The “9th Taiwan-Philippines Agricultural Cooperation Meeting” was held via video conference on December 3, 2020. It was jointly presided over by Deputy Minister Chin-cheng Huang of the Council of Agriculture (COA) and an Undersecretary of the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture. Delegations from the two sides discussed issues that were related to agricultural technical cooperation and market access. Moreover, Ambassador Pei-yung Hsu of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines and Angelito T. Banayo, Chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and the Philippines’ Resident Representative in Taiwan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding of the “Filipino Young Farmer Internship Program in Taiwan,” which will contribute to capacity building for young farmers from the Philippines and promote agricultural experience exchanges between Taiwan and the Philippines. Following the meeting, an agricultural industry B2B forum, the “Dialogue of Agricultural Industry,” was held. Participants from the public and private sectors from Taiwan and the Philippines explained the policies and agribusiness contents related to the theme of “urban farming” and engaged in dialogue on cooperation and investment opportunities for agricultural businesses.
The COA states that since the signing of the “Memorandum of Understanding between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan on Agricultural and Fishery Cooperation” in 2005, the two parties have regularly convened the Agricultural Cooperation Meeting to promote a variety of cooperation and exchange programs related to agricultural policies and technology, as well as to discuss issues of bilateral concern related to market access for agricultural products. At this most recent meeting, there was a special discussion of the achievements made at the “Button Mushroom Demonstration Farm” in Baguio, the Philippines, which Taiwan has assisted the Philippines to set up in recent years, as well as discussion of how to expand the demonstration effect in the future. Furthermore, the two parties engaged in in-depth exchanges of views and achieved consensus on how Taiwan can provide help for the “Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation Program” (F2C2) being actively promoted by the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture.
The COA points out that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year agricultural departments of Taiwan and the Philippines held the Agricultural Cooperation Meeting via video conference for the first time, and also held the “Dialogue of Agricultural Industry.” The two sides reached consensus on a number of mutually beneficial agricultural industry cooperation programs, including ones covering trade in agriproducts, technical cooperation in farming and animal husbandry, and prevention of disease in bananas. It is believed that the two countries can further increase linkages between agricultural industries, deepen bilateral agricultural science and technology R&D and industrial cooperation, and achieve substantive successes in promotion of tasks for Taiwan’s Agricultural New Southbound Policy.