APO Self-learning e-Course on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Apr 26, 2017 to Mar 25, 2018

Agricultural producers, particularly small farmers, need to have their farms certified as GAP compliant to enhance the acceptability of their products. Several countries have developed their own GAP standards and certification systems. The lack of harmonization between national GAP schemes among countries and scarcity of affordable certifications, however, have often led to increased confusion and higher certification costs for farmers and exporters. Those with contractual relations with several retailers also complain about multiple audits against different criteria set by different groups of retailers every year.

An understanding of the approaches, principles, and standards of GAP and benchmarking of national GAP schemes against globally recognized guidelines like the GLOBALGAP standard is essential so that stakeholders in various APO member countries can properly orient and guide small farmers in meeting established GAP standards.

The Asian Productivity Organization (APO), in cooperation with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), is currently implementing a self-learning e-course with the following objectives: 1) to enable participants to understand the key concepts, as well as basic principles, tools, and techniques for promoting and adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP); 2) to provide opportunities for SME farm production units to understand and adopt GAP in their production processes independently; and 3) to promote direct linkages between small and rural farmers and the market as adoption of GAP increases farm productivity and assures safe, sustainable production;

Target participants are government officers, agricultural extension workers, producers, academics, professional staff of regulatory bodies/certification bodies, consultants involved in training, auditing, and/or promotion of GAP, and other technical personnel with particular interest in GAP.

The structured self-learning e-course will be implemented through the APO’s dedicated e-learning website: http://www.eapo-tokyo.org. The participants can register on this website and create their own accounts. Ongoing registration is until March 1, 2018.

As the National Productivity Organization, the DAP invites the public to register and participate in this FREE learning opportunity.

Participants who pass the final exam will earn an e-Certificate courtesy of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), and will also be given preference, on a merit basis, for selection to attend the follow-up face-to-face multi-country APO project, subject to nomination requirements.

For more information, please refer to the poster advertisement or contact the APO/NPO Secretariat at Tel. No. 631-2143, or e-mail at apolu@dap.edu.ph or apolugrantees@yahoo.com.ph. Attn. Mr. Michael Del Mundo or Ms. Bonna Frias. Other details can also be found at these websites: http://www.dap.edu.ph (DAP); http://www.apo-tokyo.org (APO);

Note: Participants from non-APO member countries are welcome to take the course, but will not be provided certificate.


Highlights: 2nd International Conference on Biofertilizers and Biopesticides, Aug 8-11, 2017, Taichung, ROC


The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) in collaboration with the Council of Agriculture (COA), Executive Yuan, China Productivity Center (CPC), and Agricultural Technology Research Institute (ATRI) organized the 2nd International Conference on Biofertilizers and Biopesticides in Taichung, the Republic of China (ROC), from 8 to 11 August 2017 (hereafter called “The Conference”).

The Conference commenced on 8 August 2017. COA Deputy Minister Dr. Chin-Cheng Huang attended the opening ceremony and delivered the inaugural address. Director-General Dr. Chih-Sheng Chang of the Department of Science and Technology and President Dr. Wen-Chuan Lee of ATRI presented welcome remarks on behalf of their organizations. Opening remarks were also given by Director Eugene Lin of the Integrated Business and Training Services Division, CPC, and Director Dr. Muhammad Saeed of the Agriculture Department, APO Secretariat.

More than 200 professionals, representing the biofertilizer and biopesticide (BB) industry, academia, agricultural extension services, NGOs, and practitioners from 11 APO member countries attended. Twenty-three overseas participants were from Bangladesh, Cambodia, the ROC, India, IR Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Nine resource persons from Australia, the ROC, India, Malaysia, and Thailand gave presentations and served as discussants.

The Conference was a follow-up to the first (1st ICBB) in 2016 on the same topic with the objectives of sharing recent initiatives in R&D and national regulations on BB, discussing successful models of scaling up BB applications, and formulating strategic action plans to accelerate cooperation among Asian countries for BB development. The conference consisted of thematic presentations by resource persons, sharing of country experiences by participants, panel discussions, open discussion forums, and field visits.

Conference coverage included global trends in R&D on BB; role of industry in conducting R&D and commercialization of BB; latest regulations on BB (i.e., problems and solutions of BB regulations, registration procedures, and auxiliary policies) in APO member countries; and regional and international cooperation to expedite BB product commercialization, registration, and application. To observe activities relating to BB R&D and use in the host country, the participants visited: 1) Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station of the COA, Dacun township, Changhua county; and 2) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Demonstration Field of Jia-Non Enterprise Co., Ltd., Sioushuei township, Changhua county.

