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AVRDC in Taiwan to celebrate 40th anniversary


Nearly 200 diplomatic envoys, representatives and researchers worldwide gathered in Taiwan on October 16 th for a ceremony marking the 40 th anniversary of the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) -The World Vegetable Center, and the opening of the Center’s Gene Bank. Vice President Wu, Den-yih appeared at the event, held at the headquarters of AVRDC in Shanhua, southern Taiwan, and praised the Center’s role in benefiting the health and incomes of millions of small-scale farmers and consumers worldwide.

Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih and Hu, Sing-hwa , Deputy Minister of the Council of Agriculture (COA), also acknowledged the Center’s influence on agricultural development in Taiwan.

After the ceremony celebrating the 40 th anniversary of the founding of the leading international institute for vegetable research and development, officials of the AVRDC organized a colloquium called “AVRDC@40: A ‘Fresh’ Look Forward”, held on October 17 th and 18 th, in which Dr. Lee, Yuan-tsek, Nobel Laureate (1986), presented the introductory paper entitled “Food Security in a Low Carbon Society ”. Many famous experts and representatives worldwide also gathered to discuss topics such as making landscapes more fruitful, improving livelihoods, advocating nutritional security and promoting social reform.

With more than 60,482 accessions of 432 species from 155 countries, officials of COA said that the AVRDC maintains the world’s largest public sector vegetable gene bank. In cooperation with the COA, the Center utilizes its rich resources to provide Taiwan with various technologies, such as well-adapted cultivars, pest testing and pest resistance screening; it also conducts training of related personnel in the vegetable industry in order to accelerate agricultural development in Taiwan.

The officials indicated that Taiwan’s young soybean export value has reached a level of US$ 70 million per year, and the local agricultural industry has also created a miracle in planting cherry tomatoes and vegetables. Thanks to the Center’s research and development of new technologies, as well as the efforts of Taiwan’s farmers, scholars and research institutes, the COA will strengthen its partnerships in the future with the AVRDC to cooperate in the development of vegetables which can better cope with climate change, and also strengthen personnel training and international exchange of agricultural technology advancement information. For the past 40 years, the AVRDC has been committed to alleviating poverty and malnutrition by encouraging production and consumption of nutritious and healthful vegetables, increasing profits, helping farmers increase vegetable harvests, raising incomes in poor rural and urban households, creating jobs, and providing healthier, more nutritious diets for families and communities. The Center has over 300 experts and staff from 40 countries; they are determined to increase the production and consumption of safe and nutritious vegetables, as well as to help solve the problems of global food shortage and nutritional imbalance.