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.
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.
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.
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.
SALIENT CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS PRESENTED BY PHILIPPINE PARTICIPANTS
Ms. Irene A. Papa
Project Leader/University Researcher II
The National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
University of the Philippines Los Baños
e-Mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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,
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