- Newsletter 208: FFTC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
- FFTC's five-decade milestones
The agreement for the establishment of FFTC was based on two documents which were formally signed at Kawana, Japan on June 11, 1969.
The first newsletter was published on September 16, 1970, with the headline on a short course distribution of chemical fertilizers and farmers’ organizations and services for 12 extension workers from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
The first seminar outside Taiwan was held in Khon Kaen, Thailand. It was a seminar on “Diagnostic Techniques for Soils and Crops”. Photo shows the seminar program.
Dr. Yoshiaki Ishizuka was the first and only Japanese Director to have led the Center from October, 1973 to April, 1975.
The first TAC meeting was held on March 7-8, 1977. It was attended by nine scientists representing Thailand, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Topics and seminars during this decade expanded to include other areas of agriculture like food marketing systems, cooperative agricultural credit and food situation in Asia, to name a few.
Efforts were made to develop a translation service for Center publications, particularly for the benefit of extension specialists.
The Center extended itself to a more technical direction to provide information necessary for scientists and planners to make effective and wise decisions in their research programs.
Preliminary organization of demonstration plots was strengthened as the management believed that demonstration plots are very effective was to inform partners of new production technologies.
FFTC started the survey of “Greening （Huanglongbin） and Citrus Virus Diseases in Indonesia. That started the Center’s involvement and 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.
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.
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.
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.
FFTC started its online operation via its website. The website has had a lot of updates and improvements since then.
The Center celebrated its 30th anniversary and held an international seminar on the management of agricultural resources.
FFTC produced the “Practical Technology Leaflets.” This was distributed to a network of cooperators working in the region’s national extension systems. Another publication was the “Major Agricultural Statistics in the Asian Pacific Region,” a periodical which gave an overview of Asian agriculture showing agricultural statistics and economic indicators all over Asia.
FFTC focused its workshops on the various aspects of Good Agricultural Practices to promote the adoption of innovative technologies and production schemes to produce safe and healthy foods.
The Center focused on workshops and seminars that addressed the ecologically sound agricultural practices, enhancement of rural entrepreneurship, meeting changing market and consumer preferences, etc.
FFTC marked its 40th anniversary with a symposium with the theme “Perspectives on Agriculture in the Asian and Pacific Region”.
The Center’s programs zeroed in on issues related to water management, soil information nutrient databases, emerging infectious diseases of food crops, safe seafood production, rural community revitalization and the dreaded HLB disease.
Together with Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, FFTC embarked on an initiative called the “Asia-Pacific Platform on Agricultural Policy,” the aim of which is to promote communication between countries in the region regarding their respective national agricultural policies. The project continues to date.
FFTC embarked on a survey of tropical fruit production and market in Southeast Asia. In that survey, dragon fruit emerged as the most promising tropical fruit in the region. Hence, through the support of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the series of dragon fruit workshops started in 2015 up to 2019.
FFTC conducted another external review. The FFTC management sought the help of three agriculture and management experts to assess the Center’s performance for the past years and formulate recommendations on what appropriate courses of actions the Center should take.
The Center started its Facebook page and has used the social media to disseminate timely and relevant information on agricultural technologies and policies.
Because the Center did not have a TAC Meeting on this year, the management thought it is wise to consult with prominent agricultural experts in Taiwan to discuss current trends and agricultural issues in order to elicit suggestions on possible projects and activities which FFTC could focus on in the future.
FFTC management presented the Strategic Action Plan for 2019-2020 to the TAC members during the 24th TAC Meeting in New Taipei City.
FFTC put in a lot of efforts to be more visible by being active in social media, attending agricultural events and engaging in other activities like visiting farmers, meeting with people from the private sector and government agencies, etc.
FFTC celebrates its 50th anniversary via an international symposium and holding its 25th TAC meeting. The FFTC Strategic Action Plan Focusing on Holding Workshops and Seminars for 2021-2024 has also been written for presentation and discussion during the TAC meeting.