Participants reviewed the recommendations of the 1st ICBB held in 2016 and progress on the follow-up to those recommendations. The participants agreed that many of the recommendations of the 1st ICBB were still valid and relevant and their implementation could go a long way toward the development and expanded use of BB in Asia and the Pacific. Participants also updated some of the recommendations of the 1st ICBB and suggested new ones.


1. Research

a. Multiple microorganism consortia have proved to be more effective compared with single-microbial inoculants. Therefore, there is a need to undertake coordinated research to develop multimicroorganism commercial products.

b. Coordinated research among member countries is needed to create synergies and avoid wasting resources due to duplication of efforts.

c. Industry participation is crucial for the commercialization of technologies. Therefore, sustainable industry–researcher partnerships in product development leading to stable products with long shelf-lives are critical.

d. Smart agriculture is key for the development of sustainable agriculture to feed around 9.5 billion people in 2050. Therefore, smart technologies need to be integrated with microbial technologies to develop effective smart packages.

2. Development

a. New BB technologies in the form of liquid inoculants, gel beads, and lyophilized cultures are emerging frontiers. Member countries need to establish participatory partnerships with industry to assess the suitability and economic viability of such technologies.

b. Member countries have developed various BB technologies. To consolidate the information and move forward, it is necessary to develop an e-document on recent R&D in BB fields with the participation of all APO countries.

3. Regulatory Framework

a. APO members are in different stages of BB regulatory development. Harmonization of such regulations is required at the regional level. For this purpose, the OECD guidelines and harmonization for microbial control agent document could be taken into consideration as a reference.

b. There is a need to constitute a group of experts on biopesticides, which could develop common guidelines for developing a regulatory framework for all Asian countries. The APO could facilitate the creation of such a group.

4. Networking

a. During the 1st ICBB, it was suggested that a forum be established under the name ACOBB to consolidate efforts on R&D and regulatory issues among Asian countries. Initially, a web platform could be created where experts of all member countries could participate and develop an appropriate understanding of the need for such a platform. The COA of the ROC could take the lead, and the APO could assist in publicizing the availability of the network.

b. A database should be prepared on this web platform on various issues such as research with the participation of relevant institutes, developmental issues with the participation of industry, and regulatory issues involving regulatory authorities and promotional bodies. Such platform would be vital to: 1) initiate on-line dialogue for removing transborder restrictions on movements of knowledge, technologies, microorganisms, and commercial products; and 2) develop draft action plans and status papers for the way forward. The APO might request member countries to nominate nodal officers for such collaboration

5. Follow-up Face-to-face Multicountry Activity

a. The host country proposed that it would like to host conferences on different aspects of BB up to 2020. Participants endorsed that proposal and added that the continuation of such programs was important to monitor and assess the progress in implementing recommendations and analyzing case studies based on best practices.

b. Participants suggested that a change in the format of the conference could be considered to include a concurrent industrial exhibition and poster session including BB technologies, products, research findings, examples of commercialization, etc.


Ms. Irene A. Papa
Project Leader/University Researcher II
The National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
University of the Philippines Los Baños
College, Laguna
e-Mail: irenepapa112367@gmail.com iapapa@up.edu.ph

Dr. Mannix S. Pedro
University Researcher III/Program Leader
Biotechnology for Agriculture and Forestry Program
National Institute of Biotechnology and Melecular Biology,
University of the Philippines Los Baños,
College, Laguna
e-Mail: mannix23ph@yahoo.com

The BB industry in the Philippines has grown considerably with the encouragement of government agencies, leading research institutions, and private-sector enterprises. The Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 or Republic Act 10068 further promulgated R&D on and the use of BB.

The Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) ensures that the agricultural sector has an adequate supply of fertilizers and pesticides at reasonable prices. The FPA rationalizes the manufacturing and marketing of BB, as well as protects the public from and educates them on the risks inherent in fertilizer and pesticide use. Generally, BB are registered with the FPA but when intended as organic agricultural inputs, they are registered under the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards.

Strategies to promote the development and use of BB in the Philippines include: promoting public–private partnership; a focus on demand-driven development and use of BB; capacity-building training of farmer leaders and field technicians; an incentive program for cheaper, simpler registration and certification of BB; encouraging university and private company collaboration to attract private investment for manufacturing and commercialization; and grants to research institutions to create establishments to serve as factories for BB and plant mixing.

