The cooperation between the COA and the APO enters its third consecutive year as they jointly organize the 3rd International Conference on Biofertilizers and Biopesticides (ICBB). The said event took place from August 7 to 10 at the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER). More than 50 experts and academics from 14 countries, namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, Iran, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and R.O.C. are invited to participate. The event opened on the 7th to 130 domestic professionals of industry, government, and academia . Dr. Chin-Cheng Huang , deputy minister of COA, and Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain, program officer of APO, expected to foment the dialogue and the exchange of Biofertilizers and Biopesticides (B&B) amongst APO member countries that would lead to the ultimate goal of promoting the universal application of agricultural B&B in Asia.
The challenges of Agricultural sustainability
The COA pointed out that as Asian agricultural productivity continues to rise, the over-dependence on the usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides would eventually form enormous pressure and influence on agricultural sustainability, population health, and the environment. Therefore, B&B application is regarded as the friendly alternative to balance both the productivity and the environment. Taiwan actively campaigned for the joint organization of the ICBB with APO, and was granted the right to host the event for a period of 5 years (2016 to 2020). The conference covers topics such as regulations on B&B in APO member countries, novel technology application and research, market demand and development, educational training, and regional cooperation and development among others. The greater exchanges of B&B can effectively reduce the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide to a minimum, thus ensuring the safety of agricultural products and environmental sustainability.
The COA stated that this edition’s topics included B&B industry update and market trends, as well as B&B novel technique application, quality control measures for product commercialization, regulations, registration procedures, and international cooperation. Speakers from the United States, India, Switzerland, and R.O.C. gave 5 lectures at the conference, and on the 8th representatives from 14 member countries gave presentation of their corresponding country reports on the development of B&B. Dr. Hossain led all participants to yield final recommendations after group discussions. Furthermore, in order to let foreign participants have a better understanding of Taiwan agricultural B&B development, the COA arranged field visits to Miaoli District Agricultural Research and Extension Station Biological Control Branch Station, Taiwan Fertilizer Corp. Cooperative Farm, and the Tea Research and Extension Station where visitors can have a grasp of Taiwan R&D results and application for B&B. During the conference, The COA and the Taiwan Crop Protection Industry Association jointly invited 20 domestic and foreign companies to exhibit B&B related product posters as part of the connection enhancement with the industry while showcasing successful cases of commercialization and application.
The COA reiterated that Taiwan has achieved numerous R&D results in the field of B&B, and in order to comply with friendly cultivation and the reduction of chemical pesticide usage, the biofertilizer subsidy would also cover biopestide effective on May 2018 so as to encourage the use of agricultural B&B in agricultural production. The COA wishes to increase Taiwan visibility of B&B through hosting the said event for 5 years, which could expedite international experience exchange and bring opportunity for Taiwan outstanding B&B products abroad.