operational procedures and staff regulations. It also examines and approves the budget and annual operations of FFTC and its annual work program.

In 1981, in response to the changing structure of agriculture and food production, the Center organized three separate seminars on “Recent Advances on Buffalo Research and Development in Asia,” “Corn Production Technology, Systems and Programs in Asia,” and “The Recycling of Plant Nutrients in Agriculture.” These meetings paid fresh new attention to alternative measures that agricultural scientists may well adopt to maximize production, in view of declining arable lands available and the resulting need for more efficient use of limited land and other indigenous farm resources.

With the growing demand for more publications, in 1982, efforts have been made to develop a translation service for Center publications, particularly for the benefit of extension specialists. It was proposed to translate some Bulletins into different Asian languages, using professional translators. This was also the year when FFTC began to computerize its mailing list to enable its staff to be much more selective in the publications which will be sent to its readers.

With the growing demand for more publications, in 1982, efforts have been made to develop a translation service for Center publications, particularly for the benefit of extension specialists.  Photos show booklets on citrus production written in Vietnamese and Thai.

In the 1983 FFTC Annual Report, Director Tzo-Chuan Juang writes: “During this year, I have placed particular emphasis on strengthening the international contacts between the Center and other agricultural organizations.” Towards this end, he signed 13 Memoranda of Agreements with organizations like the Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Korea Rural Economics Institute, National Agricultural Cooperative Federation-Korea, Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research and Development, Center for Agrarian Research Training and Education, India, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, USA, Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC), East-West Resource Systems Institute, USA, etc.

Four books were published by FFTC in 1984 as part of its Book Series. These are: “Asian Pastures: Recent Advances in Pasture Research and Development in Southeast Asia;”“Soilborne Crop Diseases in Asia, FFTC Compilation,”“Ecology and Management of Problem Soils in Asia,” and “The Fertilizer Situation in Asian and Pacific Countries.”

FFTC extended itself in a more technical direction in 1985 as reported by its Director in the Annual Report. “We have done this in the belief that in order to serve the farmers of the Asian and Pacific Region better, FFTC’s most effective role is to provide information necessary for scientists and planners to make effective and wise decisions in their research programs. Thus, three seminars, one on nutritional leaf diagnosis, one on plant viruses and one on plant growth regulators leaned more toward technical discussion, while those on soil taxonomy, the adjustment of national development programs and dairy and dairy beef production dealt with matters related to agricultural policy. It was also this year when Mr. Chun-Muh Wong, FFTC Consultant, conducted a survey on the “Fertilizer Situation in Four Countries of Southeast Asia” (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand).

The river market in Thailand is one of the many interesting places visited by FFTC when seminars and workshops focus on food security, safety, and marketing systems. The last workshop where FFTC visited this place was in 2015 when a workshop on “Risk Management of Agrochemicals through Novel Technologies for Food Safety in Asia” was held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Demonstration plots

In 1986, Dr. Cheng-Hwa Huang, has been appointed as a new Director of FFTC. Dr. Huang, who played a leading role in Taiwan’s rice production program, has worked with farmers, as well as with administrators and scientists in the country. It was during this year when the preliminary organization of demonstration plots was strengthened as the new Director believed that demonstration plots are very effective way to inform farmers of new production technologies.

In May 1987, the government of the Philippines again began to appoint delegates to the Executive Board. Although Malaysia and Thailand have not been officially represented on the Center’s Executive Board since 1976, cooperation between the Center and these two countries has been strengthened mainly by cooperation with academic institutions. It was also in 1987, when the Center adopted desktop publishing, making it possible to have more appealing layouts in its publications.

In 1988, Dr. Yasuo Saito, FFTC Deputy Director, with a team from Taiwan and Japan conducted a survey of “Virus and Virus-Like Diseases of Citrus” in Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Extension leaflets were published on their systems and control.

The following year, in 1989, Dr. Keizi Kiritani, FFTC Deputy Director, with a team from Taiwan and Japan, conducted a survey of “Greening (Huanglongbin) and Citrus Virus Diseases in Indonesia. The team attended the Asian Citrus Rehabilitation Conference in Malang, Indonesia where they presented five papers. Thus began FFTC’s involvement in the control of citrus greening and other virus diseases and the Center’s long commitment to rehabilitate the region’s citrus industry through a series of workshops and training courses on diagnosis and indexing of plant viruses using new molecular techniques.

It was in 1989 when FFTC started to get involved in the control of citrus greening and other virus diseases and the Center’s long commitment to rehabilitate the region’s citrus industry through a series of workshops and training courses on diagnosis and indexing of plant viruses using new molecular techniques.

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