Published by: Asian Productivity Organization (APO), 2017


Invitation to Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC) National Convention, 17-21 Nov 2017, Manila

Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) is hosting the largest gathering of green building leaders, professionals, builders and advocates at the 2017 PHILGBC National Convention.

The National Convention will showcase the convergence of leaders from the Philippines’ building and construction industry and from National Green Building Councils in the Asia Pacific region to a series of green building events that fosters exchange of knowledge and expertise, and best practices in green building. Meaningful and productive dialogue among green building colleagues in the public and private sector will be promoted and relevant programs and initiatives that promotes building better and healthier places for people will be highlighted. The latest features of BERDE version 2.0, the Philippines’ National Voluntary Green Building Rating System recognized under the Department of Energy’s Philippine Energy Efficiency Project-Efficient Building Initiative, will be presented together with other relevant tools in green building.

This year, the Philippines shall serve as the host for the World Green Building Council-Asia Pacific Regional Network Meeting. Representatives from National Green Building Councils shall gather at various venues during the convention to meet, discuss, and strategize to address the rapid promotion and uptake of green building in the Asia Pacific region. The PHILGBC National Convention shall also be the venue to celebrate PHILGBC’s 10th founding anniversary. Be a part of the various events happening at the convention and enjoin fellow green builders, professionals and advocates from both the private and public sector as we celebrate a decade of market transformation.

Learn and Take Part in the discussions. Network and Build Relationships with Fellow Green Builders. Be there and support the advancement of sustainability and green building agenda in the market!

Reserve your seats and register at the various events during the PHILGBC National Convention by contacting the secretariat via:

Email: secretariat@philgbc.org
Phone: +63 (2) 815 9301
Fax: +63 (2) 858 8082
Event Website http://nationalconvention.philgbc.org/

(PHILGBC is a partner of the APO Grantees Forum for its Green Productivity initiatives)

17th APO Grantees Forum: Green Productivity, Resource Recovery and Water Management Technologies, 26 Oct 2017, DAP Pasig

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) as the National Productivity Organization (NPO), is organizing the APO Grantees’ Forum on 26 October 2017, from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, 3F Rizal Hall, DAP Building, San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

The Forum serves as a platform for sharing, learning and networking among alumni / grantees of Asian Productivity Organization (APO) projects, identifying areas for collaboration with productivity champions and stakeholders which is also in line with creating “multiplier effects” of APO programs.

With the theme “Green Productivity, Resource Recovery and Water Management Technologies”, this activity will share information and updates on GP related activities and initiatives by selected APO member countries, share recent Green Technology trends in the Asian region in the context of evolving international discussions and initiatives for promoting sustainable development, and promote national collaboration among public and private sector groups, APO alumni, and other stakeholders in the area of GP.


“Training Course on Management Consultancy on GP focusing on SMEs” (Taipei, ROC 2017)
By Bobby Jones V. Domdom, MP, LPT
Development Academy of the Philippines

“Training of Trainers and Consultants on Green Productivity” (Taipei, ROC 2017)
By Engr. Richard Andal, SWAPP
Environmental Scientist/Member
Solid Waste Management Association of the Philippines (SWAPP)

“Workshop on Innovative Water Resource Management” (Tehran, Iran 2017)
By Engr. Eric A. Raymundo, CEM
Environmental Expert/Board Member
Water and Environment Association of the Philippines (WEAP)


Php 500.00 per pax paid onsite (official receipt to be provided on the venue);
• Payment inclusive of certificate, lunch/snacks, air-con venue, e-copy of presentation materials,
• Bank deposit payment to Land Bank of the Philippines SA 0671-0105-40
• Limited seats up to 30 pax only, early reservation/registration is encouraged;
• Prepaid participants gets priority seating;

For inquiries please contact tel. nos. 631-2143, 631-0921 local 110 / 107, or e-mail at apolu@dap.edu.ph / apolugrantees@yahoo.com.ph / andayonj@dap.edu.ph Attn: Mr. Michael del Mundo or Ms. Julie Andayon.

Report: International Forum on Productivity, Sep 12-14, 2017, Malaysia

Attended by 36 representatives from 15 APO member countries

The forum brought together stakeholders with global perspectives to share experiences, address policy challenges to productivity growth, and discuss the implementation of productivity-enhancing policies. Specifically, the forum tried to serve as a platform to address the following objectives:

A. Review the trends in and the future of global sustainable productivity.
B. Analyze sources of productivity growth in a knowledge and technology driven economy.
C. Understand the role of public institutions and policies in enhancing productivity.
D. Discuss best practices and frontier-research findings on productivity.

