In order to enhance the international cooperation and information exchange on agricultural policy in Asia-Pacific region, the Council of Agriculture took the initiative with Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region (FFTC / ASPAC) to establish the Asia-Pacific Information Platform on Agricultural Policy (http://ap.fftc.agnet.org). Through FFTC, a network of international cooperation can be established to recruit outstanding agricultural policy researchers and translate the agricultural policies of various countries into English to share on the platform. Those issues correlated with Taiwan’s agricultural policies can also be translated into Chinese to facilitate the grasp of new policies in neighboring countries as well as the response strategies of policy making.
According to the Council of Agriculture, the main reason for food shortage in Asia lies on the deficiency of agricultural technology and fertilizer. As a result, the ASPAC set up Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region in Taiwan in 1970, aiming to promote the exchange of food production know-how and experiences. The Center is one of few international organizations to place its headquarters in Taiwan. Currently, there are five member states, including Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam, with Indonesia holding an observer status. Moreover, the Center also cooperates with other countries in the region, such as Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. In 40 years, it has facilitated information exchange and improved the welfare of small farmers by holding seminars, trainings and field observations, publishing relevant publication and establishing database. In accordance with the environment change, it dedicates to the increase of food production, farmer’s income, and sustainable development while expanding its concerns over agriculture trade liberalization, globalization, climate change, food safety, biotech and biodiversity.
Asia-Pacific countries' agriculture nowadays is facing the same challenges due to the advance of globalization. Moreover, they all lack an information exchange platform to offer them with the latest information in agricultural policies and activities of other countries. In order to enhance international collaboration, the Asia-Pacific Information Platform on Agricultural Policy gathers information on contemporary policies, publishes articles, research papers and public opinions from eight countries, including Taiwan, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, mainland China and Indonesia and focuses on seven agricultural policies such as agricultural technology, farm land, farmer's pension, agricultural risk insurance, food safety, rice production and sales, and liberalization of agricultural trade. The relevant issues would be translated to Chinese as references for policy and regulation making. In the mean time, international practice would be introduced to enable the government to familiarize with the latest information in the region. Since July, 2013 the platform has provided over 60 articles and is expected to increase to 140 by the end of the year. The agricultural statistics in Asia from 2000 to 2010 can be used to compare agricultural structure, production, consumption and trade in other Asia-Pacific countries, which will assist the researchers in understanding the status quo of these countries. The platform is open to general public and online membership registration is free. Members enjoy unlimited access to print, download information and receive newsletters free of charge.
The Council of Agriculture pointed out that the government fulfills the international responsibility and obligation and makes contributions to the international community in accordance with the spirits of international cooperation law promulgated in June, 2010. It also takes the opportunity to utilize Asia-Pacific Information Platform on Agricultural Policy and plays an active role to improve Taiwan's international exposure. Facing rapid regional economic integration and liberalization, the platform can surely strengthen the international cooperation between Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region, maximizing the use of shared resources.