A sian farmers faced a lot of challenges and hurdles in 2019. They coped with the effects of climate change, soil erosion, biodiversity loss and problems in the agricultural markets. African swine fever continued to spread across the region, and there was a rising demand for more food of higher quality. Added to that, farmers also have to deal with the challenges of adopting and learning new technologies. For those aging Asian farmers, one of the many things they have to contend with is how to inspire young people to stay in rural areas and become future farmers.
Meanwhile, FAO emphasized food loss and waste reduction in its 2019 “State of Food and Agriculture” saying that the issue is reflected in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as a means to achieve other SDG targets, in particular relating to food security, nutrition and environmental sustainability.
Indeed, the Asian region is a decisive component in the global food chain, which according to the economic report of Rabobank, accounts for 19% of total global food and agriculture exports and 31% of total food and agriculture imports. With the burgeoning population coupled with rising incomes and a growing middle class, Asians will continue to drive demand for food and agricultural commodities and resources.
Through the years, FFTC has been doing its humble share in addressing the pertinent agricultural issues in the region. It has been conducting consultations with experts and organizing workshops, seminars, symposia and training courses on topics related to climate change, food safety and security, green agriculture, modern technologies and the dwindling population of young farmers.
This year, the Center, with the help of its country partners, has organized and conducted the following projects to address the relevant agricultural issues in the region.
Current trends and perspectives of IoT/AI technologies in livestock industry
This one-and-a-half day symposium held in Tsukuba, Japan, is basically a sharing of information on the state of the art of research in animal husbandry and an exchange of ideas on emerging technologies and knowledge on smart livestock industry with potential applications in the Asian and Pacific Region.
Developing innovation strategies in the era of data driven agriculture
FFTC co-organized this international symposium in Jeonju, Korea basically to explore and share the progress and experiences in analyzing Big-Data toward an AI-assisted automatic smart agriculture. It delved into the current digital agriculture application and discussed the challenges and difficulty of the said technologies.
ICTs for precision agriculture
The Center, together with the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), brought together international expertise, researchers and technicians of public and private sectors related to precision agriculture.
Ecosystem approach to fisheries management
FFTC, PCAARRD and the UPV joined forces to conduct this training course in order for its participants to understand the concept and need for Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) and acquire skills and knowledge to develop, implement and monitor the EAFM plan.
Smart agriculture for environmentally and consumer friendly food production
This international symposium, which was held in Pingtung, Taiwan and co-organized by NPUST, TARI and World Vegetable Center, aimed to understand consumers demand in different countries in order to adjust the direction of crop production. It was also a sharing of experiences on the use of smart agriculture technology and biocontrol strategy.
Implementing the Satoyama initiative for the benefit of biodiversity and human well-being
Fourteen speakers from seven countries gathered in Hualien, Taiwan to attend the two-day symposium and share ideas and insights on rural resource management, ecosystem service and related knowledge and application of the Satoyama initiative. The symposium is co-organized by IPSI, HDARES, TFRI and FB (Taiwan).
Enabling capacity in production and application of biopesticides and biofertilizers for soil-borne disease control and organic farming
Held in Hanoi, Vietnam and co-organized by VAAS, this international workshop had 20 speakers from nine countries talk and exchange knowledge and experiences on the current status of soil-borne diseases in ASPAC countries. It was also a sharing of each country’s innovative technologies on soil-borne disease control and organic farming.
FFTC 2019 proficiency testing program of soil, plant tissue, and fertilizer analysis
This year, FFTC and TARI continued the proficiency test of soil and plant tissues analysis, and increased the fertilizer samples upon the recommendation of experts in the workshop held in 2018. A total of 47 representatives from various laboratories in eight countries participated in the activity.
FFTC Agricultural Policy Platform (FFTC-AP) (Year 7)
The seventh year of the AP project further saw the development of the AP website facing the challenge of sustaining the agricultural policy articles submitted by the contracted partners. The website has its own interactive function which allows readers to interact with each other and with article authors for knowledge sharing on related topics.
Enhancing collaborative research network on the control of dragon fruit diseases and pests in South-east and South Asia (Year 2)
This is the second year of a three-year project consisting of information collection, survey of pests and diseases, integration of current research work on dragon fruit in the Asian and Pacific Region, the design and launch of a Dragon Fruit Network (DFNet) website, exchange of updates on dragon fruit information and the organization and completion of an international workshop and a steering committee meeting.
FFTC publications and website on Asian agriculture
The FFTC quarterly newsletters were published both in print and electronic files with the printed form mailed to the representative of its partner countries and agencies. The rest of the publications, except for the annual report, were published electronically and uploaded in the FFTC website. These publications were collected from various workshops and seminars and packaged into several documentation formats like extension and technical bulletins and workshop proceedings.