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Home>FFTC Document Database>Annual Reports>FFTC 2017 ANNUAL REPORT>Project 6: Developing organic agriculture as new business opportunity for small-scale farmers

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Seminars and workshops

Project 6: Developing organic agriculture as new business opportunity for small-scale farmers

The organic food market is ever growing and as more people want to cash in on the bandwagon, experts are trying to make sure that farmers learn the science and business of organic farming. And since many producers want to cash in and join the bandwagon, there is also a growing demand for information on the science and business of organic agriculture.
FFTC, the National Ilan University (NIU) and the Yilan Irrigation Association collaborated to organize an international workshop entitled “Developing Organic Agriculture as New Business Opportunity for Small-scale Farmers." The workshop aimed to serve as an avenue for the discussion on current developments and policy issues on organic agriculture as well as different approaches  and practices implemented by organic farming stakeholders.

Ninety-five participants from seven countries (Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) came to NIU to listen to experts and discuss current developments and policy issues on organic agriculture. There were presentations regarding successful business models in Taiwan and the deliberation of directions for future research and ways to strengthen the collaboration to face the challenges of climate change on small-scale organic cultivation systems in the Asian Pacific region.

On the third day of the workshop, the participants also had exposure trips to the Fengyuan organic farm and Nanao coastal fish hatchery in Nanao town, Yilan.

Major findings and recommendations:

  1. Build more greenhouses for organic vegetables especially for those countries with very high humidity;
  2. Expand the promotion of organic farming to different areas. Encourage partners to take part in agricultural organization and encourage policy makers to invest more in environmentally friendly farming; 
  3. Encourage the use of phyto-fyum and bumblebees as pollinator to induce fruit setting in organic crops;
  4. Review and harmonize current standards of each country in certifying organic products to achieve consistency;
  5. Consider the use of cooling system like mist technology since the effect of climate change dries up the crops;
  6. Disseminate information and plan communication campaigns to extension workers and farmers regarding ASEAN standards for organic agriculture; and

7.    Establish practical standards for food reliability, food safety and security.

Developing organic agriculture as new business opportunity for small-scale farmers

Held in Ylan, Taiwan,  22-26, May
No. of participating countries: 7 (Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) 
No. of participants: 95
No. of papers presented: 8
Co-organizers: National Ilan Univeristy, Ylan Irrigation Association
List of papers

1.    Organic agriculture in Japan and perspective of organic vegetable production in greenhouses
    - Akimasa Nakano
2.    On the rise: Taiwan’s organic agriculture
    - Lih-Fang Lin
3.    Current state of organic farming in Thailand
    - Sali Chinsathit
4.    Organic farm production in Vietnam: current status and future perspective
    - Dam Ngo Doan
5.    Promoting organic agriculture in Taiwan: the role of education institutes 
    - Shih-Shiung Chen
6.    Assisting small-scale farmers in organic agriculture: the role of Rural Development Administration
    - Young Yoong Byeong
7.    Strengthening organic agriculture industry in Malaysia through research and technology
    - Illani Zuraihah Ibrahim
8.    Pushing for ecological, fair and sustainable agriculture
    - Ramon Maranon

In his opening remarks, FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin emphasize that this particular workshop focuses on
the business and marketing side of organic farming. This means knowing the market demand and
export requirements needed to sell organic produce in other countries.

Speakers and participants of the international workshop on “Developing Organic Agriculture as
a New Business Opportunity for Small-scale Farmers” pose for a group photo at the National Ilan University.
The two-day workshop has eight speakers coming from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Dr. Jen-Pin Chen, Director General, Agriculture and Food Agency, Council of Agriculture,
Taiwan warmly welcomes the workshop participants.

Dr. Jui-Jen Chou, Vice President of Academic Affairs, National Ilan University (where the workshop is held),
mentions in his speech that NIU is committed to help promote organic farming.

Workshop speakers and participants pose for posterity in front of the Ylan Irrigation Association.
The said association is one of the co-organizers of the workshop, together with the National Ilan University.

Group photo at the Tea Rice Resort at the Dongshan Township, Ylan County.
Once a warehouse, the place has been converted into a tea and rice museum that serves as
a learning center both for kids and adults.

FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin listens to Taiwanese farmers as they interact with foreign participants in
the discussion part and sharing of experiences in organic farming.

There are around 95 participants who attend the workshop and listen and participate in
the discussion on the various aspects of organic farming in the Asia Pacific region.