The JIRCAS Southeast Asia Liaison Office, a long-standing pillar of collaborative research, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a symposium held at the Asawin Grand Convention Hotel on December 14, 2023. The occasion marked a significant milestone since its establishment in 1972 and, notably, was convened without the hindrance of travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the opening session, JIRCAS President Koyama expressed his sincere appreciation to the Government of Thailand and the Department of Agriculture for their unwavering support over the past five decades. He expressed his gratitude to the dedicated institutional researchers who, through their collective efforts, have contributed to the remarkable legacy of the Office. Mr. Tasaka, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of Japan, and Mr. Phatchayaphon Meunchang, Deputy Director General of the Thai Department of Agriculture, added their voices in congratulatory speeches, acknowledging the enduring cooperation between Japan and Thailand.
The symposium was divided into two parts. The first part featured extensive presentations by both JIRCAS and its Thai counterparts, highlighting the rich history and consequential results of joint research in soil science, livestock management, forestry practices, food production, plant pest control, aquaculture, and plant breeding.
In the second part, JIRCAS highlighted the innovative Green Asia Project, a pioneering initiative to promote sustainable agricultural practices. The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP) outlined its strategic initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region, in line with the FAO Science and Innovation Strategy formulated last June. The ASEAN Secretariat provided insights into the recently launched ASEAN Sustainable Agriculture Guidelines, forged in October of the same year, and explored their interplay with cutting-edge agricultural teTchnology. The ensuing discussion focused on shaping the future trajectory of JIRCAS collaborative research in Southeast Asia and fostering international collaborations.
This commemorative symposium not only paid tribute to the rich legacy of the JIRCAS Southeast Asia Liaison Office, but also served as a platform for envisioning a future marked by continued excellence in collaborative research and sustainable agricultural progress.