They did talk about the burning issues in agricultural policies in Asia, but more than this, they also discussed ways on how to improve the quality of data that they will disseminate in FFTC’s Agricultural Policy (AP) website. This was the consensus when nine leading agricultural economists representing eight countries recently met in Taipei to attend the international workshop on “Collection of Relevant Agricultural Policy Information and its Practical Use.” The workshop, sponsored by FFTC and Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, became an exchange of updates and information sharing on the agricultural policies of China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It was also an appraisal of FFTC’s AP Project. Delegates who presented country papers of their respective agricultural policies are actually the Center’s contracted partners who write and contribute scholarly articles to the AP website. For the first time, the workshop became the venue for all contracted partners to meet each other in person.
The AP website, which was launched in June of last year, is FFTC’s response to the lack of information exchange on agricultural policies in various Asian countries. It fills in the need to support agro producers to have a better understanding of agri policies as they face the pressures of volatile and competitive markets. Aside from policy makers, it targets academicians, researchers, scholars, farmer cooperative leaders and students as its main clientele. The AP website initially focused on Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan. Soon it also found qualified contracted partners in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. In just a one year, the website increased the number of its visitors from mere hundreds to more than 90,000 to date. The information covers an overview of agricultural policy, trade liberalization countermeasures, agricultural disaster insurance, food security, production and marketing policies, agri science policies and technology development etc. While the website is written in English, selected articles have been translated into Chinese.
The complete texts of the papers and power point presentation files presented in the said international workshop are all available at http://ap.fftc.agnet.org