Health & Environment

Taiwanese University Joins Texas A&M In Fight Against Hunger, Poverty

The Texas A&M University System, through its Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, inked a “joint hub agreement” with Taiwan’s National Chung Hsing University.
By Gabriel Saldaña, Texas A&M Agriculture December 14, 2015

National Chung Hsing University signing
Texas A&M AgriLife Research Director Dr. Craig Nessler (left center) and Dr. Elsa Murano (left) join officials from Taiwan’s National Chung Hsing University in signing an agreement to collaborate on initiatives of international agricultural development.

The Texas A&M University System, through its Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, inked a “joint hub agreement” with Taiwan’s National Chung Hsing University in mid-November, binding the global agriculture powerhouses in an effort to address issues related to ecology, agriculture and rural development worldwide and specifically across Southeast Asia.

The joint hub calls for exchanges of education, research and development, beginning with the creation of action plans that will translate into projects and programs in agriculture, not only across Southeast Asia, but elsewhere.

The agreement directs partner entities to “jointly work with other interested countries of the world to help increase their knowledge and capacities on ecosystems, agriculture and rural development.”

Borlaug Institute Director Dr. Elsa Murano said the collaboration is the product of two years’ work with NCHU to establish collaborations with university partners and regional funding institutions in agriculture science.

“I can think of no more strategic way to pursue Dr. Borlaug’s vision of elevating small-holder farmers out of hunger and poverty than through this type of partnership with one of Taiwan’s premiere institutions,” Murano said.

Dr. Craig Nessler, Director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, said that in addition to helping developing countries, the strategic partnership “also opens the door for large-scale research activities in the region in food and agriculture through collaborations between scientists at Texas A&M AgriLife and NCHU.”

Another product of the overarching two-year effort between Texas A&M and NCHU was the inaugural Forum on Global Ecology, Agriculture and Rural-Uplift Programs in 2014; it was during the second GEAR-UP event in November that the joint hub was signed into action.

U.S. Ambassador Eric Bost (ret.), Assistant Director for External Relations at the Borlaug Institute, was a key participant and co-organizer of the conference since 2014. He said this year’s Forum included representatives from agricultural universities across Southeast Asia including Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

“It was great to see the interest from so many officials from universities all over the region,” he said.

The Borlaug Institute will host a contingent from NCHU in April 2016 to begin discussions about seeking viable projects for collaboration. National Chung Hsing University President Der-Tsai Lee is expected to deliver a public seminar on the collaboration as part of the 2016 visit.

“We are honored to be a part of this historic effort in the fight against hunger and poverty,” Murano said. “We’re ready to get to work.”

Related Stories

Recent Stories