There were 13 papers presented with different themes but centrally focused on productivity.


I applied for qualification to attend the said forum because of the following objectives and expectations:

A. Awareness and understanding of the latest trends on world class sustainable productivity.
B. Additional skills and tools on finding productivity improvement opportunities.
C. Benchmark from other industries on best practices on productivity improvement.
D. Interaction with fellow participants of the same field of interest.

I find the forum relevant to my industry and my work because productivity is a key metric in our operations.


The activity was massively attended by around 300 productivity practitioners all across Malaysia. Of the 300 participants, 36 are representatives from the 15 APO member countries who joined.

Philippine participants

OIC, Policy Coordination and Monitoring Division

Executive Director

Manager, Systems Engineering and Operations Metrics

Team PVT (Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand)


The 3-day forum have 2 days spent on presentations of subject experts and culminates on the third day with a workshop with the 36 participants from the 15 APO member countries tackling key insights and action steps moving forward. All presentations of the subject experts culminate with a question and answer portion where participants has the opportunity to clarify thoughts on the subject and or share experience. Aside from the individual presentations, every end of the day, a panel discussion is also facilitated discussing the subjects presented earlier in the day.

During the workshop, I was a member of the PVT (Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand) group and I delivered the report of our group.

The subjects presented by the resources persons are listed below.

1. Sustaining Productivity Growth: The key in meeting global challenges


Mr. Scott Jacobs
Managing Director
Jacobs, Cordova & Associates

Highlight: Key facts and trends in regulatory practices and their implications to productivity including overall quality of regulations. Issues on regulatory institutions and regulatory environment, reforms needed to improve productivity, innovation and diffusion of public policies and services/programs, etc. was stressed to understand the challenges in sustaining productivity growth both from national and global perspectives.

2. Reflection on Taiwan’s Higher Education Policies Towards Productivity Growth


Professor Chuing Prudence Chou
Department of Education
National Chengchi University (NCCU) Taiwan
Republic of China

Highlight: The presentation illustrated how Taiwan’s higher education policies have responded to the forces of globalizaton, the neo-liberal economic ideology, and the worldwide trend towards greater international competition in higher education and in the last two decades and its implication to productivity growth and economic prosperity.

3. Regulatory and competition issues in ASEAN and its implications to Productivity Growth.


Dr. Sufiah Jusoh
Investment Law and Policy Expert
The World Bank

Highlight: The presentation discusses how regulations are made in the ASEAN region and the application of the Good Regulatory Practice (GRP). The discussion focused on the GRP initiative in ASEAN and how it is being implemented in certain member states. The paper looked into the application of the GRP in the formation of investment policies in Myanmar and Laos PDR and their potential impact on the private sector investments.

4. Monitoring Organizational Performance and Its Implications to Sustainable Productivity.


Mr. Mohan Dhamotharan

Highlight: The presentation highlights the importance of organizational performance for strengthening capacities for sustainable productivity. It focused on a holistic perspective on key dimensions of organization performance referring to individual competencies as well as organizational capabilities. Mechanisms and challenges for monitoring organizational performance was also discussed.

5. Radical Approach to Regulatory Reform to Achieve Productivity Growth and Competitiveness: Korean Experience


Professor Jin-Wook Choi
Department of Public Administration
Korea University

Highlight: The presentation introduced the regulatory reform efforts of the Korean government to cope with the slowdown in growth potential. In doing so, the presentation showed the attempts to assess the achievements and remaining challenges of regulatory reform strategies in Korea.

6. Smart Community 2050


Ms. Hazami Habib
Chief Executive Officer
Academy of Science Malaysia

Highlight: It is a presentation of Malaysia’s vision to be among the global elites and the recognition that it is only achievable through its people, the decisions made today and leveraging on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Malaysia 2050 comprises of Smart Communities where people live in harmonious, prosperous and sustainable milieu. ASM (Academy of Sciences Malaysia) has started this since 2009 to help Malaysians achieve the vision.

