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Remarks by Vice Minister Li-kuo Chen at the opening ceremony for the event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the World Vegetable Center

  • Data Source:Department of International Organizations
  • Date:2023-11-03

Li-kuo Chen

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

Republic of China (Taiwan)

November 3, 2023

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good morning!

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I am honored to join you today in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the World Vegetable Center.

Half a century ago, in partnership with six other nations and the Asian Development Bank, we founded the World Vegetable Center here in Shanhua. It has been truly remarkable to witness the transformation of this center from its initial emphasis on Asian agriculture to its becoming a worldwide leader addressing pressing global issues with exceptional expertise.

The World Vegetable Center plays a crucial role in tackling the urgent challenges we face today—such as poverty, food security, and climate change. And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains a committed partner, supporting many of the center’s global initiatives.

One shining example is the Taiwan-Africa Vegetable Initiative (TAVI). Through our combined efforts, the initiative has worked in countries including Eswatini, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Benin to counter malnutrition and strengthen food security by boosting the cultivation and consumption of nutritious vegetables. With an emphasis on providing nutrition to those most in need, the initiative has focused on home gardens and school meal programs in Eswatini.

In Asia, a more recent collaboration, TAsVI—the Taiwan-Southeast Asia Vegetable Germplasm Initiative—has embarked on an ambitious journey to repatriate the seed of more than 3,000 varieties to 10 countries of origin in Southeast Asia. Beyond seed restoration, the project is also fostering ties between national genebanks and partner networks in Southeast Asia, reinforcing our relationships in this vital region.

We have also broadened our horizons to Latin America and the Caribbean, helping to introduce robust, climate-resilient varieties of sweet and chili peppers. This effort is not only enriching agriculture in the region but also empowering smallholder farmers by connecting them to global trade networks and bolstering the vegetable seed sector.

While I can only mention a very few cases of what we have achieved, the driving force behind our progress is the relentless research taking place right here in Shanhua. Collaborating with partners worldwide from both the public and private sectors, we have been able to change the lives of countless farmers and their families. And consumers now have access to healthier, and robust vegetable yields because of this.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes the World Vegetable Center a very happy 50th birthday. We value our long-standing partnership and look forward to working with the center for many more years to achieve our common goals and create a more sustainable and prosperous world. Thank you!