|In Brief

Announcements and short news items about activities at the Center or elsewhere

New Borlaug-Ruan interns

The World Vegetable Center is pleased to announce the appointment of two Borlaug-Ruan International Internship interns for 2018. Ms. Tyler Reid, 17, from Brandywine, Maryland, USA, will study plant genetics at WorldVeg headquarters under the guidance of Vegetable Breeder Dr. Mohamed Rakha. She has explored symbiotic plant systems through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s AgDiscovery program and with the National Park System. Mr. Chase Krug, 17, from Marion, Iowa, USA, has been conducting crop research on potatoes, corn, peas, and soybeans since his freshman year of high school. He will work out of the WorldVeg South Asia office in Hyderabad, India with Legume Breeder Dr. Ramakrishnan Nair and Visiting Entomologist Dr. Abdul Rasheed War.

2018-05-15T06:18:22+00:00 May 15th, 2018|Categories: In Brief|Tags: , |

Planning grant for construction and renovation of research infrastructure

The World Vegetable Center has received a USD 1.7 million (NTD 50,000,000) grant from the Taiwan Council of Agriculture (COA) to begin planning a major construction and renovation project to modernize the Center’s research infrastructure. “The Center’s laboratories are in urgent need of renewal,” said WorldVeg Director General Marco Wopereis. “We’re grateful to Taiwan COA for the financial support that will allow us to start making our vision of a modern international research hub for vegetable science and breeding a reality.” Improvements will include a new seed treatment facility, capacity for controlled environment phenotyping, and upgraded laboratory facilities. In the coming weeks, WorldVeg will recruit a project manager to guide the planning and renovation effort.

2018-04-25T00:56:55+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Categories: In Brief|Tags: , |

NSP Task Force

Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP) aims to enhance cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and 18 countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australasia. WorldVeg applauds this international outreach initiative. To actively contribute to the effort, WorldVeg has established an NSP Task Force to serve as a bridge between Taiwan and NSP countries. The Task Force will accelerate technological innovation for sustainable vegetable sector development by facilitating the introduction, adaptation, and adoption of Taiwanese horticultural technologies and know‐how, as well as welcoming students and scientists from the NSP countries to Taiwan to work with WorldVeg and Taiwan partners. Task Force members include Mandy Lin (Chair; Associate Specialist, Technology Dissemination), Sophia Chan (Associate Specialist, Virology), and Kitty Hong (Management Assistant). George Kuo, former Director of International Cooperation for the Center, will assist as a resource person for the Task Force.

2018-04-25T00:29:42+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Categories: In Brief|Tags: , |

Remembering Dr. Yang

Charles Yu-di Yang, age 86, passed away on Monday, March 5, 2018 at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. In 1972, Dr. Yang accepted an offer from the Rockefeller Foundation to be the Senior Pathologist at the Asian Vegetable Research & Development Center (AVRDC). In 1980, he moved to Thailand to lead the AVRDC outreach program there. During his 17 years in Thailand, Charles developed the outreach program literally from the ground up.  He got the funding to build the research center and training facilities; hired and managed the staff; oversaw the construction of the buildings; and developed, implemented and directed the training program for nearly 400 scholars from 18 countries around the world.

2018-04-18T05:49:15+00:00 April 5th, 2018|Categories: APR2018, Briefing, In Brief|

WorldVeg parentage in high-yielding, triple-disease resistant ‘Arka Rakshak’ tomato

Tomato is India’s second most important vegetable crop, next to potato. And now ‘Arka Rakshak’, a new F1 fresh market and processing tomato hybrid with resistance to three major tomato diseases, is available for farmers eager to supply India’s growing demand. The variety was developed by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) by crossing one of their advanced breeding lines with an advanced breeding line sourced from the World Vegetable Center. Tomato leaf curl virus, bacterial wilt and early blight are among the most difficult tomato diseases to manage as there are no chemical treatments available to stop their spread. Building resistance into a variety is the most effective -- and cost-effective -- approach to tomato disease management. ‘Arka Rakshak’ produces medium to large (80-100 g), deep red, very firm fruits with good keeping quality (15-20 days) and transportability. Farmers can expect yields of 90-100 t/ha. WorldVeg provides the important breeding materials partners need to produce vigorous, pest-and disease-resistant varieties with tolerance to heat, drought, flooding and other environmental conditions farmers typically encounter in the field. Congratulations to IIHR!