7. Restructuring Existing Workforce Towards Higher Skilled Workers


Mr. Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin
Chief Executive Officer
Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC)

Highlight: It introduced the concept of Industry 4.0 and the different fields of expertise that is essential to it. The current fields of electronics, electrical, mechanical engineering, pneumatics and so on will not be enough for employees working in an Industry 4.0 factories. The topic discussed the nine (9) pillars of the Industry 4.0 and what type of skills and methods need to be adopted to have a successful up-skilling and reskilling of employees.

8. Productivity Gains of Industry 4.0 and the Chemical Industry


Mr. Lim Yew Heng
Partner and Managing Director
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Highlight: It explains what Industry 4.0 is and why is it changing the manufacturing of chemical industry. It addressed the question on how industry players harness Industry 4.0 to improve productivity. The presentation includes examples of concrete cases and learning lessons for people keen to drive productivity improvement via Industry 4.0.

9. Mind the Gap: How Inter-Industry Linkages Promote Productivity


Dr. Mohd Yusof Saari
Senior Lecturer
Universiti Putra Malaysia

Highlight: Emphasized the interconnected of the different industries in an economy. Growth in one sector also means growth in other sectors involved in the supply chain of that sector. It is important to note of this linkages to be able to pinpoint specifically the needed interventions by sector.

10. Empowering Associations to Support Enterprise-Level Productivity


Mr. Michael Tan
Chief Executive Officer
Singapore Productivity Centre (SPC)

Highlight: It stresses the importance of sector productivity and ultimately enterprise level productivity as key drivers of country level productivity growth in these times of increased velocity and complexity. It cites as an example a small nation called Singapore where the need for “all hands on deck” is greater to help enterprises transform to be more lean and competitive. In the enterprise transformation journey, it has identified the role of associations as vital being the receptacle, multiplier and enabler to support enterprise level productivity. Big portion of the presentation was spent on the changing roles of association and how they support enterprises under the key transformation pillars.

11. Future-oriented Competency Development


Mr. Mohan Dhamotharan

Highlight: It stresses the demand for rapid change at all levels of a society given the global challenges, economically and socially. This economic and social conditions we are in we describe as VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) necessitates a future centered competency development of professionals. This requires a multi-dimensional understanding of competency as well as innovative competency development interventions.

12. Big Data: Internet of Things and its Implications to Sustainable Productivity Growth


Professor Dr. Khong Kok Wei
Faculty of Social Sciences, Nottingham
University Business School, Malaysia

Highlight: The presentation presents an overview of big data and the state of data science. It also looked into the state of IOT (Internet of Things) and the sources of data available in this present time. It further delves into the components of a high performance-data-driven digital enterprise as an essential business model to enhancing productivity and growth. It culminates with the discussion on the emergence of machine learning in data analytics and its implications to sustainable productivity and growth.


The activities were facilitated smoothly by the host organization and host country. Time frame was followed and the objectives of the different sessions I think were met satisfactorily.

Below are my insights coming out of the International Forum on Productivity.

1. The government plays a key role in driving national productivity. Policies that hamper productivity needs to be revisited and changed for the better. Policy makers are drivers of national productivity.

2. Industry 4.0 is the economy of the future. This is where countries will be heading to. While it has the potential to drive productivity significantly, most countries are not ready yet. Good thing though that most has drafted their own road map towards Industry 4.0.
3. One of the biggest gaps towards Industry 4.0 is the competency of the human capital. There is a gap between what the industry needs and what the academe produces. This is a big challenge for the educational sector.

4. Economic growth is interconnected. Growth of one sector means growth also of other sectors that’s included in the supply chain of that sector. It is very important to take a systems view on productivity improvement to identify the small pieces that makes up the entire system so that specific interventions can be made. When you improve one sector, it will drive also other sectors. The linkage is very important.

5. Productivity improvement will not happen solely by people at the top. Government alone cannot make it. Empowering different sectors to improve sectoral productivity to enterprise level will drive total productivity. Talking to people (teams, associations) and working with them on solutions is key.

Awarding of Certificate handed by APO Industry Program Officer Dr. Jose Elvinia


Given the insights I got from the forum, my recommendations are:

1. APO to come up with a common metric for Industry 4.0. Each member country will do a baseline study relative to the common metric.
2. Member country to draft a road map to Industry 4.0.
3. APO to come up with a system on how to foster commitment from member countries.
4. Use “big brother-small brother” approach to level the grounds towards productivity improvement.
5. Increase frequency of knowledge exchange and transfer including technology exchange for APO member countries.


Del Monte Philippines, Inc.

(to know more about the forum, please contact Mr. Arsua at arsuabl @ delmonte-phil.com)