New office for Korea

WorldVeg opens a new chapter in relations with a partner that’s been on board from the very beginning

WorldVeg Director General Marco Wopereis and Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia Delphine Larrousse opened the new WorldVeg Korea Office with Country Office Director Seonghoe Jang on 1 May 2019. The office is housed within the National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science (NIHHS) of Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA) in Jeollabuk-do.

Korea has been a long-time supporter of the Center from the very start. The Republic of Korea signed—along with six other countries and the Asian Development Bank—the charter to establish what was then called the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) in 1971.

“Ever since those early days, WorldVeg has had an excellent collaborative relationship with Korea through joint research and the exchange of resources and scientists,” said Wopereis. “The activities will continue with the creation of this new office.”

Since 1992, WorldVeg has hosted 11 RDA scientists at headquarters in Taiwan. These seconded researchers explore important topics, many related to enhancing disease resistance in major vegetable crops including Chinese cabbage, garlic, traditional vegetables, cucurbits, pepper and tomato. One RDA scientists focused on postharvest issues, another key strength of RDA. The seconding program is ongoing, with the recent posting of Dr. Tae-Cheol Seo in the WorldVeg Genebank.

The National Agrobiodiversity Center of RDA holds duplicates of nearly 15,000 WorldVeg genebank accessions. This important backup location helps ensure the safety of our valuable collection.

“The new WorldVeg Korea Office will be a bridge to connect WorldVeg’s expertise and networks with RDA’s expertise and networks in Korea and beyond,” said Wopereis. “That bridge will help us to realize the potential of vegetables for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods.”

Dr. Jang will explore how WorldVeg can link with RDA to boost the vegetable sector in Korea, and engage with global networks including the International Technology Cooperation Center (ITCC), Asian Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI),  Korea-Africa Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI), and Korea-Latin America Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KoLFACI).

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WorldVeg Country Director for Korea Seonghoe Jang (left) and Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia Delphine Larrousse.

WorldVeg Director General Marco Wopereis (left) with Dr. Kim Kyung-kyu,  RDA Administrator.