2018-02-09T02:56:34+00:00 February 9th, 2018|Categories: Briefing, FEB2018, In Brief|Tags: , , |

52nd Board of Directors Meeting and 2017 Global R & D Week

The World Vegetable Center Board of Directors held its 52nd meeting in conjunction with the 2017 Global R & D Week, 4-8 December 2017 at WorldVeg headquarters in Taiwan. The dual event gave board members the opportunity to interact with staff, engage in meaningful discussions, and provide perspective on the Center's new direction.  Board members David Sammons (USA), Dae Geun Oh (Korea), Takashi Hamada (Japan) and Vivencio Mamaril (Philippines) completed their terms. The Center is grateful for their service and thoughtful advice over the years. Incoming members are Myoung Rae Cho, Director General, Department of Horticultural Crop Research, National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science Rural Development Administration (Korea); George Culaste, OIC-Director Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture (Philippines); Bonnie McClafferty, Director, Food Value Chain, GAIN (USA); and Shigehiro Nishiumi, Deputy Representative, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (Japan).

2017-12-15T10:16:55+00:00 December 15th, 2017|Categories: Briefing, In Brief|

World Vegetable Center receives grants from Germany

The World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) is pleased to announce it has received two grants from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support vegetable research and development activities in Tanzania and Kenya. “Amazing Amaranth: Hardy and nutritious amaranth lines and food practices to improve nutrition in East Africa” (EUR 1,200,000) aims to increase availability and consumption of improved nutrient-rich amaranth cultivars. Leaves of amaranth provide essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium lacking in local diets, and the plant also produces a high-protein grain. WorldVeg will investigate amaranth lines that can serve both purposes, and also seeks to breed cultivars with low levels of oxalates in the leaves. “GrAfrica: Introduce grafted plantlets to improve yield and income of smallholder tomato producers in sub-Saharan Africa” (EUR 100,000) builds on the Center’s decades of experience in vegetable grafting. The GrAfrica project plans to teach grafting methods to 50 trainers and 12 nursery operators (preferentially youth and women), who will in turn share their knowledge and skills with 2,500 tomato producers in Tanzania. “We’re excited about the prospect of bringing the benefits of improved amaranth to people whose diets are deficient in important nutrients, and also to introduce grafting to Africa, where we expect it will have a significant impact,” said Dr. David Johnson, WorldVeg Deputy Director General – Research. “BMZ has been an outstanding supporter of the Center’s research for many years and we welcome the opportunity to continue this positive and productive relationship.”

2017-11-17T07:05:43+00:00 November 17th, 2017|Categories: In Brief|Tags: , |

Wopereis visits IFAD

Marco Wopereis, WorldVeg Director General, visited the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 3 October 2017 in Rome, Italy. He gave a presentation on the Center’s new strategic directions to the Program Management Department and met with IFAD president Gilbert F. Houngbo afterward.  IFAD and WorldVeg agreed to explore opportunities for strengthened collaboration in Africa and Asia—in particular, but not exclusively, in the area of youth vegetable business hubs, and in general by strengthening links between in-country IFAD representatives and WorldVeg regional centers. WorldVeg technical expertise may be solicited in the project design phase for IFAD loans if such loans focus on the development of the vegetable sector, as already done by the World Bank in Cameroon.

2017-10-28T05:07:43+00:00 October 5th, 2017|Categories: Briefing, In Brief|Tags: |

New office established in Benin

Cotonou, Benin -- The World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) signed an agreement today with the Benin Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MFAC) to establish a regional office in the country to serve the horticulture sector in coastal West Africa. The signing took place at MFAC headquarters in Cotonou, where MFAC Secretary General, Ambassador Marc Hermanne Araba signed the agreement with WorldVeg Director General Marco Wopereis. The new office—World Vegetable Center West and Central Africa – Coastal and Humid Regions—is the Center’s fifth regional base worldwide and its third in Africa. It is located on the campus of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Abomey-Calavi, Benin.

2017-09-13T01:15:06+00:00 August 28th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Briefing, In Brief, SEP2017, West and Central Africa - Coastal and Humid Regions|

President of African Development Bank Wins 2017 World Food Prize

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, was announced as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on 26 June 2017. Awarded by the World Food Prize Foundation, the $250,000 prize honors Nigerian Dr. Adesina for his leading role over the past two decades in significantly expanding food production in Nigeria, introducing initiatives to exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent, and galvanizing the political will to transform African agriculture. The African Development Bank is financing the TAAT (Technology for African Agricultural Transformation) initiative, in which WorldVeg is a participating institution.

2017-06-27T00:05:56+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Categories: In Brief|