The Food and Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC) for the Asian and Pacific Region, headquartered in Taiwan, marked its 50th anniversary via online celebration and symposium entitled “Making Agri-Food Systems Sustainable” on 6th October, 2021. President Tsai Ing-wen recorded a congratulatory video for the event, and more than 120 participants, including officials from international agricultural organizations, representatives from academic research institutes, experts and scholars, and government officials stationed in Taiwan. They collectively expressed high praise for the abundant accomplishments of the FTTC over the past half century in helping countries to improve agricultural productivity, enhance farmers’ income and well-being, and promote the sustainable development of agriculture and rural communities. Member countries also thanked Taiwan, as the Center’s host country, for its long-term support of the FFTC. They also strongly praised Taiwan’s agricultural development experience and look forward to working with Taiwan to promote agricultural exchanges and cooperation to foster regional prosperity and sustainable development.
Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung, in his status as chairman of the FFTC Executive Board, welcomed friends from all over the world and thanked all the member countries and partners for their long-standing support to the FFTC, which has made FFTC an important international agricultural organization for spreading and promoting agricultural technology and policy information. COA Minister Chen emphasized that “Making Agri-Food Systems Sustainable” is is a common international concern nowadays. How to build sustainable and resilient agri-food systems under the impact of the COVID-19 and the rapid recovery in the post-pandemic era is an important issue that countries should not delay.
The COA notes that the FFTC was founded in 1970 with the purpose of spreading agricultural information and technology to promote sustainable development in agriculture and rural communities in the Asia-Pacific region as well as to enhance farmers’ income and well-being. As the host country and one of the founding members, Taiwan has been cooperating with member countries such as Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam), as well as partner countries such as Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Thailand to achieve the mission of the Center. Each year, the FFTC holds six to eight international conferences and training courses, with hundreds of experts and scholars from various countries presenting papers, and hundreds of participants on average. The Center also published more than 80 volumes of promotional journals, technical journals, quarterly journals, annual journals, and monographs, which are sent to 1,530 institutions in 53 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.. Moreover, in 2013 the Center founded the Asia-Pacific Information Platform on Agricultural Policy and ten contracted partners regularly provide articles related to agricultural policy. The platform has thus far accumulated 1,088 articles, with more than 18,000 registered members from around the world and nearly 12 million views. This shows that the influence of the FFTC has expanded globally, and is an important window for international friends to understand Taiwan’s situation.
The COA points out that today’s symposium on “Making Agri-Food Systems Sustainable” is one of the major activities to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Officials from New Zealand, Australia, and Malaysia, as well as important international agricultural organizations including the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), the African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO), and the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) all participated in the symposium. It is clear that all parties strongly affirm the contributions and achievements made by the FFTC to international society over the past several decades. For this symposium, senior scholars and experts from Taiwan and abroad were invited to discuss issues such as how to move towards sustainable agri-food systems under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how sustainable agriculture can be achieved to ensure adequate nutrition for the population of Asia.