FFTC Annual Report 2007
In the Asian and Pacific (ASPAC) region, agriculture offers vast opportunities to achieve development targets such as rural poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. In recent years, however, small-scale farmers have become increasingly vulnerable to the globalization of the agriculture sector. Large-scale production has dominated the market and created a highly competitive environment where food quality and safety, environment-friendly production, and sustainability are now the major concerns. Yet, in many developing and transition economies in the region where rural poverty still persists, an alarming question lingers â€” how can our small-scale farmers participate and compete, or even just survive, in this new environment in agricultural production, marketing, and trade? In view of these circumstances, the needs of small-scale farmers for state-of-the-art, but practical technologies have become diverse and even stronger than before if they are to meet the market-segmented technological requirements in the new agricultural environment. In the immediate future, they will have to face the challenges posed by international standard organizations to meet food safety requirements. In the domestic market channel, they will be left with no choice but to meet the standard of market distributors. Year after year, FFTC reviews its strategies and work programs with the passion and vision to continuously address the needs of small-scale farmers. Yet, as their needs change by the decade, FFTC's mission remains the same â€” to promote modern and practical information and technology toward contributing to the creation of a genuinely interdependent regional sustainable agriculture. Hence, commencing in 2007, FFTC's programs and activities are now guided by the FFTC Strategic Plan for 2007-2011. For the next five years, the overall policy of the Center is to intensify its technology collection and transfer activities toward achieving the Plan's main goals of increased income and improved livelihood of small-scale farmers, improved food safety, enhancement of environment-friendly technology, and sustainable use of natural resources. The year 2007 proved to be a banner year for the Center. This Annual Report captures our achievements in the implementation of our work programs and initiatives in pursuit of realizing the goals of the FFTC Strategic Plan for 2007-2011. Our relevance depends on our ability to respond effectively to the needs of small-scale farmers in the face of the current global agricultural environment. With the support and commitment of all our member countries and partner institutions, it is our privilege to continue the Center's work and thereby contribute to the sustainable agricultural development in the Asian and Pacific region.